Pakistan has added its voice to that of Iran in condemning the publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in newspaper Nerikes Allehanda. The protest concerned a cartoon by artist Lars Vilks, which showed the head of Muhammad on the body of a dog. In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad said Pakistan condemned the publication “in the strongest terms.”. And it only got worse when the local paper “Närkes Alla(h?)anda” chose to publish the cartoon.
This is a huge problem. People have to be able to say their opinion otherwise we will have a very vurnable and awkward society in the not-so-distant future. I agree on the stand-point that it was an unnecessary provocation but it is his democratic right to be both unnecessary, dumb and irresponsible. I mean, the paintings (drawings more well described) are not even nice:
Common’, even I can do better (almost)! The artist, Lars Vilk, has been receiving lots of threats. “A variety of death threats have come through via telephone, e-mail and in the comment section in my blog,” Vilks told TV4 today.
But this goes for all the debates about Islam and democracy and human rights today. When I’m on Facebook or whatever I get responses from bloody maniacs who say they are hurt about my opinions on Islam (I say that I, myself, doubt that Islam ever can be combined with democracy and modern values of respect and freedom of speech, for instance). I mean, I’m insulting nothing and nobody, I’m just stating my own beliefs. That is what freedom of speech is all about. And this IS a problem for the Muslim world. The inhabitants of that region ALSO deserves human rights and freedom of speech and all of the other fruitful things we have achieved here, through VERY HARD SUFFERING, in our part of the world. If they were democracies, for instance with the case of Egypt, then they wouldn’t send teenage bloggers to jail for being critical towards the Government and Islamic traditions. You should be able to criticize those things … even though some people might find it offensive. And it is NOT only the Muslim world. For instance, 1832, the French political caricaturist, Louis Phillipe, got 6 months in jail and 2 000 franc to pay for compensation to the Royal Court for offending it. And yes, that was, as earlier mentioned, 1832.
But still, in the Christian world we do have several reasons to be well-aware of that this is not a sole Muslim problem. In Poland, the painter and pro-choice (abortion) debater, Dorota Nieznalska, received a 6 months sentence of community service for painting this painting (it is a blind man and a crucifix with blood on, referring to that modern people tend to blind-fold themselves when it comes to the blood history of Christianity):
No one should be punished for expressing their thought of belief in a frank and honest way. That is a, even though I might not support or like it (I can even be disgusted by it), true heroic deed. It shouldn’t be though, but in this world it is …
You can visit Lars Vilk’s homepage here and read his blog and give him your support and show that you support democracy even though you might not support his opinion on Islam.