View Full Version : Muhammad cartoon row intensifies

02-01-2006, 02:15 PM
Some of the cartoons depict the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist


Newspapers across Europe have reprinted caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to show support for a Danish paper whose cartoons have sparked Muslim outrage.

Seven publications in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain all carried some of the drawings.

Their release in Denmark has led to protests in Arab nations, diplomatic sanctions and death threats.

Islamic tradition bans depictions of the Prophet, but media watchdogs defend press freedom to publish the images.

Reporters Without Borders said the reaction in the Arab world "betrays a lack of understanding" of press freedom as "an essential accomplishment of democracy."

'Spiting Muslims'

France Soir and Germany's Die Welt are among the leading papers to reprint the cartoons, which first appeared in Denmark last September.


30 Sept: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten publishes cartoons
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors in Denmark complain to Danish PM
10 Jan: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office
31 Jan: Danish paper apologises
1 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons

The caricatures include drawings of Muhammad wearing a headdress shaped like a bomb, while another shows him saying that paradise was running short of virgins for suicide bombers.

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.

La Stampa in Italy, El Periodico in Spain and Dutch paper Volkskrank also carried some of the drawings, while France Soir reprinted the full set.

It did so to show "religious dogma" had no place in a secular society, the paper said.

European Muslims spoke out against the pictures.

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

In Germany, the vice-chairman of the central council of Muslims said Muslims would be deeply offended.

"It was done not to defend freedom of the press, but to spite the Muslims," Mohammad Aman Hobohm said.


Correspondents say the European papers' actions have widened a dispute which has grown very serious for Denmark.

The publication last September in Jyllands-Posten has provoked diplomatic sanctions and threats from Islamic militants across the Muslim world.

Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller has postponed a trip to Africa because of the dispute.

Thousands of Palestinians protested against Denmark this week, and Arab ministers called on it to punish Jyllands-Posten.

Syria and Saudi Arabia have recalled their ambassadors to Denmark, while Libya said it was closing its embassy in Copenhagen and Iraq summoned the Danish envoy to condemn the cartoons.

The Danish-Swedish dairy giant Arla Foods says its sales in the Middle East have plummeted to zero as a result of the row, which sparked a boycott of Danish products across the region.

The offices of Jyllands-Posten had to be evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb threat.

The paper had apologised a day earlier for causing offence to Muslims, although it maintained it was legal under Danish law to print them.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the paper's apology, but defended the freedom of the press.

web page (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4670370.stm)

The twelve drawings that started it all: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6337/2188/1600/kavalkade.jpg

02-01-2006, 02:44 PM
Cartoon Gets No Laughs From Muslims

PARIS, Feb. 1, 2006
A man in Paris looks at the front page of a daily paper that reads "Yes, we have the right to caricature God." French and German papers reprinted controvertial cartoons of Mohammed Feb. 1, 2006. (GETTY)
Fast Fact

The depictions include an image of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, and another portraying him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle.

(AP) French and German newspapers on Wednesday republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that have riled the Muslim world, saying democratic freedoms include the "right to blasphemy."

Meanwhile, demonstrations and condemnations across the Muslim world continued and dozens of people from a small Islamic party staged a demonstration in front of the Danish Embassy to protest the caricatures.

The front page of the daily France Soir carried the headline "Yes, We Have the Right to Caricature God" along with a cartoon of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian gods floating on a cloud. Inside, the paper reran the drawings.

"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.

Germany's Die Welt daily printed one of the drawings on its front page, arguing that a "right to blasphemy" was anchored in democratic freedoms. The Berliner Zeitung daily also printed two of the caricatures as part of its coverage of the controversy.

The Danish daily Jyllands-Posten originally published the cartoons in September after asking artists to depict Islam's prophet to challenge what it perceived was self-censorship among artists dealing with Islamic issues. A Norwegian newspaper reprinted the images this month.

The depictions include an image of Muhammad wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, and another portraying him holding a sword, his eyes covered by a black rectangle. Islamic tradition bars any depiction of the prophet to prevent idolatry.

Angered by the drawings, masked Palestinian gunmen briefly took over a European Union office in Gaza on Monday. Syria called for the offenders to be punished. Danish goods were swept from shelves in many countries, and Saudi Arabia and Libya recalled their ambassadors to Denmark.

The Jyllands-Posten which received a bomb threat over the drawings has apologized for hurting Muslims' feelings but not for publishing the cartoons. Its editor said Wednesday, however, that he would not have printed the drawings had he foreseen the consequences.

Carsten Juste also said the international furor amounted to a victory for opponents of free expression.

