I attended a discussion two weeks ago given by the publisher of the
Danish daily that published the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that unleashed a major row last year. During the lecture, given at the National Press Club here in DC, the publisher stood by his paper’s
decision to publish the cartoons. Here is a link to the full article I wrote about the event with an outtake below.
Launching his speech by displaying the controversial
cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, the Chairman of JP-Politikens Hus, a Danish
media conglomerate, defended his paper’s decision to publish the caricatures, while
criticizing U.S.papers for failing to republish them.
Joergen Ejboel, speaking at the National
Press Club in Washington, DC, on April 11, insisted on his
publication’s right to free speech in regard to the cartoons that sparked a
wave of demonstrations and riots throughout the world last year resulting in more
than 100 deaths. Ejboel dubbed the unrestricted freedom of speech as a
"truth" that should not be compromised. "A lot of people were offended by the truth," said Ejboel, referring to a recent court decision of a libel suit filed by French Muslim organizations
against the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo for republishing the cartoons.
"The truth can never be characterized as defamation," he
said, expressing discontent at the French judge’s usage of the word "offensive"
when referring to the cartoons. "If a cartoon can be legal in one context and a crime in
another, then this will leave the door wide open to any group that can come
forward and insist that any cartoon of their leader or hero amounts to
defamation," he told the audience at a lecture organized by the World Press
Freedom Committe. Source: [IJNet]