Danish Muslim Cartoons Republished by French and German Papers
France Soir has published the controversial Danish cartoons poking fun of Mohammed as a show of free speech.
A French newspaper has reproduced a set of Danish caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad that have caused outrage in the Muslim world. France Soir said it had published the cartoons to show that “religious dogma” had no place in a secular society. Their publication in Denmark has led to protests in several Arab nations.
Under the headline “Yes, we have the right to caricature God”, France Soir ran a front page cartoon of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian gods floating on a cloud. It shows the Christian deity saying: “Don’t complain, Muhammad, we’ve all been caricatured here.” The full set of Danish drawings, some of which depict the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, were printed on the inside pages.
The paper said it had decided to republish them “because no religious dogma can impose itself on a democratic and secular society”. The global controversy the cartoons have provoked “has done nothing to maintain balance and mutual limits in democracy, respect of religious beliefs and freedom of expression”, it added.
In a statement, the French foreign ministry said the decision to publish the pictures was the sole responsibility of France Soir. The French authorities supported the principle of press freedom, the statement said, adding that that freedom must be exercised “in a spirit of tolerance and with respect for beliefs and religions”.
The offices of the Danish newspaper that first published the caricatures, Jyllands-Posten, had to be evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb threat.
As always with these controversies, they gin up publicity for the offending items far in excess of the original impact. Some Danish paper that I never heard of published some cartoons that I had never seen and it is now an international phenomenon.
Update: I’ve been unable to locate anything on the France Soir website, which I’m sure is getting much more traffic than usual.
Update 2: Headline amended to incorporate this news:
Two leading German newspapers and one of France ‘s biggest dailies today reprinted the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have sparked furore across the Middle East.
Die Welt printed on its front page today the drawing of the prophet wearing a turban with a bomb about to explode. Democracy is the institutionalised form of freedom of expression. There is no right to protection from satire in the west; there is a right to blasphemy” the paper said in an accompanying comment piece.
The Berliner Zeitung also reprinted two cartoons as part of its coverage of the controversy.
Meanwhile, Syria is pandering to the terrorists:
Syria has recalled its ambassador from Denmark over cartoons that have caused uproar among Muslims who deem them offensive to Islam’s Prophet Mohammad, the state news agency said on Wednesday. The announcement came hours after a telephoned bomb threat against the Danish embassy in Damascus forced staff to evacuate the building while security personnel cordoned off streets and searched the complex, witnesses said.
Previously: Danish Newspaper Apologizes for Muslim Cartoons