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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
US cartoonists Art Spiegelman and Joe Sacco offer differing opinions on Danish drawings:
Sacco: My initial reaction was, “What a bunch of idiots those Danes were for printing those things.” Did they not think that there was going to be some sort of backlash?
Spiegelman: I have spent a lot of time soul-searching and still come out on the same side of the equation. If there’s a right to make cartoons, there has to be a right to insult …
Sacco: An editor, working in the real world, has to balance a number of things. There is a value in showing people what the fuss is all about, but the impact might be violent, and an editor does have to think about those things.
Spiegelman: If The Nation and the New York Times had simply said, “We’re scared shitless,” I could take that.
UPDATE. Wisconsin philosophy student Josh Cohen:
The longer these cartoons go publicly unacknowledged, the greater their force will be driven beneath the surface, and the more frighteningly inexplicable their consequences will seem.
Ha! He’s actually talking about the latest Abu Ghraib pictures (“The U.S. government has done an incredible job of keeping these images hidden”).
UPDATE II. NPR’s Juan Williams supports publishing:
“I just don’t see why anyone would resort to violence in response to a cartoon that they found objectionable,” he said. “To encourage young Muslims to act in a violent way is tragic … But I will always side with the notion of freedom of speech and the right to publish.”
UPDATE III. Yet more cartoon trouble, this time in Malaysia:
The cartoon, which appeared in the [New Straits Times’] Tuesday edition, showed a street cartoonist doing a sketch on a drawing board with a sign next to him saying “Caricatures of Muhammad while you wait” and a caption saying, “Kevin finally achieves his goal to be the most feared man in the world.”
Muslim groups have called for action to be taken. Presumably similar to the action taken against Jihad Momani:
In a direct challenge to the international uproar over cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad, the Jordanian journalist Jihad Momani wrote: “What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras, or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony?”
To illustrate his point, Momani published selections of the drawings — and for that was arrested and threatened with a lengthy prison term.
UPDATE IV. Related free-speaky thoughts from the Brussels Journal.