How World War Three (Almost) Started Over a Cartoon

Here’s a story that didn’t fall between the cracks – it’s still going; no hidding this one in the forest.

The Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in September of 2005, published 12 cartoon depictions of Mohammed, founder of Islam. Last week Muslims around the world began protesting Denmark and the cartoons. At the same time, western European countries began vocalizing their support for freedom of press. Some have even republished the article and sparked more protests.

Personally, I could care less if anyone publishes anything. I do care that they be allowed to publish it though. I agree with both sides. Western democracies enjoy nearly boundless freedoms including freedom to publish editorial content. As a member of one of those democracies I support freedom of press.

However, I also respect the culture and relious beliefs of others. Having a cartoon created and printed because journalists were afraid that they were self-censoring themselves does not respect relious beliefs or cultures. I don’t believe they deserve death-threats, but they should know they will piss people off by printing what they did.

Having said that, I return to the first belief, freedom of press. I do not wish to offened anyone. this page does contain reprints of the images that enraged thousands of people. If, however, you are here because you are curious as I was about what caused so many problems then proceed at your own risk.

Deadly Cartoon Posted by Picasa


[An image of the news paper page that has the cartoons of Mohammed on it.]

But, don’t think this is a one way street. Muslims (ok one guy) can fight back with pictures too. They can fight church battles with pictures.

Source: Brussels Journal

From the desk of Paul Belien on Thu, 2005-09-22 21:39

“Contrary to what Ben Chikha says there are things that one had better not laugh at, such as Islamic religion for instance. Some time ago a Dutch artist showed the backs of naked women with verses from the Quran written on them. This was considered blasphemy. A Muslim extremist ritually slaughtered the artist, Theo van Gogh, in broad daylight. That, certainly, is a cultural difference worth noting.”

“Ben Chikha need not fear being murdered in the street. On the contrary, his play is being subsidised by the Ministry for Culture. After the performances in Brussels it goes on a six-month tour through Flanders. The government encourages schools to attend.”

BlasphemyPosted by Picasa

Source: Brussels Journal

[Two pictures from Jyllands-Posten. The one on the left is the front of a play bill showing the mother Mary with an exposed nipple holding a child and a cup of blood. The one on the right is of a middle eastern woman with quotes from the Quran written on her bare back.]

This is not isolated to one European country either:

Source: Christian Science Monitor

By James Brandon / Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

“LONDON – As controversy escalates over the publication in Europe of 12 controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims from Saudi Arabia to Britain are decrying what they see as but one more installment in a worldwide attack against Islam.”

“‘This is a revival of the Crusades of old,’ says Anjem Choudary, spokesman for Al-Ghurabaa, a radical Muslim group that organized protests in London this weekend.”

Source: ABC News

“KABUL, Afghanistan Feb 6, 2006 (AP)— Afghan security forces opened fire on demonstrators Monday, leaving at least four dead, as increasingly violent protests erupted around the world over published caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. European and Muslim politicians pleaded for calm.”

And if the Dutch weren’t in enough hot water with muslims as it is:


[Reprint of a AP News story.]

“BRUSSELS, Belgium Feb 6, 2006 (AP)— A sculpture of a tied-up Saddam Hussein floating in a water tank was banned by the mayor of a western Belgian town because it was deemed too controversial, an official said Monday.”