imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Danish Cartoons: Freedom of expression or licence to insult

by Astrid Essed Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 7:19 AM

With tthe publication of the Danish cartoons under the pretext of freedom of opinion, the European papers not only show an elementar respect for moslims, they also are escalating the existing tensions

Dear Editor,

Since a couple of weeks, a deep crisis has been developed regarding the publication dd september 2005 by the Danish paper The Jylands Posten of twelve cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, among else depicting him as a terrorist.

A number of Arabic governments and the Iran government not only asked the Danish ambassador for an explanation, also a great number of Arabic supermarkets decided to remove Danish products, for example in Saudi-Arabia, Algeria, Bahrein, Jordan, Kuwait, Morrocco, Qatar, Yemen and Tunesia

Recently, dd 6-2, the Iran government has decided to cut off all commercial relations with the Denmark.

Also the governments of Saudi Arabia and Libia has closed their embassies in Denmark.

Apart from those government-reactions, a great number of moslims protested against those cartoons, by which in many cases European embassies, in particular Danish embassies, were being violated.

Also the protests were expanded to the American military.

Recently four people were killed by the often trigger happy Afghan police, when a group of people marched on a U.S. military base in Southern-Afghanistan, out of protests against the Danish cartoons

To give a thourough analysis of this crisis and the controversy between the freedom of ____expression, which is the point of view of most European media, and the lack of respect, which is the point of view of most moslims in and outside Europe, it is of importance to give a short review of the events.

The first publication of the Danish cartoons:

Dd 30-9-2005, the first publication by the Danish paper The Jylands Posten took place.

This caused a strong reaction, not only under moslims and moslim-organisations in Denmark, but also in Arabic diplomatic circles.

They asked for a conversation with the Danish prime-minister Rasmussen, who refused.

Seeing the recent crisis, mr Rasmussen has tried to calm down this by means of diplomacy, which failed.

However, he refused to make further excuses about the cartoons, calling the publications of the cartoons ''freedom of ____expression''

The second publication of the Danish cartoons:

However, despite of the crisis, which was caused by the first publication and which has also led to serious threatments to the address of the cartoonists, the Jylands Posten decided to republish the cartoons after the Christmas-period

It needs no surprise at all, that this second publication again lead to a serious crisis, by which not only the Danish government was being asked for an explanation, but also Danish products were being boycotted, diplomatic and commercial relations were broken and a huge people's protest in a great number of countries burst out.

The main protests took place in Saudi-Arabia, the occupied Gaza-area, the occupied West-Bank, Yemen, Somalia, Indonesia, the by India ruled disputed Kashmir area, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Libanon.

Probably under the pressure of the worldwide protests, the Jylands Posten offered her excuses to the moslims dd 30-1, which was being accepted by the islamic community in Denmark

The publication of the cartoons in the European media:

Soon after the first reactions from the Arabic world on the second publication of the referred cartoons, a number of European media-papers, following the line of the Jylands Posten, were publishing also the Danish cartoons, claiming that they did this under the pretext of ''freedom of ______expression''

The cartoons were among else published in several Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, French, Belgian, Italian and German papers

The editor of the French paper ''Le Soir'' not only was publishing them, but also added some own caricatural contributions to them.

Therefore he was fired soon after publising the cartoons

As reaction, out of socalled solidarity with his indeed unacceptable resignation and again, in the name of the 'freedom of _____expression'', a number of Belgian papers were also publishing the cartoons.

Of course it is evident, that the European newspapers have the right on publishing the cartoons as an information-source for the judgment of the public opinion.

However, out of their point of view and regarding some editorial comments, they are of the opinion, that freedom of ____expression can be ventilated totally, without any consideration for the religious rights of certain groups of people

Freedom of ____expression versus licence to insult:

Of course I consider freedom of ____expression as one of the most fundamental rights of humanity, but that doesn't imply, that there is no limitation to it.

Without any limitation namely, anywone would be free to utter racism and anti-semitism and other fundamental violations of human rights, as being condemned by as well European legislative law as International Law

In extremis it can lead to the opinion of a Dutch cartoonist J Collignon, who remarked in connection with the crisis round the cartoons, that it is no problem to publish Mein Kampf either

Also the socalled defenders of the freedom of ____expression forget, that their own legislative law has limited a total freedom of opinion, because the rights of different groups would be violated, as is being said above

In the first place, in European legislative Law, The ECHR [European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms], article 10 guarantees the freedom of ____expression, there is an addition, that states that it is limited ''by each responsibility of the law''

In the Netherlands, where a great number of papers have published the cartoons, also article 7 of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of ____expression, there is an addition, that states that it is limited ''by each responsibility of the law''

Article 1 of the Constitution states, that racism and discrimination is not permitted.

