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WP: Why Islam Is Unfunny for a Cartoonist

The Washington Post has an excellent article on the challenges of free speech, religion and cartooning that is expanding out from the infamous Mohammed cartoons in Denmark citing the recent arrest of Gregorius Nekschot and a case in Britain that caused police to end an ad campaign that featured a German shepherd puppy because dogs are viewed as “unclean” in Islam. The Swiss citizens are pushing a referendum to ban Muslim prayer towers.

How to handle Muslim sensitivities is one of Europe’s most prickly issues. Islam is Europe’s fastest-growing religion, with immigrants from Muslim lands often rejecting a drift toward secularism in what used to be known as Christendom. About 6% of Holland’s 16.3 million people are Muslims, and nearly half of Amsterdam’s population is of foreign origin. Some predict the city could have a Muslim majority within a decade or so.

The contrasting Danish and Dutch responses “show that there is a serious struggle of ideas going on for the future of Europe,” says Flemming Rose, a Danish newspaper editor who commissioned the drawings of Muhammad in Jyllands-Posten. At stake, he says, is whether democracy protects the right to offend or embraces religious taboos so that “citizens have a right not to be offended.”

Community Comments

#1 Mike Rhode
July/14/2008
@ 4:51 pm

This was actually in the Wall Street Journal, print edition too. Still a good article.

#2 Carl Moore
July/25/2008
@ 12:20 am

When, oh, when are western societies going to stop trying to accomodate Islamic sensitivities and start demanding that Muslims assimilate into secular western countries? Assimilation means accepting the customs and traditions of the host country, which in this case means accepting references to dogs, pork, booze, prostitution or any other “offensive” words or ideas that ruffle the feathers of the “let’s-go-back-to-the-7th century” Islamic dullards. Either accept our traditions or return to your backward cultures stuck in ignorance.

#3 Rick Stromoski
July/25/2008
@ 11:37 am

“Burn the libraries, for their value is but one book (the koran)…if these writings of the Greeks agree with the word of allah, they are useless and need not be preserved; if they disagree, they are pernicious and ought to be destroyed”

Omar I- Second sunni caliph, third in succession to muhammad

Knowledge is dangerous…Sort of wraps up religious thinking in a nutshell.

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