Ethics of Publicity


After Terry Jones got his 15 minutes of fame for planning to burn the Qur’an in an orgy of exhibitionism that unfortunately did materialize for him, several media outlets pondered their decision to publicize his contemplated provocative actions.

This week the less-known Washington-based Center for Security Policy released a study that was reported in the Washington Times.  For a day or two, I was wondering whether this wrong-headed report deserved attention.  The dilemma I had oscillated between the responsibility to report and share information versus putting out material that will give fodder to Muslim demagogues as well as to Islamo-phobes alike.  I can already see how the blogosphere is going to cite this report as more evidence of everything in Islam being the enemy while Muslim demagogues are going to cite this as evidence of the West ‘hating’ Muslims.

In the end, my liberal disposition rightly triumphed: this report needs commentary and should be intelligently debated and suitably dispatched.

About ebrahimmoosa

Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
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