Freedom of the Press or Religious Bigotry?

Patrick Louis Cooney, Feb. 8, 2006


Drawing political cartoons is always a tricky problem.  They usually offend one or more sides in the political world.  But, when a political cartoon jumps from legitimate criticism and satire and heads into the territory of bigotry and hatred, the protections for freedom of speech end.  It is o.k. to censor bigotry as long as we know what bigotry is.  (It is not our present-day general political incorrectness.  Rather it is the condemning all people in certain religious, sexual, racial, ethnic and/or age groupings.)

What were the Danes thinking?  It is religious bigotry to imply in a cartoon that the prophet Mohammed would ever sanction or condone the use of  bombings to kill and intimidate innocent civilians. 

Whenever a person or institution takes the position that a major religion like Islam is inherently evil with inherently evil prophets, they have crossed into the territory of religious bigotry and we need not worry about the cries of the bigots for "freedom of the press."

The Muslims are exactly right in their argument that the democratic West would object strenuously if the Islamic world were cross over into religious bigotry and imply that the holocaust never occurred or that the Jews are lying about the atrocities committed under Adolf Hitler.  And if they did cross over, the Islamic world should be chastised vehemently. 

Liberal countries, like Denmark, which denounce bigotry should not engage in religious bigotry in their newspapers.  It only increases the levels of injustice and suspicion in the world, on both sides, the Islamic world and the West.  

So, I for one will not sympathize with the Danes when they print material that promotes religious bigotry. 


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