Monday, January 02, 2006

Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Artistic Expression

I noticed that the BBC website reports that "Controversial images of Queen Elizabeth II, George W Bush and Jacques Chirac apparently having sex have been removed from billboards in Austria... ...Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel was not able to ban the posters but had appealed to the independent artists' group running the project to withdraw some of them."

Meanwhile reports on twelve caricatures of the prophet Muhammad published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September.

Apparently the newspaper commissioned these deawings just to check and see if religious fundamentalism was affecting the freedom of the press in Denmark. The response has been pretty strong - apparently "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - has appointed two UN experts on racism to carry out a detailed investigation into what Arbour characterizes as a “disrespect for belief.”" and now Franco Frattini, the Deputy EU commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security, noting the publication as "foolishness and indiscretion" has condemned the cartoons. Meanwhile Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rassmussen is standing up for "freedom of speech and thought".

Well, the queen is the head of the Church of England, and I wouldn't like to see images of her having sex on billboards in the UK - nor of any other head of a religion or religious group. But the cartoons seem fair comment to me - I wouldn't like to see them banned under Labour's new laws.

Nor do I like the idea of the UN investigating "Disrepect for belief". I thought it was my right to be disrespectful to any belief if I want to be. There's a difference between disrespectful and being racist or hateful, isn't there?

Or am I being Islamophobic here?


dirty dingus said...

If you want to see the Muhammed cartoons I have them here

Anonymous said...

You may call this freedom, but mark this. You will end up creating a hell right here. There is no limit to freedom. There are no boundaries. If this or rest ever is okay, why make any law or rules, because you do not have any religion. Go ahead and make any obscene caricature of anything.

Islam is a core religion. Rest you all, do not have any basis left in your faith. That is why you play with everything. I suggest you first completely dump your faith, christianity or whatever and then turn to Islam to have fun with or with muslims.

Islam is life. There is no joke in Islam.

Non muslims, really!. See for youself, you do not have any life.

Chris Black said...

Hi Anonymous.

A few serious questions...

You say "Islam is life. There is no joke in Islam".

So do you really think there is no humour in life?

Secondly , do you think the Prophet Muhammed had a sense of humour?

Thirdly, I bought a copy of the Koran when I was twelve. It is sitting on my lap as I write. I read in the 35th chapter that God furnished Angels with two , three and four pairs of wings. Is it from this chapter that you form most of your criticism for what I call thinking freely?

Fourthly, do you have any questions for me?

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