Not just “sober” commentary. This is racism, plain and simple.
Angry reactions from Muslims in Denmark and beyond have become louder and more threatening in the months since Denmark’s national daily, Jyllands-Posten, published a dozen cartoons satirizing Islamic subjects last September. (One has just been reprinted by Germany’s Die Welt shows the prophet Mohammed wearing a black turban in the shape of a bomb, with a lit fuse. See cartoon below.)
With a boycott of Danish-made products spreading throughout the Muslim world, Jyllands-Posten has issued a public apology for its publication of the cartoons. Editor in chief Carsten Juste, in an open letter to Muslims on the Jyllands-Posten Web site wrote: “In our opinion, the 12 drawings were sober. They were not intended to be offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law, but they have indisputably offended many Muslims, for which we apologize.”
As far as I’m concerned this is not an apology. They take no responsibility for the terrible consequences that this cartoon has caused within the Muslim community, nor do they offer consequences to those who created and made the decisions to publish these disdainful images.
For years, First Nations have been subject to such ridicule through racist political cartoons, stereotypical imagery, sports mascots and logos and stereotypical portrayal in the media (television, movies).
This isn’t just “sober” commentary. This is racism, plain and simple. It has a definite negative, hurtful effect on our communities and people, especially our children.
Such ridicule by political cartoons does nothing to improve the state of race relations between Muslim and non-Muslin people. Editorial rants singling out minorities, such as aboriginals and Muslims, also carry racial overtones and do little more that polarize communities even further.