Danish Cartoonist nearly assassinated by Islamist
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Thread: Danish Cartoonist nearly assassinated by Islamist

  1. #1
    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Danish Cartoonist nearly assassinated by Islamist

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8437433.stm

    It hardly needs be said that Freedom of speech is the freedom from which all others spring. It is the most precious legacy of the west. And the most fragile, as it is constantly under attack by those who want to control speech for their own political/ideological reasons.

    If you want some Free Speech philosophy: John Stewart Mill is generally regarded as the classic thinker on the topic.

    If you think Mr. Westergaard deserves to be killed for creating his cartoons, please post your reasons below. I would be interested in hearing your argument.

    (If you just don't care whether he lives or dies, or don't care about free speech issues, please don't bother responding.)

    Thanks,
    kev

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    So, he makes a cartoon showing Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, and the people offended by it react violently. Shows the type of thinking the attackers have.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    If you think Mr. Westergaard deserves to be killed for creating his cartoons, please post your reasons below. I would be interested in hearing your argument.
    ...What? Did you seriously type that? Why? I'd be scared if someone from here actually responded to that.

    Last edited by Psychotime; January 1st, 2010 at 11:26 PM.
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    I think its more likely that our own governments will take our freedoms away then these religious zealots.

    That being said..

    The cure to this issue is not bombs or bullets but education. I recently saw a video on HBO where they interviewed the sole surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attack. He was an uneducated man and his accomplices also were uneducated, they were manipulated by some religious fanatics and trained to kill in the name of god. That same situation is echoed throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The only weapon the west has that can stop this madness is not bombs from a plane or bullets from a gun, but knowledge and information given to the masses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krato View Post
    I think its more likely that our own governments will take our freedoms away then these religious zealots.

    That being said..

    The cure to this issue is not bombs or bullets but education. I recently saw a video on HBO where they interviewed the sole surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attack. He was an uneducated man and his accomplices also were uneducated, they were manipulated by some religious fanatics and trained to kill in the name of god. That same situation is echoed throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The only weapon the west has that can stop this madness is not bombs from a plane or bullets from a gun, but knowledge and information given to the masses.
    /thread

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    Originally Posted by Bill:
    "We need them [Guns] because we are all in State Militias. Otherwise all these kids who get accidently shot in the head, all the people killed by wackos going on shooting sprees, all of that would be for nothing. As it is, those people got killed as a byproduct of our need for State Militias. Of course we need the State Militias in case the British invade. So you can see how it all makes sense."

    Originally Posted by Kev:
    "When you characterize an argument as a cartoon, its easy to seem smart and well informed by comparison. Drop the cartoon version and give it a re-think, and go for the actual philosophical arguments this time, rather than the facile talking points you're being exposed to at the moment. History tends to repeat itself but in new ways, and being aware of history is a good idea."

    ...

    You seem to be in favor of free speach so long as the speaker agrees with you. If they don't you seem to dismiss the speaker via the assumption that that speaker is an uninformed lemming. Wether you are for or against cartoons is hard to tell at this point.

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    Live. For sure.

    I tend to agree with the notion that freedom of speech is one of our most precious legacies here in the west, and something that is taken for granted and not as well defended by the average person as it ought to be.

    I printed out a news article this morning to take to my class for discussion stating that authorities here in China have arrested somewhere along the lines of 6,000 people for simply accessing pornographic websites, after the beginning of the Chinese crackdown on porn accessibility here in China. I had a discussion (that thankfully didn't turn into an argument) with my girlfriend about this nonsense about a Brit being executed here in China for smuggling drugs. She was born and raised in Beijing, and her opinion seems to largely reflect that of most of my other Chinese friends, that being that he deserved to be executed. Yes it's the law here and everything, but to even TALK about it in a criticizing tone here can easily bring swift and heavy punishment. She suggested that us westerners are just upset because China is gaining some power on the world stage. Hell yes I'm uncomfortable! I like China overall, and nearly all my friends are Chinese including as stated before my girlfriend, but the idea of a China that has the economic, military, and political power to influence the laws of other countries is terrifying! With no regard for human rights, and a long history of authoritarian rule, and a populace that sees all of it as being the right way to go I fear for my personal freedoms and believe quite honestly that if this mindset were to take hold in the west that back home we'd start seeing more of these kinds of things happening. Not just being carried out by ideological extremists, but possibly more and more by our own governments under pressure from the new authoritarian power(s) that very easily could be calling the shots in the near future.