Insult of the religion of certain groups:

More specifically yet, article 137c of the Dutch criminal law, forbids insults of the religion of the several groups in society

The insulting character of the cartoons:

It is obvious, that the Danish cartoons, from which some are depicting the for moslims holy Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist, is violating the moslims in their most sacred feelings and is therefore a violation of their religious rights.

Moreover the provocation lies in the fact, that it also implies a connection between the Islam and terrorism, which makes fundamentally no sense (being, like Christianity and Judaism, based on the principle of Love) and also a connection between moslims in general and terrorism, a serious European prejudice.

However I think, this is not only a question of legislative law, but responds also to the deeper principle of fundamental respect for other human beings.

By publishing those cartoons, the European papers not only has shown a fundamental lack of respect for the moslims outside Europe, but also for their moslims-co-citizens on their own country.

This sort of freedom of opinion bigotry is leading in extremis only to the further escalation of the growing tension between European autochtones and especially islamic allochtones, with the great risk of further radicalisation.

Reactions in the Arabic world:

Of course I am of the opinion, that the diplomatic reactions of the Arabic and Iranian government, not only regarding the boycot of the Danish poducts, but especially also against the Danish government, are extrapoportionnal, since the government of a country has no power over the edition-policy of a newspaper.

Also I condemn the reactions of violence in parts of the islamic world, which is directed against the foreign embassies.

However it is evident, that such an outburst of violence has more causes than the publication of the cartoons

Backgrounds of the violent outbursts:

Yet apart from the reaction on the publications of the Danish cartoons, it is obvious, that for such outbursts, more explanations must be seek

I am of the strong opinion, that those violent reactions, which take place in so many countries, are directly interconnected with the feelings of powerlessness and humiliations, which are being mainly caused by the European military support of the British-American occupation of Afghanistan and especially Iraq.

This is also combined with the decennia-long European political attitude to the Middle-East crisis, which is de jure condemning the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian areas and the Israeli war-crimes and human rights violations, but de facto is maintaining the status quo, by not taking any political or economical measures to pressure on Israel to implement the UN-Security Resolution 242 dd 1967, to withdraw our of the occupied territories and also to dismantle the settlements, which are illegal according to International Law and break down the Wall, which has been condemned by the International Court of Justice dd 9-7-2004, because of cutting through occupied Palestinian area.

This, in combination with the since 11 september 2001 amounted anti-Islam hysteria in Europe, from which the publication of those cartoons are one of the utterings, is leading to those violent protests, which is only being worsened by the provocative attitude of a number of European papers, from which for example the Dutch Volkskrant [literary translared: People's Paper] is one of the most extreme, by publishing the cartoons two times in a short period.

Denigrated remarks of de Volkskrant:

Not only ''De Volkskrant'' was very bigot in her defense of the freedom of ___expression by placing the cartoons twice, in an editionary comment ''Geen slappe knieeen'' [''No weak knees'', by wich was meant no capitulation for ''religious fundamentalism'', which as so often in the European media is used in a wrong way] she also utttered very denigrating remarks considering the moslim protesters.

So every protest was being ''directed'' from ''the authorities'', by which they forgot, that it is highly unlikely, that so manu protests in so many countries would be ''put in scene''

Further they called the protests ''opgelopte lucht'' [litery ''cooked air'', which means ''of no real meaning and irrational''], which shows a complete lack of respect for the intelligence and think-capacity of the protesters.

Further the Volkskrant also neglected a remark by a French moslimleader, who was comparing the cartoons with the anti-semite cartoons from the 30 years of the former century

Their comment was, that the comparison was not just, because the systematic nazi-propaganda of that time is not to be connected with those cartoons


Yet the Volkskrant is missing a very important point here.

Although there the anti-Islamhysteria is happily not to be compared with the nazi-propaganda from the years 30 of the former century, yet there are comparisons.

For example the Jews were being considered as untrustworthy [the same qualification is given to moslims nowaday in Europe], they would plan an ''international plot to dominate the world'' [compare with the generalisation of all moslims with the ''international terrorism''] and they were out to ''destroy the German cultural society'' [compare with the moslims, who would ''destruct'' ''the democratical European society'']

In my opinion I am also supported by no-one less than the very respected Dutch-Jewish rabbi Soetendorp, who stated that there are a number of comparisons between the anti-semite propaganda in the 30 years and the present European anti-Islamhysteria.

