GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Why the cartoons were published....

In case you missed it, the publisher of the Jyllands-Posten explained in the National Post yesterday why he printed the cartoons.
The above-cited examples have to do with exercising restraint because of ethical standards and taste; call it editing. By contrast, I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam. And I still believe that this is a topic that Europeans must confront, challenging moderate Muslims to speak out.

In September, a Danish standup comedian said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten that he had no problem urinating on the Bible in front of a camera, but he dared not do the same thing with the Koran.

This was the culmination of a series of disturbing instances of self-censorship. Last September, a Danish children's writer had trouble finding an illustrator for a book about the life of Muhammad. Three people turned down the job for fear of consequences. European translators of a critical book about Islam also did not want their names to appear on the book cover beside the name of the author, a Somalian-born Dutch politician who has herself been forced into hiding.

Around the same time, the Tate gallery in London withdrew an installation by the avant-garde artist John Latham depicting the Koran, Bible and Talmud torn to pieces. The museum explained that it did not want to stir things up after the London bombings.

Finally, at the end of September, Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with a group of imams, one of whom called on the prime minister to interfere with the press in order to get more positive coverage of Islam.

So, over two weeks, we witnessed many cases of self-censorship, pitting freedom of speech against the fear of confronting issues about Islam. This was a legitimate news story to cover, and Jyllands-Posten decided to do it by adopting the well-known journalistic principle: Show it, don't tell it. I wrote to members of the association of Danish cartoonists asking them "to draw Muhammad as you see him." We certainly did not ask them to make fun of the prophet. Twelve out of 25 active members responded.
We really haven't had much of a discussion on self-censorship at all or on the fear that seems to be present in the press - certainly in Canada

2 Comments:

Blogger Les Mackenzie said...

Can I have the link to this article.

1:52 PM  
Blogger The Commentator said...

He's right and he deserves support.

9:55 AM  

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