I know you were wondering when I would get around to covering this. At first I thought this was just an interesting story. As I reported before, last fall Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten published several cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad in a not so flattering light. The difference now is what was once a peaceful protest where 11 countries were writing letters to Denmark complaining has turned into a full blown violent protest.
The question begs, how far should freedom of speech be protected? There are of course two sides to this coin. There are those that believe there is no limit and nothing is sacred. These include the editor at JP and the senate comitte which called five tech companies before them for censorhip in China. The other side understands that you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater and that your freedom of speech ends with my extended fist. Several papers have joined in support while governments are voicing their own outrage against such publications. To top it off one of the lash backs is the Iranian paper Hamshahri has begun a contest about the Holocaust, because we all know that Denmark is secretly a Jewish.
So now comics have become the number one news story on the planet. Oh joy.
I don\’t think a comic can go too far. I think these protests are symptoms of a wider problem. Done well, like any art form, it can cast a reflection of what is going on in the world. Sometimes that reflection isn\’t flattering.
On a related note, isn\’t Batman beating up Al-Qaeda soon?
If controversy makes a point, fine. Scream it to the high heavens. However, the comics in question were generic, pointless, and rather mean spirited. I\’d say the limit is reached when you\’re throwing stuff out there just to get a reaction, any reaction, even if its negative.