Thursday, June 1, 2006

Acceptable and unacceptable protest methods

The right to protest and speak is a fundamental freedom, and representative government is in peril without it. Even when protests and speech on controversial issues inflames a majority of the population, it must be protected. However, acts of terrorism, violence and physical intimidation are well outside the bounds of reasonable political discourse. This must be forcefully condemned by everyone at all points of the political spectrum.

Colin Blakemore has a very good article on "animal rights" terrorism in the United Kingdom and the public's attitudes toward biomedical research. It appears that "animal rights" jihadists are losing ground in the court of public opinion.

I have warned on many occasions of the dangers of "animal rights" jihadists, both from a public safety perspective and from a public health perspective. Biomedical research is absolutely necessary for human health, and many medical advances have come as a direct result of biomedical research. (Click here for more information about how biomedical research has been beneficial to humanity.)

Previous articles on biomedical research and animal-rights terrorism: Medical research must proceed -- "Animal Rights" terrorists get more extreme -- The myth of animal rights -- "Animal Rights" fanatics continue their jihad.

The editorialized about the difference between peaceful Christian protests of the "Da Vinci Code" movie and the riots and mayhem across the Middle East that followed the publishing of cartoon images of Mohammed.

The editorial sparked a response from Muhammad Siddeeq, who argued that making the comparison is unnecessary because "the cartoon issue is long behind us". I doubt that cartoonists in fear of their lives would agree, and the chilling effect that the violence had on free speech continues to linger. Furthermore, the root of the anti-cartoon riots, an Islamofacist ideology that reacts to dissent with terror, still exists and must continue to be exposed.