Friday, February 03, 2006

The Muslim Cartoons that are shocking the Arab world



I think it is healthy to remember what context the cartoons that were published in Denmark originally was. This is a must read:

The drawings were commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten (Jutland's Post) to accompany an article on self-censorship and freedom of speech after Danish writer Kare Bluitgen was unable failed to find artists willing to illustrate his children's book about Mohammed for fear of violent attacks by extremist Muslims.

Islamic teachings forbid pictorial depictions of Mohammed.

The cartoons were published on September 30 with an explanatory article by the newspaper's culture editor, Flemming Rose.

The following is a translated summary of the article and explanation of the cartoons published in the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia.

"The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings.

"It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule.

"It is certainly not always equally attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but that is less important in this context. [...] we are on our way to a slippery slope where no one can tell how the self-censorship will end.

"That is why the Jyllands-Posten has invited members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Mohammed as they see him."

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