"Those who have won are dictatorships in the Middle East, in Saudi Arabia, where they cut criminals' hands and give women no rights," Juste told The Associated Press. "The dark dictatorships have won."

Demonstrations and condemnations across the Muslim world continued.

The Supreme Council of Moroccan religious leaders denounced the drawings on Wednesday.

"Muslim beliefs cannot tolerate such an attack, however small it may be," the statement said.

In Turkey, dozens of protesters from a small Islamic party staged a demonstration in front of the Danish Embassy. About 200 riot police watched the crowd from the Felicity Party, which laid a black wreath and a book about Muhammad's life at the gates of the embassy building.

Despite the show of solidarity among Europe's newspaper editors, not all Europeans appreciated the drawings.

Norway's deputy state secretary for foreign affairs, Raymond Johansen, said they encourage distrust between people of different faiths.

"I can understand that Muslims find the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the Norwegian weekly ... to be offensive. This is unfortunate and regrettable," Johansen said on a visit to Beirut.

There was also anger in France, which has Western Europe's largest Muslim community with an estimated 5 million people.

Mohammed Bechari, president of the National Federation of the Muslims of France, said his group would start legal proceedings against France Soir because of "these pictures that have disturbed us, and that are still hurting the feelings of 1.2 billion Muslims."

French government spokesman Jean-Francois Cope struck a neutral tone, saying France is "a country that is attached to the principle of secularism, and this freedom clearly should be exercised in a spirit of tolerance and respect for the beliefs of everyone."

France Soir, which is owned by an Egyptian magnate, has been struggling to stay afloat and bring in readers in recent years.

French theologian Sohaib Bencheikh spoke out against the pictures in a column in France Soir accompanying them Wednesday.

"One must find the borders between freedom of expression and freedom to protect the sacred," he wrote. "Unfortunately, the West has lost its sense of the sacred."

web page (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/01/world/main1269165.shtml?CMP=OTC-RSSFeed&source=RSS&attr=World_1269165)

More drawing details and pix here: (http://face-of-muhammed.blogspot.com/)

02-01-2006, 04:27 PM
Wow, maybe the French still do have a set of 'em. Nice move....


02-02-2006, 03:37 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman3:</font><hr> Wow, maybe the French still do have a set of 'em. Nice move....

Deeman <hr /></blockquote>

OOPs, spoke too soon, the French editor was fired yesterday for this. /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif

02-02-2006, 09:41 PM
What they need is a sense of humour. Good job we are not like that. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

with sound i will survive (http://www.funnywebzone.com/index.php?page=jesus)

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Fran Crimi
02-02-2006, 10:31 PM
Yes, but I just saw on the news that the staff put them back in today's paper as a sign of solidarity with the fired editor. Looks like this isn't over yet. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


02-03-2006, 06:57 AM
Anger Over Cartoons of Muhammad Escalates
By Sebastian Rotella, Times Staff Writer

PARIS Protests erupted in the Muslim world and militants issued threats against Europeans on Thursday in response to the publication in Western media of controversial caricatures of the prophet Muhammad.

Debate over the drawings, which were first published in September by a Danish newspaper, is being seen as a collision between freedom of expression and religious sensitivities in European nations, where Muslim populations have struggled to fit in.

The caricatures have appeared recently in newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and even Jordan.

Muslims, who consider any depiction of God and the prophets blasphemy, are outraged by the caricatures, one of which shows Muhammad with a bomb as a turban. Another shows the prophet standing on a cloud as he tells a group of suicide bombers that paradise has run out of the virgins said to await martyrs upon their death.

The conflict heated up on multiple fronts Thursday. In the Gaza Strip, masked Palestinians fired weapons into the air as they surrounded an office of the European Union and a French cultural center. Two Palestinian militant groups threatened to retaliate against the newspapers by kidnapping European citizens and targeting churches and European offices.

A Jordanian weekly that ran the cartoons with a plea to Muslims to "be reasonable" fired its editor, withdrew the edition and faced possible sanction from the government, Associated Press reported.

In Paris, the tabloid France Soir abruptly fired its managing editor for reprinting the caricatures in Wednesday's edition, the cover of which carried the paper's own cartoon of Muhammad alongside Christian, Jewish and Buddhist holy figures. "Don't complain, Muhammad, we're all being caricatured here," the Christian God says.

Tunisia and Morocco banned the sale of copies of France Soir.

In Jakarta this morning, Muslims protested in the lobby of a high-rise that houses the Danish Embassy, pelted the building with eggs and burned the Danish flag outside.

Editorialists, political leaders and advocates of press freedom said the Muslim backlash, which has included boycotts, death threats and flag burnings, jeopardized democratic rights.

