Monday, February 06, 2006
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
A section of the controversial Mohammed Danish cartoonsYou've no doubt seen some news coverage of the escalating international rioting over some mysterious Danish newspaper cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad - perhaps, like me, thinking it's a sign of at least part of the world truly gone mad. Would you like to see these drawings for yourself? A quick Google search turns up a small copy of the Jyllands-Posten caricatures on Wikipedia, with the Wiki page editing wisely disabled for the time being, and links to a page on www.faithandfreedom.org depicting larger versions of the drawings.

CNN had this to say about reprinting the images in question:
The controversy began in September, when 12 drawings of the Muslim prophet were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The paper said it had asked cartoonists to draw the pictures because the media was censoring itself over Muslim issues. In January, a Norwegian newspaper reprinted the drawings. Some other European papers later published some of the cartoons, as a way of covering the controversy and also, some papers said, as a matter of freedom of expression.

CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam. ... Jyllands-Posten has apologized, saying it did not mean to offend Muslims and that the drawings had to be understood in their original contexts.

The paper's cultural editor, Flemming Rose, said the uproar came after "radical imams from Denmark traveled to the Middle East, deliberately lying about these cartoons," and saying that the paper is owned by the government and is preparing a new translation of the Koran "censoring the word of 'Allah,' which is a grave sin according to Islam."
"Respect for Islam"? Or perhaps out of worry their personnel and real estate will be targets of the extremist violence seen elsewhere in the world? I'd call that "fear of terrorism." Part of me doesn't blame CNN, but it's too bad robust values like "covering the controversy" and "freedom of expression" have fallen by the wayside.