Danish Muslim Cartoons ‘Offensive,’ Says U.S. Government
The U.S. government has declared the Danish cartoons that have offended some Muslims “offensive” in a statement released today.
Tens of thousands of angry Muslims marched through Palestinian cities, burning the Danish flag and calling for vengeance Friday against European countries where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were published. In Washington, the State Department criticized the drawings, calling them “offensive to the beliefs of Muslims.”
While recognizing the importance of freedom of the press and expression, State Department press officer Janelle Hironimus said these rights must be coupled with press responsibility. “Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable,” Hironimus said. “We call for tolerance and respect for all communities and for their religious beliefs and practices.”
Angry protests against the drawings spread in the Muslim world. In Iraq, thousands demonstrated after mosque services, and the country’s leading Shiite cleric denounced the drawings. About 4,500 people rallied in Basra and hundreds at a Baghdad mosque. Danish flags were burned at both demonstrations. Muslims in Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia demonstrated against the European nations whose papers published them.
The caricatures, including one depicting the Muslim prophet wearing a turban fashioned into a bomb, were reprinted in papers in Norwegian, French, German and even Jordanian after first appearing in a Danish paper in September. The drawings were republished after Muslims decried the images as insulting to their prophet. Dutch-language newspapers in Belgium and two Italian right-wing papers reprinted the drawings Friday. [emphasis added]
I am offended that a representative of my government would utter such nonsense. Certainly, cartoons much more offensive than these have appeared in newspapers for ages. See, for example, everthing Ted Rall or Tom Toles has ever published.
Proper responses to editorial cartoons with which one disagrees include complaining to one’s spouse, writing a letter to the editor, and canceling one’s subscription to the paper. Rioting, mayhem, murder, and threats of religious war? Not so much.
See all of the images in full size at my Danish Muslim Cartoons page.
Related stories below the fold.
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Muslim Cartoon Fury Spreads
Anger as papers reprint cartoons of Muhammad
European papers ignore Muslim fury over Danish cartoons
Danish news editor: Dark dictatorships have won