The world was so full of rage in the past week that I felt exhausted and small. The Chinese were so mad at the Japanese. The 47% "victims" according to Mitt Romney's strange world view, were enraged by Mitt Romney. The red shirts were infuriated by the Truth Commission's report. The pro-army camp was infuriated by the Truth Commission's report. Motorists were furious at the cold-hearted downpours, and the sky was so furious at everybody that it kept spitting water. Isn't hell supposed to be some sort of fire and not liquid - hot and not chilly?
Then, of course, some Muslims were seething with anger, first at that moronic video, then at the US in particular, then at the West in general. In the name of freedom of speech, a French satirical magazine didn't pull back from publishing a cartoon mocking the Prophet Mohammed - yet to be fair, that same cartoon also mocked a Jew. No, not the Holocaust per se. That would've set off another round of rage, though I suspect that might have been a retaliation already applied by some Arab publications (of course that we'll never see).
In a rage-fuelled week that also saw the British royals fuming, then suing another French magazine for printing a topless photo of the Duchess of Cambridge, Muslims might have found an unlikely ally in the House of Windsor as they - and we all - ponder the implications of some of the most difficult questions being raised amidst the din of resentment: Where is the line? Do we need a line? Is the freedom to speak, to print, to draw, to write, also a freedom to violate, insult and offend? Is cultural sensitivity or historical legacy a factor in exercising that freedom? Is the law of men greater than the law of god? Then whose god? Should the West adapt or should the Muslims adapt? Or closer to home: is our lese majeste law and the way it's being enforced an inseparable part in the stream of this global discussion? Are we alone, isolated, unique?
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