Another Toon Update

Flemming Rose, the Jyllands-Posten editor who commissioned the infamous cartoons, explains his views in a Washington Post piece. In it, he argues that, while he exercises restraint every day in his editorial decisions (no pornographic images, no graphic pictures of the dead, few swear words), the cartoon story, is, in his words, “different.” He acknowledges that some people were offended by the cartoons, but he says his intent wasn’t to offend but to stir up debate.

Eager to show how, he too, wants to open up debates, the Italian minister for Reform (and leader of anti-immigrant Northern League party) Roberto Calderoli went ahead with his plan to wear a T-shirt with the most offensive of the 12 infamous cartoons. On Friday, rioters in Libya (which, not coincidentally, happens to be an ex-colony of Italy), stormed the Italian embassy in Benghazi. Riot police shot at the protesters, killing nine people. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, mobs attacked and burned Christian establishments and churches, killing another sixteen people. I weep for the Prophet, in whose name these atrocities were committed. With “faithful” like these, who needs enemies?

Elsewhere, a joint Spanish-Turkish alliance, called the “Alliance for Civilizations” is seeking to restore dialogue between nations under the aegis of the United Nations. Several editorials in Al Bayane appealed for calm and intellectual discussion. L’Opinion pointed out that the lack of democratic processes in some parts of the Arab world has led to violent protests rather than to reasoned discussions. And in Asharq Al-Awsat, Mona El-Tahawy argues that “the war on the people of Denmark must stop.” El-Tahawy adds, “Us Muslims often call on the rest of the world to respect us and to understand the things we hold sacred. Are we prepared to offer that same respect in return and to open a dialogue with the men and women of Denmark who are watching in horror as events unfold beyond their reach or control?”

Toon Update
Defend Freedom of Speech…Everywhere
Caricatures: Clash of Civilizations, Clash of Ignorance
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Fire: Meet Dry Gunpowder
Cartoon Shmartoon


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