Omid Memarian

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Danish Cartoon Dilemma

Concerning the recent widespread boycott of Danish goods in the Middle East following the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed first in Danish newspaper, and later syndicated in Norwegian and French publications I think it is good to take a look at As’ad Abukhalil, Islam Online, and Mohammed Al-Jazairy in Asharq Alawsat , present two staunchly different viewpoints.
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New York Sun, a neoconservative paper in United Stated has pointed out that “Palestinian Arab protesters and members of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade threatened to target Scandinavians yesterday in response to a political cartoon in a Danish newspaper depicting the prophet Muhammad as a suicide bomber.” However the tune of New York Sun is mixed with strong biases but would display another aspect of the story which seems is not going to the end.
Moreover, “In France, popular daily France Soir said it “had published the cartoons in the name of freedom of expression and to fight religious intolerance”
Morocco Times Reports from France.

Although in the past there have been other examples of this matter but this time the EU press have republish it for many times and in different countries which raise this question whether it is beginning of a cultural confrontation by challenging different versions of understanding the freedom of speech. Muslims believe the freedom of speech does not permit insulting or despising the Islamic Values, But Europeans criticize this conception. “Under a headline "Yes, we have the right to caricature God", the paper ran a front page cartoon with Buddha, the Christian and Jewish Gods and Prophet Muhammad sitting on a cloud above Earth, with the Christian God saying: "Don't complain Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here,” Says French popular daily.

In Spain, ABC and the Catalan paper El Periodico also published the cartoons. They were joined by the Italian papers La Stampa and Il Corriere della Sera. The German Welt daily put one of the drawings on its front page on Wednesday, saying the picture was "harmless" and regretting that the Danish Jyllands-Posten daily had apologized for causing offense. So what will the Muslim countries do with all these countries which have republished the cartoon for several and even on the front page?

I have deleted a paragraph of this post. I appreciate Charlie for his precise note and caution. I checked the fact in a pargraph and I feel it is not really easy to prove it. While the source of the fact says, she has read somwhere about it, I just deleted to paragrapgh about the anti-semitism of Owner of "Star Bucks" and i will be more carefull for fact checking in the future. Again, thanks Charlie!


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