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" width="8" height="8"/> Muhammad Cartoons
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Wolfenstein
post Jan 31 2006, 06:02 AM
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Wolfenstein
post Jan 31 2006, 06:04 AM
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Article

Thou Shalt Not Draw
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | December 21, 2005

Last September, Danish author Kåre Bluitgen was set to publish a book on the Muslim prophet Muhammad, but there was just one catch: he couldn’t find an illustrator. Artistic representations of the human form are forbidden in Islam, and pictures of Muhammad are especially taboo — so three artists turned down Bluitgen’s offer to illustrate the book for fear that they would pay with their lives for doing so. Frants Iver Gundelach, president of the Danish Writers Union, decried this as a threat to free speech — and the largest newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten, responded. They approached forty artists asking for depictions of Muhammad and received in response twelve cartoons of the Prophet — several playing on the violence committed by Muslims in the name of Islam around the world today.

Danish Imam Raed Hlayhel was the first to react. “This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims,” he fumed. “Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world. We demand an apology!” Jyllands-Posten refused. Editor-in-chief Carsten Juste refused: “We live in a democracy. That’s why we can use all the journalistic methods we want to. Satire is accepted in this country, and you can make caricatures. Religion shouldn’t set any barriers on that sort of expression. This doesn’t mean that we wish to insult any Muslims.” Cultural editor Flemming Rose concurred: “Religious feelings,” he observed, “cannot demand special treatment in a secular society. In a democracy one must from time to time accept criticism or becoming a laughingstock.”

Certainly Christians have had to learn this lesson: in the United Kingdom, the secretary of an organization called Christians Against Ridicule complained in 2003 that “over the last seven days alone we have witnessed the ridicule of the Nativity in a new advert for Mr Kipling cakes, the ridicule of the Lord’s Prayer on Harry Hill’s TV Burp, the ridicule of a proud Christian family on ITV’s Holiday Nightmare and the opening of a blasphemous play at London’s Old Vic Theatre — Stephen Berkoff’s Messiah….Rarely a day goes by today without underhand and insidious mockery of the Christian faith.” Christians Against Ridicule, however, issued no death threats at that point or any other; some Muslims in Denmark after the cartoons were published were not quite so sanguine. Jyllands-Posten had to hire security guards to protect its staff as threats came in by phone and email.

Muslim anger was not limited to threat-issuing thugs. In late October ambassadors to Denmark from eleven Muslim countries asked Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for a meeting about what they called the “smear campaign” against Muslims in the Danish press. Rasmussen declined: “This is a matter of principle. I won’t meet with them because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so.” He added: “I will never accept that respect for a religious stance leads to the curtailment of criticism, humour and satire in the press.” The matter, he said, was beyond his authority: “As prime minister I have no tool whatsoever to take actions against the media and I don’t want that kind of tool.”

As far as one of the ambassadors, Egypt’s, was concerned, that was the wrong answer. Egyptian officials withdrew from a dialogue they had been conducting with their Danish counterparts about human rights and discrimination. Egyptian Embassy Councillor Mohab Nasr Mostafa Mahdy added: “The Egyptian ambassador in Denmark has said that the case no longer rests with the embassy. It is now being treated at an international level. As far as I have been informed by my government, the cartoon case has already been placed on the agenda for the Islamic Conference Organization’s extraordinary summit in the beginning of December.”

Meanwhile, in Denmark in early November thousands of Muslims marched in demonstrations against the cartoons. Two of the cartoonists, fearing for their lives, went into hiding. The Pakistani Jamaaat-e-Islami party offered five thousand kroner to anyone who killed one of the cartoonists. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), with a membership of 56 Muslim nations, protested to the Danish government. Last week business establishments closed to protest the cartoons — in Kashmir. The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was reportedly “anguished” by the cartoons, and asked India’s Prime Minister to complain to the Danish government. And last Saturday the most respected authority in the Sunni Muslim world, Mohammad Sayed Tantawi, Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, declared that the cartoons had “trespassed all limits of objective criticism into insults and contempt of the religious beliefs of more than one billion Muslims around the world, including thousands in Denmark. Al-Azhar intends to protest these anti-Prophet cartoons with the UN’s concerned committees and human rights groups around the world.”

The UN was happy to take the case. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, wrote to the OIC: “I understand your attitude to the images that appeared in the newspaper. I find alarming any behaviors that disregard the beliefs of others. This kind of thing is unacceptable.” She announced that investigations for racism and “Islamophobia” would commence forthwith.

While solicitous of Muslim belief, Arbour did not seem concerned about the beliefs of the Danes. Yet Jyllands-Posten had well articulated its position as founded upon core principles of the Western world: “We must quietly point out here that the drawings illustrated an article on the self-censorship which rules large parts of the Western world. Our right to say, write, photograph and draw what we want to within the framework of the law exists and must endure — unconditionally!” Juste added: “If we apologize, we go against the freedom of speech that generations before us have struggled to win.”

