The coming clash of civilizations, if it arrives, is going to be so boring. Boring because it will be a confrontation of two incompatible systems: one modern, one traditional. There’s nothing to make one better than the other, to make one smarter than the other. Nothing will be said, really, because the two cultures don’t share a common language. And because the conflict will unfold through violence, contempt, stone-thowing and tear gassing. Nothing new.
Our media published those cartoons because our media are a means by which we reflect on ourselves, they’re how we mediate our perspectives, how we create non-traditional perspectives, how we subject reasons to doubt, authority to questioning. Amidst the cartoon depictions of the prophets you’ll also find depictions of gay priests, corrupt politians, embarassing celebs and inept media decisions makers. Our governments do not publish our papers. And our cartoonists do not represent a perspective other than their own, personal, view.
Throwing stones and tear gas. There goes the enlightenment.