    Should this guy die for simply authoring a comic critical of an ideology?

    Fuck no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krato View Post
    I think its more likely that our own governments will take our freedoms away then these religious zealots.

    That being said..

    The cure to this issue is not bombs or bullets but education. I recently saw a video on HBO where they interviewed the sole surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attack. He was an uneducated man and his accomplices also were uneducated, they were manipulated by some religious fanatics and trained to kill in the name of god. That same situation is echoed throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The only weapon the west has that can stop this madness is not bombs from a plane or bullets from a gun, but knowledge and information given to the masses.
    That's a wise and noble statement. However, as good as it sounds, it's not the way to solve these problems because then we run into deep-rooted cultural and philosohphical values. People here harbor huge resentment of the west because no matter how benign (or malign as the case sometimes is) western intent to educate and encourage development, the average person sees it as a front on their cultural identity.

    Education in what? And by whose standards?

    These are the questions given to me by my students, girlfriend, and friends when I said the same thing with regard to a variety of topics. Followed then by extremely nationalistic responses essentially boiling down to: Fuck you western pigs and your high-and-mighty ideas of "enlightenment".

    Cultural barriers are a bitch.

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    IMHO.

    Freedom of speech, is misleading, and mostly used in the wrong way by most people that do not understand.

    Freedom of speech, does not mean freedom from the inherent responsibility that comes with that freedom.

    You are not free to say and do as you like, without understanding the possible consequences of said speech.

    You speak it, you own it, you also own the possible ramifications of your stance.

    If you walk up to a person and scream into their face, FUCK YOU! and that person turns around a hits you, you have to take the reaction of said person as a result as you practicing your freedom.

    There is no such thing of freedom of responsibility from the speech you just made.

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    While I certainly think that solving a situation with violence is unjustified...

    I'm fairly certain that many people could identify with reacting negatively in a situation in which a loved one is portrayed in a slanderous manner. If someone drew a cartoon of your girlfriend, little sister, etc as a prostitute, and made it public...you most likely wouldn't be too happy about it, and I'm fairly certain that people in western countries do in fact kill each other (both purposefully and unintentionally), over such slights. When people have stopped killing each other for petty reasons altogether, then we can maybe act like we've got the superior set of morals. Religion is for some people a very deep and personal thing...to dismiss a person's relationship with religion as "less important" than a trespass against family or loved ones is a dangerous assumption to make.

    I think we sometimes take the degree in which we are indoctrinated to abstain from violence, and act with temperance for granted in Western culture. We know if we slug some guy for screaming in our face, we'll probably go to jail for assult. Yet, there is plenty of "justified" violence on our TV screens every night...but is it really "just"? In other parts of the world...violence in every day life is very real. It is human nature to compare ourselves against our brethren. Violence breeds violence, until the strong stand up, say enough!, and lead by example.

    Last edited by Aphotic Phoenix; January 2nd, 2010 at 12:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    IMHO.
    cut

    If you walk up to a person and scream into their face, FUCK YOU! and that person turns around a hits you, you have to take the reaction of said person as a result as you practicing your freedom.

    There is no such thing of freedom of responsibility from the speech you just made.
    Freedom of speech protects you from the reprocussions of your speech from the GOVERNMENT. The government does not have the right to detain you or otherwise make you suffer legal consequences for what you say.

    If you go up to joe blow and scream fuck you in his face, and he slugs you that has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

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    But see, that isn't correct either.

    No matter WHO is spoken to or what organization (government) you speak out against, there is NO guarantee of no repercussions.

    A government employee speaks out against the government's handling of in international issue. Within that government their are individuals who feel that you are wrong and they take issue with you in a subtle way, preventing you from going any further in the grading system.

    You, as an individual protest at a rally against a government nuclear facility, and go on a list of possible radicals to keep watch on. A anti-government list you may call it.

    The US did it in the 60's, they do it still today.

    Legal, is called the patriot act in the USA.

    Action does not always mean overt.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulverture View Post
    That's a wise and noble statement. However, as good as it sounds, it's not the way to solve these problems because then we run into deep-rooted cultural and philosohphical values. People here harbor huge resentment of the west because no matter how benign (or malign as the case sometimes is) western intent to educate and encourage development, the average person sees it as a front on their cultural identity.

    Education in what? And by whose standards?