That freedom is imperiled internationally more today than it has been in recent memory. As it grows into an international cause célèbre, the cartoon controversy indicates the gulf between the Islamic world and the post-Christian West in matters of freedom of speech and expression. And it may yet turn out that as the West continues to pay homage to its idols of tolerance, multiculturalism, and pluralism, it will give up those hard-won freedoms voluntarily.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadA...le.asp?ID=20622
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Wolfenstein
post Jan 31 2006, 06:09 AM
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I have emailed the main newspapers in my University asking them to publish the cartoons in support for free speech. I hope they will... We'll see the reaction I get, probably pretty negative.

I encourage everyone to try to get the cartoons published, regardless if you approve of the message, I think it is vital for free society to not be afraid...
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Bar-Aram
post Jan 31 2006, 08:54 AM
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I will put them on my new website.
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necrolyte
post Jan 31 2006, 10:54 AM
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I agree with the cause for free speech, and no the images should not be illegal, but why go out of our way to offend Muslims? Its like those Nazis who wanted to march down a Jewish neighborhood int he 70s. The cartoonists have a right to be safe and draw Muhammad if they wish, but I have to say the whole venture is an excercise in futility, merely aimed at "pushing the boundaries" for absolutely no good reason.
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SmartAss
post Jan 31 2006, 11:54 AM
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People who can't take a joke, be it personal, religious or cultural, in my view aren't comfortable of their identity.

Case in point. We had a work party last Friday and after a few drinks my mate was telling us how his dad was living in Israel before coming to Australia and I made a soft (I think) joke about Jews and we all had a laugh. But out of nowhere his girlfriend was fuming. She was yelling "people like you, blah blah blah". My mate got pissed off as well and he went "what do you mean people like him, etc" and I was really in a strange position and spent the next three hours apologizing to her.

So yea, my point was that even through freedom of speech, freedom of expression and even though a person may not have malevolent intentions while expressing himself, one needs to be responsible enough to not hurt or aggrevate others more sensitive with his remarks or expressions. And especially not the mainstream media.

I like what Hamid Karzai said about this. The Muslim governance needs more calm, rational, eloquent men like him.
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mhallex
post Jan 31 2006, 02:34 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Jan 31 2006, 06:54 AM)
I agree with the cause for free speech, and no the images should not be illegal, but why go out of our way to offend Muslims? Its like those Nazis who wanted to march down a Jewish neighborhood int he 70s. The cartoonists have a right to be safe and draw Muhammad if they wish, but I have to say the whole venture is an excercise in futility, merely aimed at "pushing the boundaries" for absolutely no good reason.
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Uhm, the guy couldnt find an illustrator who wasnt in fear of being killed for doing the book and that doesnt qualify as a good reason?
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necrolyte
post Jan 31 2006, 04:05 PM
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QUOTE(mhallex @ Jan 31 2006, 02:34 PM)
Uhm, the guy couldnt find an illustrator who wasnt in fear of being killed for doing the book and that doesnt qualify as a good reason?
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Its a good reason to enforce anti-terror laws, but its not a reason to actually try to offend people with no real intellectual benefit. Nobody gains from this free speech. It is like those Westboro Baptist church nuts who say truly horrendous and offensive things simply because they can.

Perhaps I'm not articulating myself very well-I agree with their right to publish this, but I disagree with the publishing of this in particular. One should not publish something that people find offensive en-masse unless there really is some intellectual benefit.
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Wolfenstein
post Jan 31 2006, 04:14 PM
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necro,

Out of curiousity, do you support the right of the NYTimes to publish an editorial about Israeli (or Palestinian for that matter) human right violations? Because, I usually find these editorials offensive (and they usually hint at the need for Israel to not be there).
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mhallex
post Jan 31 2006, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Jan 31 2006, 12:05 PM)
Its a good reason to enforce anti-terror laws, but its not a reason to actually try to offend people with no real intellectual benefit. Nobody gains from this free speech. It is like those Westboro Baptist church nuts who say truly horrendous and offensive things simply because they can.
*



Lots of people have gained insofar as much as it has revealed the troublingly illiberal views of many of these groups that claim to promote "tolerance." Furthermore it is a line in the sand and a clear message about the most important rights and values that the Danes will not give up.

If doing this sort of work means that you risk your life at the hands of a bunch of medieval minded fundementalists than you do it, just as a fuck you.


This post has been edited by mhallex: Jan 31 2006, 04:49 PM
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Bar-Aram
post Jan 31 2006, 04:52 PM
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mhallex has it right. The issue is not the cartoons themselves but the right to publish them. Freedom of speech includes the right to offend, and being offended does not give you the right to control someone else's speech. Look what happened to Theo Van Gogh. No one should have to censor themselves on some issues for fear of ending up like him.

