Saturday, September 1, 2007

Muslims and Swedish Cartoons

Sweden now has its own controversy regarding a cartoon featuring Mohammed. The cartoon by Lars Vilks was pulled from an art school competition. The cartoon features Mohammed's head on a dog's body, apparently part of the theme of the contest.
This same cartoonist has drawn an image of a Jew on a pig's body.

What has arisen is the usual war of words between various Islamic countries outraged at the provocative nature of the cartoon, and freedom-of-the-press advocates. NRO has the story.

I think there is another angle on this trend of cartoonists wanting to poke fun at Muslims and Muslims reacting angrily, and often dangerously. Is it possible that the Muslims are right? Is it possible that political cartoons have crossed a line, and are inappropriately ridiculing religion? It is noteworthy that Sweden's own Muslims have been picketing nonviolently outside the offices of Nerikes Allehanda, a regional newspaper that published the cartoon.

Christians, of course, are used to being pillaged in the Western media. We've gotten too thick-skinned about it. Many Muslims are too thin-skinned, and perhaps the message to them is: "If you want to play on the world-wide stage, be prepared for your share of insults and ridicule. "

And perhaps the message of moderate Muslims to us is: "Stop it already with the over-the-top abuse of people's religious faith!" It is one thing to disagree strongly with another's religion. It is another to intentionally poke fun at it with the intention of provoking a reaction.
I'm tempted to call that a cheap shot. But then, I published the cartoon here, didn't I?

Here is further commentary on the issue.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think this has rather little to do with religion, as a matter of fact. The much ignored background of the Danish cartoons that triggered the original outrage is that it was motivated by other things than religion. I've written a bit about the issue here.