    These are the questions given to me by my students, girlfriend, and friends when I said the same thing with regard to a variety of topics. Followed then by extremely nationalistic responses essentially boiling down to: Fuck you western pigs and your high-and-mighty ideas of "enlightenment".

    Cultural barriers are a bitch.
    Very good point, But we still need to try. If we (the U.S) were to spend 700 billion dollars on educating people at home and abroad we would be much better then off then where were are now.. which is being stuck knee deep in endless wars. If they dont want our form of education then we must go by there's, fund their schools and make sure the money doesn't go to things like "your part in the jihad 101". Would the people of these countries be more willing to enter a brand new school built by the outsiders or and upgraded school that has been in there town for decades?

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    Probably the school that has been there for decades. It's been around longer and people are familiar with it. We're back to the old cultural barriers where people say "This place was built by outsiders who don't know who we are or what we are all about". Cultural resentment among countries is deep-seeded and no amount of money can solve the problem.

    Using my current settings as my primary example again, I remember some of my friends recalling their first experiences with mcdonalds when it first appeared here in Beijing and other cities.

    I remember one person in particular telling me about how after eating a cheeseburger for the first time she literally vomited right there in the store, because she had never been exposed to western cheese before and apparently her body didn't like it. I have been told similar things by other people for other foods. Now years later many of these people steer entirely clear of western fast food in favor for what is known and familiar. Many more people refuse to even try it for the first time, just because it's foreign and unfamiliar. This is just for food. Now imagine their reactions to institutions of indoctrination built and possibly managed by outsiders. I say managed by because if you put up the building and let the locals run it, then they might not be teaching what you wanted them to teach to begin with.

    Even if you did successfuly pull this off, then freedom of speech is still not being exercised here because you're basically telling people that their thoughts are wrong and they can't express them. Instead express this list of approved thoughts.

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    kev ferrara is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill View Post
    You seem to be in favor of free speach so long as the speaker agrees with you. If they don't you seem to dismiss the speaker via the assumption that that speaker is an uninformed lemming. Wether you are for or against cartoons is hard to tell at this point.
    ???

    I don't know where you're coming from, Bill. Let's stick to the issue.

    The simplicity is this: Either you believe in free speech, even speech you find offensive, even speech that angers people who are dangerous and of whom you are afraid.

    Or, you allow might to make right. That violent behavior should be allowed to silence speech by killing or threatening to kill the dissenter (and by extension, any follow-on dissenters). And that it is not the role of society to protect or defend anyone who dissents from the dogma of those willing to use intimidation to silence their critics.

    Some years ago there was a crackdown on the Mafia in Italy. As a countermeasure, the mafia exploded a bomb outside the Uffizi that destroyed many paintings including a Rubens. The implicit threat was, if you keep after us, we'll destroy your artistic heritage.

    I see this as an analog to the Danish Cartoon situation.

    At some point one must make a decision as to what you really believe. Not what you say to keep chit-chat civil. But what you really believe and are willing to take moral responsibility for.

    I believe disrespecting religion/ideology is one of the most fundamental free speech rights imaginable. Because religion/ideology are the foundations of facism and must be kept out of power at all costs or else risk a decent into tyranny.

    This is what I believe. And I don't consider it an idle question.

    kev

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    I dunno. I don't think he should be killed, but that was kind of a dick move.

    I mean, Catholics would be pretty pissed if an Islamic fella' took a shit on the Pope.

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    I believe that everyone should be allowed to voice their opinions and ideas. However, I don't feel it is a realistic idea that everyone should be able to voice any opinion or idea without fear or possibility of consequence. I'm not saying that it should be illegal to say certain things, defined by someone and set in stone. I am however aware of the fact that in our world, there are so diverse cultures and beliefs, that when speaking, one should be aware that one's opinions might provoke and anger others. And one has to ask, what is more important? Both freedom of speech and cultural taboos are in essence cultural phenomenon and one is not necessarily more correct than another...

    Feel free to speak, but know that freedom of speech protects your right to speak up, it does not necessarily protect you, and the reactions to your words are to those who react just as justified as your speech.

    Sometimes, one should factor in cultural tensions before one does something that might provoke a violent response, and perhaps you won't have extremists trying to chop you up. I'm not condoning violence, I find all forms of extremist behaviour unacceptable, however, it might pay to look at how the situation got so bad and consider why he chose to throw the first stone, and whether "freedom of speech" was really the point...

