Thursday, February 02, 2006

Why France Soir reproduced Mohammed's caricatures?

Here is the cover of the edition of France Soir that carried the disputed cartoons. The headline says "Yes, we have he right to caricature god". And the bubble with the images of various gods says, "Don't groan Mohammed, we all have been caricatured here".

And here is what France Soir has to say to defend its right of publishing Mohammed's cartoons: Puisque "l'Islam interdit à ses fidèles toute représentation du Prophète (...), la question qui se pose est la suivante : tous ceux qui ne sont pas musulmans sont-ils tenus de se conformer à cet interdit ?" "Imagine-t-on une société où l'on additionnerait les interdits des différents cultes ? Que resterait-il de la liberté de penser, de parler et même d'aller et venir ? Ces sociétés-là, nous les connaissons trop bien. C'est par exemple l'Iran des mollahs. Mais c'était hier la France de l'Inquisition..."

The English translation: Because "Islam has banned its followers from drawing images of the Prophet (...), one question arises: are non-Muslims also expected to conform to this prohibition?" "Imagine a society where we would add on all the bans of different cults? What would remain of the freddom to think, to speak and even to move around? We know these societies very well. They are, for example, Iran with its mullahs. But it also was France during the Inquisition..."

It is a difficult call, being a journalist, to choose between the freedom of expression and respect for people's beliefs. But I think I will opt for the latter... There are certain lines that need to be drawn for journalists and respect for the other's beliefs is certainly one of them.


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