Reprinting Mohammed Cartoons is Disrespect

Letters to the Editor | February 27, 2006, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

I've learnt with astonishment of the assumption of a number of European newspapers, that the publication of the Danish cartoons by the Jylands Posten, picturing the prophet Mohammed as a terrorist, is being considered as freedom of opinion.

In the first place, freedom of opinion is not absolute, but is limited by local and European legislation, which forbids verbal or public insulting utterances against the religion of a group of people.

In the second place, editions of newspapers are to be expected to show an elementary respect regarding the religious values of minority-groups, living in their countries, in this case Muslims.

Evidently the official Arab and Iranian government-reactions, boycotting Danish products and asking the Danish government to justify itself, are not only extra proportional, but also deny the fact, that a government is not responsible for the management-policy of a paper-edition.

Also the outbursts of violence among Muslims in a great number of countries are rejectable.

However, yet apart from the publications of the cartoons, those outbursts of violence must also be seen in the light of the common feelings of powerlessness and humiliation regarding the European support for the British-American occupation of Iraq and the growing anti-Islam climate in Europe.

Seen in this light, I consider the republishing of the Danish cartoons by a number of European newspapers not only provocative, but also in contrary with the fundamental human rights principles, which are based on respect for all human beings, regardless descent or religion.

Astrid Essed,
The Netherlands

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