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    Denmark prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten, ridicule or hold in contempt a group due to race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.

    - - - - - -

    Hate speech is speech perceived to disparage a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group,[1] such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, skin color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting. It is also sometimes called antilocution and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society. In many countries, deliberate use of hate speech is a criminal offence prohibited under incitement to hatred legislation.

    - - - - - -

    Islamic militants have placed a $1m price on Mr Westergaard's head.


    This IMO was the main motivation factor for this crime.
    The attacker is not an official cell of a government or a religion but a person linked to fanatic extremists.
    I do not much of a connection to freedom of speech right issues in this case.

    Last edited by Randis; January 2nd, 2010 at 02:24 AM.
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    Hrm, I won't get into some of the debate here, because it's as they say, a "drama minefield".

    But I will say you seem to be blurring the lines between Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Hate Speech. The specific cartoon Mr. Westergaard produced could likely very easily fall into the latter. And as such, would likely be considered under John Stewart Mill's Harm Principle, for example. So, effectively he would likely not be within that right.

    It also seems you're trying to skew responses. That either you support free speech, or he deserves to die. This assumes first that he was within rights, which seems unlikely. And second, that believing he wasn't means you support his death... which is just silly. So yeah... this seems to become more a debate on personal justification (or perspective) for illegal action on both "sides".

    Note in regards to defining hate speech: I understand that it was claimed that the cartoon in question was meant to target only the extremist portion of the religion after the event. However, if someone drew Jesus holding a noose and wearing a white hood, it would be similarly difficult to rationally justify that it identified only the extremists in that case, when the symbol is of the religion as a whole.

    *edit* What Randis said =P

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    Well, speaking of Islam I really haven't seen that many attempt to analyze the anatomy of Muslim mindset. I was wondering if Muslims are more than offended when someone try to analyze their mindset with modern psychology and sociology.

    I've met only a few Arab Muslims, but I can definitely tell you that none of them had laid-back attitude on life and things. Most of them had some anger issues and their attitude on life and world was, in a word, fierce.

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    i wouldnt say i dont care because a life is a life, but i will say i dont think its important in the grand scheme. considering the untold numbers of people who actually died that day. but we make a big deal over this guy cause the news makes a big deal over him. if he had actually been killed by say a soccermom in a minivan for the same reasons we wouldnt be hearing about this on the news or probably at all.

    and free speech really only applies to government agencies censoring you. say if someone calls you some profanity and you punch them your not trying to take away their free speech blah blah blah, you are responding to an action with an action.

    now if you lobbied congress to make talking about tadpoles against the law that there is tampering with free speech.

    and we have "free-ish speech" not "free speech" we are free to talk about whatever we are allowed to, its not like we can say whatever we want whenever we want theres still consequences for challenging gov agencies and big business they just allow just enough to pull off a smoke screen to keep the public STFU. but if you say bomb in an airport you can be arrested, if you cuss out a police officer you probably will be arrested, if you threaten a senator you will be arrested. if we had true "free speech" none of that would be true

    im not defending the muslims cause attempted murder is attempted murder but your making out a couple half retarded soldier ants to be some kinda revolutionary masterminds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R a n d i s View Post
    Denmark prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten, ridicule or hold in contempt a group due to race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.

    - - - - - -

    Hate speech is speech perceived to disparage a person or group of people based on their social or ethnic group,[1] such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, skin color, etc.), mental capacity, and any other distinction that might be considered by some as a liability. The term covers written as well as oral communication and some forms of behaviors in a public setting. It is also sometimes called antilocution and is the first point on Allport's scale which measures prejudice in a society. In many countries, deliberate use of hate speech is a criminal offence prohibited under incitement to hatred legislation.

    - - - - - -

    Islamic militants have placed a $1m price on Mr Westergaard's head.


    This IMO was the main motivation factor for this crime.
    The attacker is not an official cell of a government or a religion but a person linked to fanatic extremists.
    I do not much of a connection to freedom of speech right issues in this case.

    wow shoulda read this before i posted cause this pretty much sums up my post without all the talking lol

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    The cartoon was published in a Norwegian christian newspaper in a context that would easily be classified as hateful towards islam, something that resulted in a similar price being put on people affiliated with said newspaper. Still, I am unsure as to the context of the original publication, for which the cartoon was actually made, was that context hateful or purely intended for illustration of something like a political article, anyone know?

