Monday, February 06, 2006

Cartoon Wars - Who Said What?

The Good

"We must defend freedom of expression and if I had to chose, I prefer the excess of caricature over the excess of censure,"
Nicolas Sarkozy

"It would be hard to illustrate the core issue of our time more vividly; freedom versus religious extremism. From the threat to Salman Rushdie through 9/11 to the murderous thuggery of Zarqaawi in Iraq, the line is a straight one. And it must not be appeased."
Andrew Sullivan

"Many faiths and ideologies achieve and maintain their predominance partly through fear. They, of course, call it "respect".But whatever you call it, it intimidates. The reverence, the awe — even the dread — that their gods, their KGB or their priesthoods demand and inspire among the laity are vital to the authority they wield. Against reverence and awe the best argument is sometimes not logic, but mockery."
Matthew Parris, Times 4/2

"I would not have published these cartoons had i known that the lives of Danish soldiers and civilians would be threatened"
Carsten Juste, editor of Jyllands-Posten

"Hamas rejects and condemns the insult to our great prophet Mohammed. However, we should not meet abuse with abuse. Hamas rejects any targetting of any institutions, churches or citizensand those who do this do not represent the authentic beliefs of Islam"
Mushir al-Masri, Hamas spokesman

"Whatever your views on these cartoons, we have a tradition of freedom of speech in this country which has to be protected."
David Davis, Shadow Home Secretary

"I will never accept that respect for a religious stance leads to the curtailment of criticism, humour and satire in the press. A Danish government can never apologise on behalf of a free and independent newspaper."
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister,

"It is not normal to caricature a whole religion as an extremist or terrorist movement. But the extreme reaction to the cartoons would suggest the caricaturists were right,"
Philippe Douste-Blazy, the French foreign minister

"It is entirely a matter for media organisations to decide what they want to do. It is a matter for them within the law."
Tony Blair's official spokesman

"Do not be swayed by extremists who want to pursue their own mischievous agenda..but respond peacefully and with dignity”.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Muslim Coucil of Britain

'This plays into the hands of Muslim extremists. Many people at Friday prayers will want to express their anger, but we say do it within the law.' Inayat Bunglawala, Muslim Council of Britain

"There isn’t an inch to give, nothing to negotiate and no concessions to offer. Those of us who believe in enlightenment and free speech also have unalterable principles which we will not give up."
Christopher Hitchens

"We say to Britain’s Muslims in friendship and solidarity — let’s close Guantanamo and end torture flights before we worry about distasteful cartoons. Shutting down free expression is particularly dangerous for minorities. How can my speech be free if yours is so expensive?"
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty

"We'd take Muslim protests more seriously if they weren't so hypocritical... The imams were quiet when Syrian TV showed Jewish rabbis as cannibals in a primetime series."
Berlin's Die Welt, which republished one of the cartoons

The Bad ...

"In our opinion, the 12 drawings were sober. They were not intended to be offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law, but they have indisputably offended many Muslims for which we apologize...."
Carsten Juste, editor of Jyllands-Posten

"Freedom of opinion, expression and of the press, which we guarantee and respect, cannot be used as an excuse to insult sanctities, beliefs and religions"
Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian President

"Freedom of speech is never absolute. It entails responsibility and judgment,"
Kofi Annan

"To imply that some great issue of censorship is raised by the Danish cartoons is nonsense. They were offensive and inflammatory. The best policy would have been to apologise and shut up."
Simon Jenkins, Sunday Times 5/2

"Free speech ends when it starts hurting other people."
Ahmad Sheikh, the president of the Muslim Association of Britain

"Those newspapers which decided not to publish cartoons of the Prophet acted wisely and in the public good. Freedom of speech is fundamental to our society and all religions need to be open to criticism, but this freedom needs to be exercised responsibly with a sensitivity to cultural differences." Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford

"Any insult to the Holy Prophet is an insult to more than one billion Muslims and an act like this must never be allowed to be repeated"
President Karzai, Afghanistan

"The cartoons add fuel to the flames"
Peter Mandelson

...And The Ugly

"Re-publication of the cartoons has been unnecessary, it has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong."
Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary

"We all fully respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable."
Kurtis Cooper, US State Dept

"It is an insult for one billion Muslims. We profoundly respect freedom of expression but these images do not give any information or deliver any opinion. They are purely insulting."
Wadah Khanfar, director of Al-Jazeera TV

"Whoever insults a prophet, kill him."
Omar Bakri Mohammed

"In the West Christianity relinquished the right to be protected of its icons the day that they put Virgin Mary snow globes on sale in the Vatican, but in Islamic culture it’s a very different thing... Islam’s always been a lot more conscientious about protecting its brand and so I think you need to engage with it as a satirist on its own terms.” ".
Stewart Lee, author of Jerry Springer: The Opera

"It is hard to see why the publication of cartoons known to be deeply offensive to Muslim communities is such an important point of principle to the New Zealand media who have published them,”
Ethnic Affairs Minister of New Zealand, Chris Carter