Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Charlie Hebdo And Politeness In Multi-Ethnic Societies

John Scales Avery Countercurrents January 9, 2015
The attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 10 people were killed, claimed massive media attention worldwide. Everyone agreed that freedom of speech and democracy had been brutally attacked, and many people proclaimed ‘Je suis Charlie!’, in solidarity with the murdered members of the magazine’s staff.
In Denmark, it was proposed that the offending cartoons of the prophet Mohammad should be reprinted in major newspapers. However, in the United States, there was no such proposal, and in fact, US television viewers were not even allowed to see the drawings that had provoked the attack. How is this difference between Denmark and the US to be explained?
Denmark is a country with a predominantly homogeneous population, which only recently has become more diverse through the influx of refugees from troubled parts of the world. Thus, I believe, Denmark has not yet had time to learn that politeness is essential for preventing conflicts in a multi-ethnic society. On the other hand, the United States has lived with the problem for much longer………..
………. Globally, we are in great need of a new ethic, which regards all humans as brothers and sisters, regardless of race, religion or nationality. Human solidarity will become increasingly important in the future, as stress from climate change and the vanishing of non-renewable resources becomes more pronounced.
To get through the difficult time ahead of us, we will need to face the dangers and challenges of the future arm in arm, respecting each other’s differing beliefs, and emphasizing our common humanity rather than our differences.
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