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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Caricatures hit Canada

Canadians are now being put to test as the Muhammad cartoons surfaced for the first time today in Atlantic Canada. The student newspaper, Cadre, of University of Prince Edward Island has become the first one to publish and gotten suspended because of the cartoons. It is alleged close to 2,000 copies of the popular student newspapers was pulled out by the administrators. The editor-in-chief argued that reader has the right to see the cartoons before judging their offensiveness. Cartoons have also been printed in a Montreal's Le Devoir. For more, see this article.

No offense but I somehow agrees with his stance. I don't wholeheartedly agree with the republication but it is the right of a non-Muslim to see the cartoons and judge whether they deem appropriate. A lot of Muslim sympathisers and satire critics claim the cartoons are offensive, but some of them have never actually seen the cartoons. It's like attacking slander with slanders. We should not publish them but we should give our full effort to judge whether they're offensive or not. The word of mouth is NOT a full effort. The Internet is full of resources. There're many mean to obtaining information.

The other thing I want to comment is why can't Muhammad be drawn? Long since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, faithful Christians have always celerbrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ through drawings and depictions. Many of them have also illustrated the lifelong journey of the Christ through drawings, manuscripts, paintings and even cartoons. Information is easier to understand than speech and writing. If one can draw and attract followers, why should the practice be banned? Through drawings and descriptions, not only can the information be passed quickly but is also helpful when one do not speak your mother tongue. If a good cartoon resulted in publicity and an increase in fellowship, by all means.

The people of Canada, are liberal, judgemental and opinionated on all fronts. We can no longer claim our innocense by being a bystander while critical events pass us by. Especially the Canadian bloggers, we should speak out and voice our concerns against any wrongdoing, at anytime!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

...I forgot to add, the main reason behind forbidding any pictures of Muhammad stems from christianity. Islam considers itself as an extension to both Judaism and Christianity. According to Islamic teachings Gods religion was sent down in stages with Judaism and Christianity being two of the stages.

What Islam didnt want to happend was what happened in Christianity...i.e. Jesus being worshipped along with God. The Islamic concept of God is that he is one and only one with no sons/equals, the prophet is the messenger of god and thus must not be worshipped. Therefore the complete ban on the any pictorial representation of Muhammad for fear of people worshipping the messenger rather than the message.


Eldukae...

Pat said...

SOCIETY FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND SCHOLARSHIP (SAFS)

OPEN LETTER

February 13, 2006
Dr. Wade MacLauchlan
President, University of Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown, PEI
C1A 4P3

Dear President MacLauchlan:

I am writing to you as president of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship. We are a national organization of university faculty members and interested others who are dedicated to the defence of academic freedom and reasoned debate. For further information, please visit our website at www.safs.ca.

We are writing to strongly protest the actions of the UPEI administration in seizing copies of the student newspaper, The Cadre (issue dated February 8), and preventing their distribution. UPEI's public statement of February 8 that censorship of The Cadre can be justified "on grounds that publication of the caricatures represents a reckless invitation to public disorder and humiliation" is contrary to the duty of all university presidents to maintain their campuses as places where debate of controversial issues may take place. Fear of possible ‘mob action’ must not be allowed to dictate to UPEI or any other Canadian university what ideas its students and faculty may express, disseminate and debate. By censoring this debate at your campus rather than taking the necessary steps to provide appropriate security to allow debate to happen, you have encouraged the view that the threat of violence, real or imagined, is an effective way to challenge ideas with which one disagrees.

The decision as to what is to be included in a newspaper must be made by the editorial board, based on their understanding of the newsworthiness of the story. Those who disagree with the newspaper's coverage or viewpoint can register their opposition through writing letters to the editor, demonstrating, or simply by refusing to read the paper or to advertise in it. Disagreeable speech should be countered by opposing arguments. Censorship is not an acceptable response to the expression of contrary opinions, and especially not on a university campus. Sending the campus police to confiscate copies of the student newspaper is an overreaction and a victory for potential censors who seem to have intimidated the administration of UPEI.

UPEI has given the impression that vigorous debate is to be avoided whenever offence may be taken, or at the very least that such debate is to occur only on terms decided by the university administration. Surely, this is not the image of UPEI that you want to promote.

We call on you to reverse your decision and to let The Cadre do its job.

Sincerely,
Clive Seligman
President
CC: Ray Keating, Editor, The Cadre

speed_demon said...

Thank you very much Pat. I didn't know the SAFS did actually file a complaint on the publication ban of the cartoons.