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    The right to freedom of speech and expression is not that free, there are many
    limitation and complex restrictions... You must also note that laws differ by country!
    You can have a read about commercial speech, hate speech, criminal speech,
    Media transparency....
    You will quickly notice how much you actually are limited in what you can say in
    public without offending certain minorities.

    I think the freedom of speech issues are about the actual publication in print
    Medias and the Islamic protests against the publication. As i read more than
    100 people died in the cause of all this.
    IMO a very unnecessary event … Without wanting to protect any of the sides
    I think that if this cartoon were a similarly offensive image of Jesus that would
    imply murder and terrorist the issue would have been handled quickly and
    with many apologies. I dislike double standards.
    here is some more info on this all:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jylland...ns_controversy

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    If a Christian tried to kill an atheist for mocking Jesus, or an atheist tried to kill a Christian for calling him a godless sinner, or a Hindu tried to kill M.F. Hussein for painting Indian goddesses nude, etc etc... I'd call him a dumbass. This is no different. If Muslims want to rage against Mr. Westergaard for offending them, by all means they should be allowed to express that opinion. Killing him because he expressed his own opinion? Fuck that. Make an effort to prove him wrong and accomplish something.



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    Quote Originally Posted by gogidolim View Post
    ..but I can definitely tell you that none of them had laid-back attitude on life and things. Most of them had some anger issues and their attitude on life and world was, in a word, fierce.
    wait, when did you meet the Scottish side of my family?

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    Superficially, I find it hard to feel much pity for the cartoonist. Either he knew his cartoon to be an inaccurate statement about Muslim society (which makes him a lying opportunistic jackass), or he thought his cartoon to be an accurate portrayal (which makes the writing of it akin to suicide, you just know it's gonna happen). Of course I wouldn't say that the cartoonist should be murdered, but I have no accolades for a man who puts his hand in an alligator's mouth, even if he escapes unscathed.

    Regarding freedom of speech, well this wouldn't be the first man in Western society to try and kill over mere words. As an isolated incident, it is unremarkable at most and typical at least. This extremist, and the ones fronting the bounty, can face the same punishment given to all the other louts who would counter a pen with a sword.

    The more interesting, and serious, issue at hand here is who exactly is Europe today? And who will Europe be tomorrow? Low birth rates coupled with immigration is changing Europe's identity, although we think of Europe as the heart of "the West" it may cease to be so.

    Where to go from here? Will people curtail their own speech out of fear? Will violence prevail? Or is this merely a period of transition, fated to fade away as immigrants adjust to and adopt Western culture over the course of generations? As an American I want to say everything will work out just like in our own big ol' melting pot, but history reminds me that unchecked immigration can be serious business.

    Last edited by Anid Maro; January 2nd, 2010 at 03:28 AM.
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    this is hate speech

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    I think political cartoons strike such a deep cord. They bring out emotions and make judgments for the viewer. I saw an angry Islamic cartoon depicting George W Bush as a fanged Hebrew. The scary part was it was so masterfully approached it looked like the truth for a split second. I can see why the angry wing of the muslim world was outraged. But just because you disagree with ones opinion does not give you a right to take away their voice or their life for that matter.

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    Thank for the link to the Wiki article, Randis.

    "In October 2005, the Danish daily Politiken polled thirty-one of the forty-three members of the Danish cartoonist association. Twenty-three said they would be willing to draw Muhammad. One had doubts, one would not be willing because of fear of possible reprisals and six cartoonists would not be willing because they respected the Muslim ban on depicting Muhammad"

    Seems to me that the six who would not out of respect for the Muslim ban on depicting Muhammad got the point. The editor that originally published the caricature claimed that the cartoon aimed to include muslims into the Danish society by treating them equal to other religions and including them in satire. I say that's bullshit, and even if that was the point, doing so by depicting Muhammad was unecessary considering how easy it would have been to caricature other aspects of Muslim culture.

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    "If you don't care about free speech issues, please don't bother responding"

    Kev, it's funny you say this after touting the importance of all free speech. The great thing about this statement is, the only people whose speech you're trying to control wouldn't care anyway, because they don't care about free speech. ingenious!

    In all seriousness, it's a horrible crime to take a life, and this attempted assassin should get a serious prison sentence. It's disgusting that a religion or country would put a price on someone's head. I hope to see a day when all these hostilities can just end...

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