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.

Die Ziet has the story, “Allah und der Humor,” online but with no associated images. I was unable to find the Berliner Zeitung‘s coverage.

[Update 3: Michelle Malkin has more, including a screenshot of the image from Die Welt.]

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.

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Previously: Danish Newspaper Apologizes for Muslim Cartoons

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Maggie says:

    Get out those French marshmallows…it’ll be a hot time in old “Pa-ree” tonight. Is that the smell of burning autos?

  2. jimbo says:

    When will the NYT and Washington Post join those courageous European newspapers?

  3. Mike Rethrode says:

    Free speech, my foot!
    How come the Danish are free to question the integrity of somebody in whom a billion people believe in, but the retarded president of Iran cannot question the origins of Israel?
    If there is a free speech, then it should happen for everybody, not just a selected few.
    Moreover, I really think invading people’s beliefs, even if they worship cows, is plain cruelty. Instead, we must try to enlighten those people.

  4. Robster98730 says:

    Its one thing to use the right of free speech to mark your views on something. Its another thing altogether to use free speech to instigate contempt laced with violent innuendo within millions of your supporters.

  5. noah123 says:

    There was this dogma in the civilised world:
    sex sells. Publish naked girls in your newspaper
    and wait for your budget boost.

    Now it’s another dogma, muslim-inspired this time:
    draw a point, write down it’s muhamed and you’ll
    get so popular, but you can get also fired…

    Life’s getting not so dull…

  6. Curtis Stone says:

    I respect Muslims, rather the ones that are not planning to kill me. But I respect free speech also, and not letting free speech be controlled by terror. I believe the Danish people should be proud to freely speak their minds, and I hope they do not let the terrorists take that right from them. Nobody is above any other person, and that includes Muslims, so they need to accept the world will insult them just as freely as they will respect them. I made a game out of the Danish cartoon in response to this. Although the game starts with the introduction from their Prophet, it continues on into a shooting gallery for the ones who gave their Prophet a bad image, such as Osama Bin Laden. Enjoy the game, it is free for any to play, you can find it at my website, http://www.obber.com.

  7. Luis says:

    Why doesn’t the media here in the United States show the cartoons? The radical muslims already hate us and want to kill us, so what do we have to loose? Show the cartoons. Besides, if the cartoons had Jesus Christ instead of Muhamed we would get 24 hour coverage on tv and they would shove the cartoons down our throats.