This post has been edited by Bar-Aram: Jan 31 2006, 04:52 PM
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Dakyron
post Jan 31 2006, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE(Bar-Aram @ Jan 31 2006, 09:52 AM)
mhallex has it right. The issue is not the cartoons themselves but the right to publish them. Freedom of speech includes the right to offend, and being offended does not give you the right to control someone else's speech. Look what happened to Theo Van Gogh. No one should have to censor themselves on some issues for fear of ending up like him.
*



Heh... I see both sides here.

First, necrolyte is... right.(damn that was hard to say). Offending just for the purpose of offending, or to show you can, is not good in any context.

However, you are also right in that they do have the right to offend without being killed or threatened should they choose to be an ass and publish offensive cartoons.

This post has been edited by Dakyron: Jan 31 2006, 05:04 PM
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Ryan_Liam
post Jan 31 2006, 05:12 PM
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I see no wrongdoing in this cartoon and the many cartoons lamblasting and demeaning the Christian right, and I say good on them.

Also

QUOTE
People who can't take a joke, be it personal, religious or cultural, in my view aren't comfortable of their identity.


What part of their identity are they not comfortable about if that is the case?

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zkajan
post Feb 1 2006, 04:17 AM
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i have no problems with these cartoons, free speech and all that

at the same time, i cannot help but wonder, if someone published a bunch of cartoons in, say, Israel, portraying jews in a derogatory light, how long they'd last there and if they'd get any threats and whatnot
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Ryan_Liam
post Feb 1 2006, 05:19 AM
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QUOTE(zkajan @ Feb 1 2006, 04:17 AM)
i have no problems with these cartoons, free speech and all that

at the same time, i cannot help but wonder, if someone published a bunch of cartoons in, say, Israel, portraying jews in a derogatory light, how long they'd last there and if they'd get any threats and whatnot
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And Islamic organisations refrain from such actions in the West regarding Judaism?
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zkajan
post Feb 1 2006, 06:03 AM
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QUOTE(Ryan_Liam @ Feb 1 2006, 01:19 AM)
in the West
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necrolyte
post Feb 1 2006, 07:47 AM
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QUOTE(Wolfenstein @ Jan 31 2006, 04:14 PM)
necro,

Out of curiousity, do you support the right of the NYTimes to publish an editorial about Israeli (or Palestinian for that matter) human right violations? Because, I usually find these editorials offensive (and they usually hint at the need for Israel to not be there).
*



No, but I would not support the NY Times publishing an offensive cartoon of Sharon drooling on himself, or making fun of the victims of suicide bombings by blaming them. All I'm saying is that one better have a reasonable justification behind discussing overly sensitive issues in a potentially offensive way, not that sensitive issues should be ignored.

This post has been edited by necrolyte: Feb 1 2006, 07:47 AM
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Christian
post Feb 1 2006, 08:52 AM
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QUOTE
at the same time, i cannot help but wonder, if someone published a bunch of cartoons in, say, Israel, portraying jews in a derogatory light, how long they'd last there and if they'd get any threats and whatnot


Agree with this....

Israel would scream as high as the muslims do now....

Pictures like this that depicts Abraham would probably get them worked up and scream "antisemetism!".


It´s like with that art-work (made by a jude) put up in stockholm a couple of years back (snowwite i think it ws called;Snövit)

The israeli ambassador destroyed the artwork while visiting the gallery and of course he couldn´t be charged with it becuse of diplomatic immunity, and our governament don´t have the balls to say that he is "persona non grante" and kick him out......

That was allso a severe infringment of the free speach....... (didn´t take these proportions, but it was a small diplomatic crisis)
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Russian
post Feb 1 2006, 12:55 PM
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there's a difference between screaming about something and threatening to kill someone.

Christian is too dumb to understand, so is necro.
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Bar-Aram
post Feb 1 2006, 01:04 PM
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Theo Van Gogh
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Wolfenstein
post Feb 1 2006, 02:08 PM
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QUOTE(zkajan @ Jan 31 2006, 11:17 PM)
at the same time, i cannot help but wonder, if someone published a bunch of cartoons in, say, Israel, portraying jews in a derogatory light, how long they'd last there and if they'd get any threats and whatnot
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Boy, you haven't looked at political cartoons recently...
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Bar-Aram
post Feb 1 2006, 02:13 PM
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QUOTE(zkajan @ Feb 1 2006, 06:17 AM)
i have no problems with these cartoons, free speech and all that

at the same time, i cannot help but wonder, if someone published a bunch of cartoons in, say, Israel, portraying jews in a derogatory light, how long they'd last there and if they'd get any threats and whatnot
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And I can't help but wonder how many seconds it would have taken before everyone involved had been murdered if the Muhammed cartoons had been published in Saudi Arabia or Iran.
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Christian
post Feb 1 2006, 02:52 PM
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You can apply that to most dictatorial regimes in the world..

