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Editorial cartoonists reaction round-up

With the growing Danish cartoons of Mohammad controversy, news media is turning to their local editorial cartoonists for their reaction. Here is a round up of several cartoonists from around the United States:

AAEC, “While the motivation and judgment of the Danish artists and their publishers may be debatable, their right to free expression without threat or intimidation cannot be compromised.”

Scott Adams, Dilbert, “Apparently the indirect method of causing embassies to be burned down is both totally legal and also a highly prized right. As you know, there aren?t many ways you can burn down an occupied building and get away with it. But it is completely legal to use your freedom of speech to indirectly incite other people into doing almost any dumb ass thing you can think of. That?s a big reason I became a cartoonist.”

Nick Anderson, Courier-Journal, tells the that the cartoon was a “technical blunder in that war of ideas.”

Tony Auth, The Philadelphia Inquirer, was interviewed by his paper which posted the interview on their website.

Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, “the point of a cartoon is to provoke.”

Khalil Bendib, Berkeley (who also considers himself to be the only Muslim political cartoonist in the US), “There’s a general aversion to iconography in the Muslim faith, and it’s something that should be respected.”

Jim Borgman, Cincinnati Enquirer, “All of that said, the current controversy owes more to gross insensitivity on the part of the Danish cartoonists and their offending newspaper than it does to anything lost in translation. We in the western world have learned to roll our eyes at offending material, write it off as idiocy and turn the page. The Islamic culture, on alert to signals from an unsympathetic and dismissive world, has had enough of western condescension.”

Daryl Cagle, MSNBC, “And by describing these cartoons as so terribly offensive and not showing them, I think you?re giving people the false impression that it wasn?t such a small spark that set off this big bomb. Another element that we?re seeing now is that there are a whole lot of truly offensive Mohammed cartoons finding their way around the Web and blogs and being passed around.”

Matt Davies, The Journal News, “This indicates how much, globally, the Muslim world misunderstands the West and how the West misunderstands the Islamic world”

Brian Duffy, Des Moines Register, “Let’s push this dialogue. Well, they pushed it right off the cliff, in my opinion,”

David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star, “Why? I censor myself. All cartoonists do from time to time. Would I have drawn Muhammad? No. To draw a likeness of Muhammad is to ridicule a core, heartfelt belief of many Muslims.”

Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette, “The reaction outweighs the message and the message is what’s important. The Denmark newspaper is making a statement about freedom of the press that overrides everything including taste. If most Americans had seen the cartoon, they would have said, ‘What’s the big deal?'” That’s the cultural difference between Muslim and American cultures…”

Lynn Johnston, “For Better or For Worse,” “Freedom of speech does not give us the right to ridicule, to flaunt power, or to invent explosive cover stories for the sake of sensationalism.”

Doug Marlette, “This is a war of two cultures, it?s really a war, and it?s really important that in the West we stand up for these hard-won freedoms and that we stand up to bullying and intimidation in the name of sensitivity”

Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News, “I have nothing but sympathy for my Danish colleagues who have incurred the wrath of the godly by publishing a portfolio of cartoons making fun of one of the world?s great–but apparently humor-impaired–religions.”

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