Unhealthy Orange & Blue

A Danish newspaper recently published a set of drawings of Muhammad. Islam forbids any depictions of Muhammad (and any figurative art in a religious context), so these drawings predictably triggered reactions among many Muslims.

In the wake of this – and mainly as a counter-reaction to the Muslim reaction – other newspapers and several bloggers are now publishing the same drawings.

In Spiral Dynamics terminology, it seems that this situation is an expression of a clash of unhealthy orange and unhealthy blue. And this is a potentially explosive combination.

Unhealthy orange

Orange is the developmental phase of rational, science based and early world-centric views, including human rights and freedom of speach.

Unhealthy orange is in this case expressed as a blind and stubborn insistence on “freedom of speech” whether or not the content has much value or substance, and whether or not people are hurt and offended by it.

Unhealthy blue

Blue is the developmental phase of law and order, and of fundamentalism.

Unhealthy blue is blindly reactive – in this case – to unhealthy orange. And this reaction may take the form of physical violence and possibly deaths.

Healthy orange & blue

Healthy orange – of course – see and value the importance of freedom of speech. But with freedom comes responsibilty, and this responsibility includes discriminating wisdom and compassion – expressed as discernment of what is appropriate when. In this case, there is very little to gain from publishing the drawings, and many will be deeply hurt by it, so why do it?

Healthy blue is similarly an expression of discriminating wisdom and compassion, in this case in terms of what means will be used to express one’s views. Information and/or legal action may be more appropriate than violence, which just initiates and/or further fuels a cycle of hatred and violence.

The problem with these situations is that even if most people are at healthy orange and blue, some are not. And these few publishers and reactive muslims may be enough to create a good deal of suffering for a good number of people.

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