Ex: North korea, china, zimbabwe, iran, irak, syria, jordania, egypt, burma, russia (if it depicts putin in strange ways), afghanistan, pakistan, india (if draw cariactyr of hindu gods for example) etc etc.....

Everyone isn´t as "enlightend" as we are... Becuse we all know we are perfect...

But of course, no one should be killed becuse of this or simmilar things.
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necrolyte
post Feb 1 2006, 04:56 PM
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Errr Russian, I'm not condemning or supporting the potentially violent response by some Muslims, that really has nothing to do with my argument. I'm responding to the fact that in general people will find it offensive, yet there is no clear benefit to publishing it.
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Christian
post Feb 1 2006, 06:21 PM
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But now it will be published in a lot of EU countries, like Spain, Italy, Germany and France i belive...
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Ryan_Liam
post Feb 1 2006, 09:44 PM
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This picture sums it up beautifully.

(IMG:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/Ryan_Liam/coxandforkum3.gif)

QUOTE
But now it will be published in a lot of EU countries, like Spain, Italy, Germany and France i belive...


Good, the EU actually has some balls.

QUOTE
Errr Russian, I'm not condemning or supporting the potentially violent response by some Muslims, that really has nothing to do with my argument. I'm responding to the fact that in general people will find it offensive, yet there is no clear benefit to publishing it.


Yes there is, it was to test the ground of how strong the ability of Muslims to make fun of themselves and their religion was, and it's clearly shown the massive culture gap between our Western ideals and culture, and theirs.

This post has been edited by Ryan_Liam: Feb 1 2006, 09:47 PM
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mhallex
post Feb 1 2006, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE(necrolyte @ Feb 1 2006, 12:56 PM)
Errr Russian, I'm not condemning or supporting the potentially violent response by some Muslims, that really has nothing to do with my argument. I'm responding to the fact that in general people will find it offensive, yet there is no clear benefit to publishing it.
*



It wasnt published purely for the sake of pissing people off but as an artistic reaction and commentary motivated by the fact that the guy couldnt get illustrators who didnt fear for their lives.

Did ya read the article at all or just react to the fact that some minority or another was offended?
QUOTE
Last September, Danish author Kåre Bluitgen was set to publish a book on the Muslim prophet Muhammad, but there was just one catch: he couldn’t find an illustrator. Artistic representations of the human form are forbidden in Islam, and pictures of Muhammad are especially taboo — so three artists turned down Bluitgen’s offer to illustrate the book for fear that they would pay with their lives for doing so. Frants Iver Gundelach, president of the Danish Writers Union, decried this as a threat to free speech — and the largest newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten, responded. They approached forty artists asking for depictions of Muhammad and received in response twelve cartoons of the Prophet — several playing on the violence committed by Muslims in the name of Islam around the world today.




This post has been edited by mhallex: Feb 1 2006, 09:48 PM
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Dakyron
post Feb 1 2006, 09:52 PM
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QUOTE(mhallex @ Feb 1 2006, 02:47 PM)
It wasnt published purely for the sake of pissing people off but as an artistic reaction and commentary motivated by the fact that the guy couldnt get illustrators who didnt fear for their lives.

Did ya read the article at all or just react to the fact that some minority or another was offended?
*



You obviously do not understand the point. It was still something this guy *knew* people would find offensive and he published it anyway just to show he wasnt 'afraid' to publish offensive material. I find that a rather lame reason to publish something... The concept isnt too hard to understand. I disagree with his publishing it simply because he wasnt trying to be funny or trying to push an idea across via his cartoon, he did it almost as a show of bravado. I dont think people should be banned from publishing potentially offensive cartoons, just as long as the reason isnt solely to 'offend'.
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necrolyte
post Feb 2 2006, 03:15 AM
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I know that Mhallex, and in that case the appropriate response would be to write an article about how Muhammad should be able to be drawn without death threats, not to draw Muhammad and offend hundreds of millions.
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mhallex
post Feb 2 2006, 09:39 PM
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[quote=necrolyte,Feb 1 2006, 11:15 PM]
I know that Mhallex, and in that case the appropriate response would be to write an article about how Muhammad should be able to be drawn without death threats, not to draw Muhammad and offend hundreds of millions.
*

[/quote

I would rather expect that the cartoons were accompanioed by some sort of article, not just put in the paper without explanantion.

Furthermore, if those hundreds of millions of people are so enraged by a drawing of Muhammad that they are driven to commit acts of violence then they are bound by the sort of idealogy that simply cannot be tolerated in liberal societies, not because it is offensive, but because liberal tolerance and that sort of fanaticism are mutually exclusive.
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