Cartoons didn’t insult Muslims, rules Danish court

A Danish appeals court yesterday rejected a suit filed by seven Muslim organisations against newspaper editors who in 2005 first published a dozen controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The appeals court judges ruled that the caricatures, which have since sparked angry and in some cases deadly protests across the Muslim world, did not aim to insult followers of Islam, as the plaintiffs had charged. One of the cartoonists is still in hiding under police protection following death threats. The seven Muslim organisations, all based in Denmark, had accused the Jyllands-Posten daily’s chief editor and culture editor of wilfully offending believers by printing the “offensive and degrading” drawings. Yesterday’s ruling confirmed a verdict handed down in October 2006 by a lower court in the central Danish town of Aarhus, where Jyllands-Posten is based.

Appeals court president Peter Lilholt stressed that the Danish judiciary, in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights, could not “restrict freedom of expression” unless it clearly affected national or public security.


2 responses to “Cartoons didn’t insult Muslims, rules Danish court

  • Ubiquitous Che

    That’s excellent news. However, I’m going to nitpick your title.

    I’m pretty sure they were designed as a critique of the fact that Islam has been highjacked by fundamentalist crackpot terrorists, rather than designed to be an insult to Islam as a whole. But even if that wasn’t the case – even if the cartoons were designed to insult Islam, that still doesn’t justify the case to go through.

    So I’m nitpicking, because the way you’ve phrased the title of this blog post suggests that if the court had ruled that the cartoons were offensive, then the plaintiffs would have had a case. This suggests that Islam has a special right to not be offended – a right which I maintian very strongly that no person and no organization has the authority to claim, including myself.

    So yeah – good on the Danes for getting to the right verdict. I just don’t like the use of language in the title, is all. 😀

  • Ubiquitous Che

    I’m pretty sure they = I’m pretty sure the cartoons

    My kingdom for an edit function.

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