Friday, February 24, 2006

Cartoon Lampoon!

Michelle Malkin discusses how far the control of human thought and expression has gone in Malaysia.


By Michelle Malkin · February 24, 2006 09:17 AM

Let's review.

Depictions of Mohammed are not allowed.

Depictions of ordinary human beings and animals are not allowed.

Depictions of mosques are not allowed.

And now, depictions poking fun on the prohibition of depictions are not allowed, either...

After The New Strait Times newspaper published the Non Sequitur syndicated cartoon, wrote the following in order to appease the Muslims and governmentofficialss in Malaysia.

Obviously, we misjudged how different people would react to Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur syndicated cartoon published by the New Straits Times last Monday. We have written to the Internal Security Ministry in response to its letter asking us to show cause, explaining the processes involved and how the cartoon came to be published. It is a process involving the human factor, and humans err.

We told the ministry the same thing we are telling you that we may have misjudged how different people would react to the cartoon, which, as we have pointed out to the authorities, was NOT one of the 12 produced by Danish cartoonists that outraged Muslims throughout the world. It was a totally different cartoon.

It was wry humour by an artist whose work is syndicated in more than 700 newspapers, including those in Islamic countries, and whose strip has run in the NST since 1998.

There was no caricature of the Prophet Muhammad at all in that cartoon; nor was there any derogatory comment made about the Prophet or Islam.

Perhaps, in more ordinary circumstances, such a cartoon would not have received more than a passing mention.

Yet, these are different times. The Muslim world was outraged by the blasphemy of the Danish and European newspapers.

When the Sarawak Tribune and Guang Ming Daily reproduced pictures depicting the caricature of the Prophet, the Government acted firmly and suspended both newspapers. Their editors and publishers were held accountable.

In the case of Wiley Miller's cartoon in the NST, there was no caricature of Prophet Muhammad at all. NONE.

And that is why we believed it was inoffensive. But just as we have received letters and emails, many from Muslims, saying they could not see what the fuss was all about, there are also those who feel strongly about this.

They include some members of the Cabinet, including newly appointed Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin; NGOs, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the Opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia, and others who have called the NST office to register their protest...

...We should have been more sensitive, human error or not. So again, we apologise. And again, we will willingly accept any action deemed fit by the Government.

OUCH! Do you think The New Strait Times could show a little backbone? This is an example to what we are at war for - to live in freedom, to freely express our point of view through most any means ... save shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater.

Unfortunately, it has become the cause of the most liberal, progressive, nuanced (you get the picture) of our society to enforce the ideals of political correctness. The Malaysain stance and the apology above is the worst example of that type of sensitivity taken to its most absurd ends.

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