Thursday, February 23, 2006

Daily Tar Heel paper in original Mohammed cartoon contro.

Nation: Muslim student group is not happy about this and demanding an apology for it.

Protestors want apology from Daily Tar Heel editor Updated: 2/21/2006 8:37 AM By: Shelvia Dancy & Web Staff (CHAPEL HILL) -- Some Carolina students organized a sit-in at the campus newspaper. They're protesting the editor's decision to print a controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The group wants a printed apology from the Daily Tar Heel. They say the editor should never have published a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad. "A lot of Muslims believe that any depiction of him is not allowed at all, and this depiction of the prophet in this context is profoundly hurtful and upsetting,” said UNC student Salma Mirza. They hope the sit-in makes their message clear. "Here today we're trying to make a statement that you need to include people instead of dividing them because we're already so divided,” added UNC student Devin Rooney. The newspaper's editor, Ryan Tuck, listened to the group's demands and then said, "I apologize to anyone personally offended by the cartoon or any anything else in our newspaper. That is not the goal of our newspaper. But we will not issue an apology." But Mirza says this isn't over. “If this apology is not forthcoming, which we hope it will be, we're prepared to take further action." Protesters say they're already circulating a petition that will ask advertisers to boycott the newspaper. They say they'll give the petition to advertisers if the newspaper continues to refuse to print an apology.
Wisconsin Badger Herald is taking heat for publishing one of the cartoons and its editor went head to head with the critics, not backing down.
"Instead of arguing that The Badger Herald had offended Muslims with its depiction of the prophet Muhammad, Kempe and others at the panel stated repeatedly that The Badger Herald was contributing to a wave of anti-Islam sentiment that was becoming increasingly prevalent across the globe. "To me, the cartoons represent not the effort to understand the Muslim world, but a condemnation of that world without understanding the problems and without seeking to find remedies for it," said Kemal Karpat, a professor emeritus of history at UW-Madison. Many students at the panel also accused The Badger Herald of bias, contending that VerStandig and his colleagues would never have printed images that ridiculed the Holocaust or depicted Christian symbols in a negative light. But VerStandig was just as passionate in defending the decision of his editorial team, arguing that any image that caused such an international uproar and so many deaths was newsworthy and deserved to be presented in public. "We printed this cartoon because other people weren't" VerStandig said. "Free speech, when not used, does run the risk of atrophying." VerStandig countered that a refusal to publish the images should be even more offensive to Muslims. According to him, images of Jews drinking the blood of Palestinians and images of Christ covered in dung are often printed all over the Middle East without a similar uproar. He contended that the general refusal to print the cartoon indicates that the international news media give Islam preferential treatment. Others on the panel took a more neutral approach."

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