Monday, February 13, 2006

Cartoon Controversy

Prophet Mohammed Cartoons Cause Major Controversy
By Stephanie Carino

It is a fight between freedom of speech and religion. The cartoons of Prophet Mohammed that have been published by Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, have caused the Muslims to become hostile and the Norwegians to hold their ground, even though the pictures have upset the the spiritual group.

The Muslims have asked for an issued apology, and have received “regrets,” from the newspaper and everything short of an apology. Denmark sticks to the idea that these cartoons are allowed in their country because of freedom of speech and refuse to bend on this aspect.

With the refusal of discontinuing the cartoons, the Muslims have emanated death threats and violent acts, such as throwing stones and hand grenades at a Norwegian base in Afghan. There have been protest marches chanting “Death to Norway” and “Death to France.” In response, the newspapers have continued to reprint the cartoons, just to prove a point.

When it comes to the Denmark and Norway publications, they have said their intentions were not to offend the Muslims, yet they continue to print the cartoons. It was noted that Danish writer Kare Bluitgen had a hard time finding someone who would even attempt a drawing of Prophet Mohammed, because any representations of Prophet Mohammed in Islam are prohibited to prevent “idolaltry," yet she proceeded to include the cartoon knowing these restrictions. It seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to express freedom of speech.

Not all parties are following in Denmark and Norway’s footsteps.The Seattle Times made a good point when they said that they would not print the cartoons because they would not want to offend their readers. In France a managing editor was fired for reprinting the pictures.

It has become apparent that this kind of behavior is immoral, but then there is the blurry line that freedom of speech should not be censored. It then becomes a test of religion versus politics. Who is right or wrong? Those standing up for their right to speak their mind or those defending their beliefs?

Are those who are trying to preserve their rights counteracting the good they are doing by using these rights in what seems to be a malicious manner? Or are those that are taking violent actions at fault as well?

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