Political signature of the Jylands Posten:

Considering the Jylands Posten, it is perhaps interesting to commemorate, that this paper was in the 20, 30 and 40ths of the former century, a fervent political supporter of the racist-facistic regimes of as well Hitler as Mussolini

Although the past is not to be considered in this, it is being named by me, because nowadays this paper is a very right-wing paper also with ideological ties with the extreme right party in Denmark

Reaction of the AEL [Arab-European League]

The chairman of the Arab-European League, mr D Abou Jahjah, has recently decided, in reaction on the publication by the European media, also to publish a number of cartoons.

The deeper meaning is not only to explore the limits of real freedom of __expression, by placing certain cartoons, which are a taboo in the European ideological train of thought, but also confont the European defenders of the freedom of __expression, who don´t care about insulting the feelings of moslims, with cartoons, which are shocking to them.

Considering the fact, that the holocaust is such a taboo, he has placed already a cartoon, by which Hitler shares the bed with Anne Frank

Although I can understand the purpose of this and in reactions a possible double standard point of view can be read, I think it is unacceptable to make a cartoon, even for testing this principle, of a genocide like the holocaust.

In that respect also the comparison would have more meaning, when they had published a rabbi, being a terrorist.

I know almost certainly, that that would not be considered als ´´´freedom of __expression´´, but as anti-semitism.

My other objection however is, that it is better to protest against the publication of the cartoons, rather than to place possible shocking cartoons, but of course that is the responsibility of the AEL-Europe.


Overwiewing the insulting character of the publication of the cartoons and the fact, that the freedom if __expression has its limtits, when it comes to violatiing of the rights of groups of people, indiffently whether they are cultural, national or religious, it would be wise, when the European media would not have pubiseh them, at least not out of the point of view of ´´defending of the freedom of __expression´´

In the first place, there is a difference between freedom of __expression and licence for insult

In the second place, papers have not only their responsibility to bring news as objectively as]they can, but also a responsibility to society in respecting all citizens, also people, who have a different religion and descent

Depicting intentionally cartoons, knowing it will hurt people in their deepest authentic feelings, whether religious or on another part of their identity, lacks the most elementar feeling of respect, which is also a part of the principles of democracy

By this arrogant attitude, only national and world-tensions will escalate, with as a consequence an amount of bitterness on the side of the powerless and already humiliated people in this world

It is time for Western media and a number of anti-religious or anti-Islam intellectualistic publicists, columnists, to show some respect.

Without that attitude, violent outbursts and more tensions will be the answer

I´´ll end to show my respect and appreciation for those European papers, which didn´t publish the cartoon in a senseless obsession with the ´´freedom of __expression´´

In that respect many European newspapers could learn from the American papers, from which a very little part has published those cartoons

Astrid Essed


The Netherlands


See for the political signature of the Jylands Posten

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 34 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
This one's great too fresca Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 7:26 AM
A better one artist Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 7:57 AM
Bullshit. Fredric L. Rice Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 7:53 PM
offend Try this out Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 8:14 PM
The Bomb Head One is Lame johnk Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 8:46 PM
Freddie Rice Scorpio Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 at 9:02 PM
You've got to be kidding fresca Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 3:00 AM
try this out Go ahead Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 3:07 AM
No fresca Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 4:38 AM
That's what I figured Mighty mouth Fresca Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 4:46 AM
?????? fresca Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 5:16 AM
just a liar and a hypocrite. For Fresca Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 6:11 AM
Christians are Still Violent johnk Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 6:13 AM
"Bastard" johnk Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 6:16 AM
incidentally fresca Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006 at 6:31 AM
hypocrite?? John Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 at 11:15 PM
johnk fresca Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006 at 11:40 PM
Militia Movement johnk Monday, Feb. 13, 2006 at 2:58 AM
Onward Cristian Solders swordOgod Monday, Feb. 13, 2006 at 3:37 AM
What was that? to johnk Monday, Feb. 13, 2006 at 3:49 AM
Re: Branch Davidians johnk Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 1:05 AM
"They had a stockpile of guns." history buff Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 2:02 AM
Can any of you actually read? fresca Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 3:13 AM
to Johnk Sheepdog Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 6:00 AM
Waco's Stockpile sh(A)ne Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 6:30 AM
Waco's Stockpile sh(A)ne Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 6:33 AM
re Waco johnk Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006 at 10:49 AM
"I've unhidden it." just wondering Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 at 1:17 PM
Exactly fresca Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 at 9:39 PM
Oh, fuck-up fresca! Go look in the other thread and see what a *FFFOOOLLL* I made of you!: repost (from JA) Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 at 9:47 PM
Someone clicked the troll post link johnk Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 at 10:32 PM
hey Sheepdog Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006 at 10:48 PM

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy