Friday, February 26, 2010

Should a Danish paper have apologized for offending Muslims?

The Telegraph reported today that Politiken, a Danish newspaper that printed a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in 2008, has apologized for offending Muslims.

The paper's editor has stated, "We have the right to print Kurt Westergaard's drawings, we have the right to print the original 12 drawings, we have the right to print all the caricatures in the world," he said. "We apologise for the offence which the reprint has caused. That is what we apologise for."

Not surprisingly, Politiken's apology has attracted both negative and positive reactions.

According to the editor-in-chief at Jyllands-Posten, which first printed the 12 cartoons, the apology "takes the first prize in stupidity." Another critic, Mr. Westergaard, stated, "I fear this is a setback for the freedom of speech."

On the other hand, Muslim leaders in the country are thankful for the apology. One imam stated, "It is beyond any doubt that they have offended some people. It is a nice and human gesture that the newspaper apologises."

You can read the full report here.

What do you think? Do you think Politiken did the right thing by apologizing? Or, do you fear like Mr. Westergaard that the apology could be "a setback for the freedom of speech"? Vote in the poll below and please feel free to leave your comments!

 

<a href="http://www.buzzdash.com/polls/should-the-politiken-newspaper-have-apologized-for-offending-muslims-193862/">Should the Politiken newspaper have apologized for offending Muslims?</a> | <a href="http://www.buzzdash.com">BuzzDash polls</a>

2 comments:

  1. I do not think that people should have the right to not be offended-- in a free country, free speech will eventually offend you one way or the other and such discourse is an important part of a thriving democracy. However, if I had been disgusted/offended by something a newspaper printed that I found blasphemous, I would certainly appreciate an apology from them one way or the other. Not sure how much good this particular apology will do, though.

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  2. I like the way the apology was worded: we have the right to do what we did. They were not apologizing for printing them, they were only saying sorry if you were offended. If I'm an employer of a lazy employee who also happens to be a friend, I might have to fire her for economic reasons. I will feel sorry, and I will apologize, but that will not stop me from firing her... There is a difference.

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