"The reaction in Muslim countries shocks me because it confirms the weight that radical Islam has acquired," said Patrick Chappatte, a cartoonist quoted in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps. "A real totalitarianism is at work in the world and wants to impose its views not only on Arab Muslims, but on the West. The same way that they veil women, Islamic radicals want to veil cartoons in the press."

But Muslim leaders accused European media of provoking strife by humiliating Islam. "Freedom of expression cannot be the freedom to lie," said Dalil Boubakeur, imam of the Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith. "The prophet did not found a terrorist religion, but on the contrary, a religion of peace."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the furor had exacerbated religious tensions.

"Any insult to the holy prophet peace be upon him is an insult to more than a billion Muslims," Karzai said in a statement.

Western leaders responded gingerly. They were mindful that the issue could unleash violence reminiscent of the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was killed in 2004 by a Dutch Muslim extremist angered by the filmmaker's depictions of Islam.

Some political figures called for restraint by the media. The press has to "deal with what it has gotten into," German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the press must respect religion.

Annan "is concerned over the controversy that has been created by the publication of the Danish cartoons," United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "He believes that the freedom of the press should always be exercised in a way that fully respects the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions."

But many European leaders said that democratic principles outweighed the risk of offending religious sensitivities.

"We must defend freedom of expression," French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said. "And if I had to choose, I prefer the excess of caricature over the excess of censure."

Sarkozy said he was surprised by the firing of Jacques LeFranc, managing editor of France Soir. The move was ordered by the paper's owner, an Egyptian-born Catholic named Raymond Lakah, and announced in a news release along with an apology "to the Muslim community and anyone who was shocked or angered."

Nevertheless, Thursday's edition of France Soir devoted its front pages to a feisty defense of its publication of the caricatures. The cover showed a photo of bearded Muslim men burning a Danish flag. In a reference to the renowned 18th century author who mocked religious and political hypocrisy, a headline read, "Help Us, Voltaire: They Have Gone Mad!"

The fired editor warned that he would fight his dismissal. Le Monde, the influential French daily, published an editorial Thursday asserting that French law permitted religions to be "freely analyzed, criticized and even subjected to ridicule."

In Germany, the centrist newspaper Die Welt asked its readers whether "cartoons should be published which might hurt religious feelings." Among almost 20,000 participants, 56% voted for "should be published" and 42.1% disagreed. Fewer than 2% said they had no opinion.

Accusations of intolerance on both sides reflect Europe's difficulties in absorbing a fast-growing Muslim population that is experiencing a surge of fundamentalism and struggling with alienation and discrimination.

The case also shows the profound differences that exist in relationships among the state, religion and media. Arab leaders have demanded that European governments sanction the journalists. Leaders in Denmark and other countries say that censorship is unacceptable and that the government cannot be held responsible for what appears in the media.

The 12 caricatures were first published in the daily Jyllands-Posten in September, leading to months of wrangling between the Danish and Arab governments. The editors of the newspaper have said they are sorry if anyone was offended, but they have defended the publication of the images.

On Thursday, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen told an Arabic television channel that he had summoned foreign diplomats to a meeting today aimed at calming tensions.

"We are talking about an issue with fundamental significance to how democracies work," Rasmussen said.

web page (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-muhammad3feb03,0,4651147.story?coll=la-home-headlines)

Cueless Joey
02-03-2006, 11:02 AM
Kinda funny that their reaction perpetuates/adds to their stigma. Duh!

02-03-2006, 12:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cueless Joey:</font><hr> Kinda funny that their reaction perpetuates/adds to their stigma. Duh! <hr /></blockquote>

Agreed. It's worthy of note that the whole thing apparently stems from how Jews, Christians and Muslims interpret the second of the Ten Commandments ("You shall have no other gods besides Me...Do not make a sculpted image or any likeness of what is in the heavens above...")

Jews and Muslims believe that among other things this commandment forbids them from creating an image of God in any form - a majority of Christians do not share that belief.

From Wikipedia:

The Jewish interpretation of the Second Commandment:

One is required to believe in God and God alone. This prohibits belief in or worship of any additional deities, gods, spirits or incarnations. To deny the uniqueness of God, is to deny all that is written in the Torah.

It is also a prohibition against making or possessing objects that one or other may bow down to or serve such as crucifixes, and any forms of paintings or artistic representations of God.

One must not bow down to or serve any being or object but God.

One is prohibited from making sculpture of human beings even for the fine arts.
Muslim understanding:

Commandment 2: Thou shall make no image of God.

web page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments)

Cueless Joey
02-03-2006, 12:28 PM
Since majority of the Arab world are illiterates, we can't expect much from them.
Jesus Christ gets badmouthed all the time in Christian world. I don't see Christian wackos firing weapons on the air or going nuts over it.