The cartoon row rages on...

13 February 2006

The cartoon row rages on, increasingly generating more heat than light.  As Neal Ascherson wrote in openDemocracy facts have been in shorter supply than emotion and grandstanding rhetoric in this curiously slow burning affair. Just to recap, cartoons published in September in a small Danish newspaper evoked little response until, after a diplomatic snub by the Danish prime minister a portfolio of offending drawings, including  several that had not been published anywhere -- the most offensive by all accounts -- was toured around the Muslim world to fan the barely glowing embers of outrage. The media have, for the most part, been too busy magnifiying the outrage and reporting the aftermath to practice the old fashioned art of finding out what happened in that four month interlude between publication and demonstration.

Now a blogger has posted an interesting insight. The offending cartoons, he says, were published in an Egyptian newspaper in October. He has posted what he says are images of the original newspaper. Did they provoke outrage? Was the editor sacked? Were there protests in Cairo? None of the above. They were received in an atmosphere of general indifference. If this is true, well done sand monkey.     

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