Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 15, 2006

Your Daily Danish Cartoons Update

* The protests have officially turned nerd.

* The top political story in today's twists and turns regarding protests that can be traced to last Fall's publication in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed: Norway criminalizes blasphemy. Iran rejects the blame of Condoleeza Rice and others that they acted to fan the flames of controversy about the cartoons for political advantage. Some Danish politicians are calling for a closer look at those muslims believed to have agitated for reaction abroad. Here's a short piece about the effect of the whole disastrous affair on Denmark's in-border politics.

* In protest and violence news, Pakistan erupted in violence yesterday continuing through today, with a focus on western fast-food establishment and an end result of at least another three dead. Hamed Karzi urges Afghanis to stop violently protesting and using extreme; the article includes a summary of the protests in that country thus far.

* Among those few US outlets publishing the original cartoons add a North Carolina student paper, Spare Change and Harvard's Salient. Two students at the University of Illinois-Urbana are suspended for publishing the cartoons in a student newspaper.

* In an American comic book industry development -- maybe the first -- Chuck Rozanski's Mile High Comics newsletter contained an offer to send some donations to the CBLDF for a period, related to an incident regarding a pair of his customers.
As a direct result of my public stand in support of the free speech rights of the Danish cartoonists, I've had at least two long time Muslim customers of Mile High Comics choose to terminate their relationship with us. My assumption is that those two letters are just the tip of the iceberg, with the overall loss to our business being significantly greater. While I am sympathetic to the anger of the Muslims, I find it sad that even some people in the comics world are willing to support censorship when it interferes with a cherished personal belief. As I express rather clearly in my letter of response, however, I took a possible boycott by our Muslim customers into account when I wrote those columns in favor of free speech. That having been said, the individuals who wrote to me are clearly trying to punish me economically for expressing an opinion with which they disagree. That creates a unique opportunity for you to counterbalance their economic boycott of Mile High Comics by sending us an order. In effect, voting with your wallet for free speech. If you'll mention in the "comments" section of your order that you're placing your order in support of free speech, I'll go ahead and forward 10% the gross proceeds of your order to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. In all honesty, our business is actually rather good right now, so the actual economic impact on us of this Muslim boycott is probably going to be rather nominal. On the flip side, however, I'm always eager to find reasons to support the CBLDF, and what better time for fundraising than when someone is trying to punish me for speaking out in defense of others? Any help and support you could provide would be most appreciated...

* Readers at vote on the matter. Atlantic On-Line weighs in.

* I missed Chip Bok being protested for his cartoon.

* Indonesian trade groups join those boycotting Danish goods.

* We're at the point in this story where you kind of have to stand out to be noticed, like this Catholic priest who condemns the original cartoons.

* Least appetizing food name ever.
posted 6:59 am PST | Permalink

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