Danish Cartoon Controversy Essay

Pages: 2 (753 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Danish Cartoon Controversy

The Danish people enjoy a democracy in which they have freedom of the press and freedom of expression, much the same as the U.S. Constitution provides for American citizens. But freedom of the press in one part of the world can lead to anger, violence, and rage in another part of the world. That's what has happened subsequent to the publishing in Danish newspapers (and other European publications) of a dozen cartoons that were caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed. This happened in 2005 and 2006.

One of the principals involved in this controversy are the editorial rights that artists have to create those images under the Danish constitution's provision for freedom of the press and freedom of expression. So the Danes responsible for these depictions felt they had the right and the artistic license to create them. It is absolutely ethical for a journalist to observe one of the most fundamental principles of democracy -- freedom to express ideas (however repugnant they may be). Democratic values allow individual expression to be put forward in a public forum.

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The other principle is the Islam's prohibition against physical representations of the prophet of Islam. The principle here (in the matter of Muslims' antipathy towards the caricatures) is actually based a religious tenet, and that is, drawing a picture of the prophet is one thing. While Muslim social values are based in large part on their religion, in the West (Europe, Canada and the U.S. social values are often based on political tenets (constitutions are political documents).

Essay on Danish Cartoon Controversy Assignment

Meantime, in Arab countries, there are numerous representations of Mohammed to be found in the public. Reza Aslan writes in Slate magazine that "In some [of the drawings of Mohammed that are seen in the Muslim world] the prophet's face is obscured by a pillar of fire that rises from beneath his chin in a veil of flames" and in others there is a "golden nimbus [cloud] over his head" (Aslan, 2006). But while some Muslim sects (Sunnis in particular) disapprove of any depictions of the prophet, "there has never been any large-scale furor over them" because they put the prophet in a "positive light" (Aslan).

However, the cartoons offend Muslims because they are seen as derogatory and slanderous.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Danish Cartoon Controversy."  Essaytown.com.  April 6, 2011.  Accessed September 20, 2020.