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Cartoons Without Borders
Reason Engulfing Flames: Three Perspectives

The controversy over the Muhammad cartoons won’t die. Muslims are burning European flags and demonstrating from London to Jakarta. A rift is opening between East and West that risks gaping wider than any rift that may have opened following 9/11. In our continuing forum on the issue, we provide two weekend perspectives from Notebooks contributors, plus a French and Asian perspective: When we asked the Norwegian blogger and software programmer Bjørn Stærk to write us a piece on cartoongate a few days ago, he replied that he was “trying to be the only Norwegian blogger who doesn’t mention the Muhammad pictures.” We’re grateful that he soon wrote up his perspective anyway: Norway is one of the countries at the heart of the controversy, but Mr. Stærk argues that objective reason based on mutual tolerance — “if you will try to rise above your prejudices, I’ll see what I can do about mine” — is not only within reach; it is the only solution. Rick DeYampert, the culture columnist for the News-Journal in Florida, contrasts the campaign to suppress non-conformist depictions of religion in the United States with the wider cartoon controversy, and in light of the ironies of America’s “What Would Jesus Do” campaign. The cartoon above is by Bruce Beattie of the News-Journal. Click links to access the essays:
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