In re: Cartoon outrage

So by now I am sure most have heard about the outrage over a Danish cartoon, which depicts Muhammad in a caricature (I haven’t seen it). Europe like the US has generally freedom of press (Nazi publications aren’t allowed in Germany). With the freedom to write or speak of course brings out things that no one wants to hear, may upset some folks, but is tolerated as protected. So its quite troubling when violence towards the embassies has started over ‘offensive speech’. The reason I find this so strange is that when other controversial speech occurs, such as the president of Iran claiming that the holocaust never occured or the burning of U.S. flags in protest, doesn’t lead to a violent outburst. Every religion has had periods of fanatical outrage and violence, but I worry sometimes that it is more then a truly small minority of fanatics that can be driven to what I view as truly senseless violence. Let us remember that the cartoon was in Europe, in newspapers, it really wasn’t that significant. As an editor for the paper pointed out:

I did not ask the illustrators to make the Prophet a laughing stock – I asked them to draw the Prophet as they see him.

In Denmark we have a tradition of satire and humour and some cartoonists made satirical cartoons. We have done the same thing with Jesus Christ and other religions. That’s what we do with the royal family, politicians and other public figures. We were not treating Islam or the Prophet any differently from how we treat everybody else in Denmark.

The cartoons have given impetus to a very important debate about integration in Denmark. The debate on the one hand looks at how much the receiving community should compromise on their own values and standards when they are receiving foreigners, immigrants and refugees.

On the other hand the debate focuses on how much of their own culture immigrants have to give up. (From BBC Viewpoints: Cartoon Row)

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One Response

  1. The reaction from this group of fanatics is utterly rediculous. I can’t believe they have their panties in a bunch over a freaking cartoon.

    So let me get this straight. This same group of fanatics will party in the streets when another misguided muslim blows him or herself up along with 20 innocent people, but they’re torch an embassy in anger the moment their prophet is characatured.

    Unbelievable.

    Daanish

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