January 31, 2006

Image Problem


UPDATE: Our other Mohammed cartoons:
A Right to Blasphemy (Feb. 5, 2006)
Western Dhimmitude (Feb. 7, 2006)
Must-See TV (Feb. 9, 2006)
Overboard (Feb. 13, 2006)
Flimflammable (Feb. 16, 2006)
Toonophobia (Feb. 21, 2006)
Life and Limb (Mar. 2, 2006)

From the International Herald Tribune: In Arab countries, rage growing over cartoons .

A long-running controversy over the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper boiled over in the past few days as a boycott brought sales of some Danish products to a halt in Arab countries across the Middle East, while Danish interests came under attack.

A diverse group of Muslim activists has stirred a consumer uproar in one of Denmark's fastest-growing packaged-foods markets in a case pitting freedom of the press against religious sensitivity, and which is playing out in the arenas of diplomacy and global trade. ...

The controversy has been simmering since September, when the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad, including one that shows him wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb with a lit fuse. Islam strictly forbids depictions of the prophet.

Flemming Rose, the newspaper's culture editor, said the works were not intended to offend and were in keeping with a tradition of satirical cartoons.

"These were not directed against Muslims, but against people in cultural life in Europe who are submitting themselves to self-censorship when dealing with Islam," he said by telephone Monday.

Muslim groups in Denmark, and then across the Middle East, demanded apologies from the newspaper and the Danish government.

Late Monday, the newspaper issued an apology. "The drawings are not against the Danish law but have indisputably insulted many Muslims, for which we shall apologize," the newspaper's statement said, according to Reuters.

The Danish authorities have expressed regret but have refused to take action. "We have freedom of the press, and the government can't get involved in these kinds of matters," said Bay, the Danish consul. [Emphasis added]

Even Bill Clinton weighed in, calling the cartoons "appalling" and comparing them to anti-Semitism.

Zombie has posted a Mohammed Image Archive.

For a detailed account of the controversy, see Robert Spencer's Thou Shalt Not Draw from December.

As for the Piglet reference: Perils Before Swine.

(Some links found via Little Green Footballs.)

UPDATE I -- Feb. 1: Michelle Malkin has an excellent, up-to-date overview of the Mohammed cartoon issue: Fight the bullies of Islam.

Something very important is happening in Denmark -- a showdown over freedom, tolerance, and their wolfish menaces in religious clothing. So, please, turn off "American Idol," put down the Game Boy for a moment, and pay attention. This does affect you.


She highlights a "Buy Danish" campaign designed to counter the effect of the Muslim boycott. See her full post for many more related links: FIRST, THEY CAME FOR THE CARTOONISTS.

Also see:
-- Face of Muhammed has the original newspaper article (via Thomas Glahn)
-- The Belmont Club: I Am Spartacus
-- More European newspapers are printing the controversial cartoons in a show of solidarity with Denmark, including publications in France, Germany, Spain and Italy (via LGF)
-- And Robert Spencer suggests that if you value your freedom, politely write your local paper and ask them to reprint the cartoons.

UPDATE II: Silent Running says the boycott may be the least successful in history, if the popularity of their "Buy Danish" t-shirts is any measure.

UPDATE III: The AP has an overview of the European papers: Papers Republish Controversial Cartoons.

French and German newspapers republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday in what they called a defense of freedom of expression, sparking fresh anger from Muslims.

The drawings have divided opinion within Europe and the Middle East since a Danish newspaper first printed them in September. Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet to prevent idolatry. ...

France Soir, which is owned by an Egyptian magnate and has struggled to attract readers, justified its decision.

"The appearance of the 12 drawings in the Danish press provoked emotions in the Muslim world because the representation of Allah and his prophet is forbidden. But because no religious dogma can impose itself on a democratic and secular society, France Soir is publishing the incriminating caricatures," the paper said.

UPDATE IV: Charles Johnson notes that the above link about Spanish and Italian newspapers also mentions that the French editor was fired for publishing the cartoons.

But late on Wednesday its owner, Raymond Lakah, said he had removed managing editor Jacques Lefranc "as a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual".

Mr Lakah said: "We express our regrets to the Muslim community and all people who were shocked by the publication."

The president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), Dalil Boubakeur, had described France Soir's publication as an act of "real provocation towards the millions of Muslims living in France".

Other papers stood by their publication. In Berlin, Die Welt argued there was a right to blaspheme in the West, and asked whether Islam was capable of coping with satire.

"The protests from Muslims would be taken more seriously if they were less hypocritical," it wrote in an editorial.

UPDATE V -- Feb. 2: Piglet strikes again.

UPDATE VI: Lots of new information from Michelle Malkin who notes that The New York Sun printed some of the cartoons, as well as a paper in Jordan. Will any other US papers?

And Robert Spencer has more coverage at FrontPageMag.com: Cartoon Rage vs. Freedom of Speech (via TIA Daily)

The cartoons are not a manifestation of anti-Islamic prejudice: criticism of Muhammad or even of Islam is not equivalent to anti-Semitism. Islam is not a race; the problems with it are not the product of fear mongering and fiction, but of ideology and facts -- facts that have been stressed repeatedly by Muslims around the world, when they commit violence in the name of Islam and justify that violence by its teachings.

UPDATE VII -- Feb. 3: From the Counterterrorism Blog: Fabricated cartoons worsened Danish controversy (via Tom Pechinski).

And Michelle Malkin has more on the latest:
In Their Own Words (must see photos)
The Mohammad Cartoons Blogburst
The State Dept Takes Sides in The Cartoons Wars (it's not the free-speech side)
The Cowardly American Media (Video Added) (CNN not showing the cartoons)

UPDATE VIII: Here is the Wikipedia entry: Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.

Posted by Forkum at January 31, 2006 04:57 PM