Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Reprinting caricatures: Extreme act of provocation by Denmark newspapers

The newspapers in Denmark have republished the same caricatures that had offended Muslims across the world. Their decision to print the cartoons is not a 'solidarity to the commitment to free speech, which they claim.

Rather, it is an act of provocation that shows extreme insensitivity, and criminal chutzpah. The newspapers have overstepped all limits of decency and their decision goes against the Danish values, which the Danes have been so proud of.

The caricature is not just offensive because Islam forbids pictorial depiction of Prophet, but also because the 'bomb-shaped turban' in the caricature is a fascistic attempt and such hatespeak is unimaginable in a continent where the mention of Holocaust and doubts on its veracity can land a person in jail.

Clearly, when it comes to Islam, things are different. Hurting sentiments no longer remains an issue. Given the kind of furore the cartoon controversy had generated in the past, the irresponsible reprinting can severely hurt the process of reconciliation between Muslim countries and Europe.

It will certainly anger Muslims in Europe and especially Denmark, who will naturally feel humiliated. The papers including Jyllands-Posten, Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and the Ekstra Bladet tabloid must be condemned for such cheap journalism.

Over a year ago when the caricatures were initially published, a photo and post was published on this blog about Muslims organising rallies in India and holding placards carrying the message, 'We believe in Jesus, can't you respect Muhammad?'. Any answers from Denmark?

[Photo: Picture of the office of Jyllands Posten newspaper]