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Danish Cartoons: There ARE Solutions to the problem

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  • Essay length: 1711 words
  • Submitted: 25/11/2008
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University Degree Miscellaneous

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Danish Cartoons:

There ARE Solutions to the problem

Religious beliefs conflicting with secular principles is not a new concept: it happened many times in the past and it still continues to happen through out the world. The Danish cartoon controversy is one of the good examples showing this conflict. It was triggered by a Danish author, Kare Bluitgen, wanting artists to illustrate Muslim prophet Muhammad for a book that he was set to publish. He approached three illustrators, who turned down his offer, because the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in human form is forbidden in Islam, and artists were afraid that they would pay with their lives for doing so. The president of Danish Writers Union, Frants Iver Gundelach, claimed this to be a threat to free speech. Taking Gundalach's words into consideration, Jyllands-Posten, the largest newspaper in Denmark approached forty cartoonists to portray Prophet Muhammad and in response received twelve cartoons showing him in various acts of violence. It suggests that Islam is intrinsically violent and irredeemable. It posits all Muslims as potential terrorists. In other words, it fuels that hatred against Muslims and constructs them as 'evil Others' (Sardar, 2006).

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