Saturday, May 27, 2006

Canadian bookchain runs scared of Mohammed cartoons

Islam: The reacton of the Harper's publisher John MacArthur shows he is ignorant or plain stupid.

Canada's largest retail bookseller has removed all copies of the June issue of Harper's Magazine from its 260 stores, claiming an article by New York cartoonist Art Spiegelman could foment protests similar to those that occurred this year in reaction to the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Indigo Books and Music took the action this week when its executives noticed that the 10-page Harper's article, titled Drawing Blood, reproduced all 12 cartoons first published last September by Jyllands-Posten (The Morning Newspaper). The article also contains five cartoons, including one by Mr. Spiegelman and two by Israelis, “inspired” by an Iranian newspaper's call in February for an international Holocaust cartoon contest “to test the limits of Western tolerance of free speech.” ....Harper's publisher John MacArthur said he was “genuinely shocked” by Indigo's action, in part because two large U.S. chains, Borders and Waldenbooks, are selling the issue. (Three months ago, both chains yanked a small U.S. publication, Free Inquiry, when it reproduced four of the Danish cartoons. That Free Inquiry issue with the cartoons is currently on sale at Indigo.) “I'd expect an American company to do this, not a Canadian,” Mr. MacArthur said yesterday. “Even though you have tougher libel laws than us and your own versions of political correctness, to my mind [Canada] has always been a freer place for political discourse.” The U.S. news media have become “terribly prone to self-censorship,” especially after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, he said. “There's a more wide open debate [in Canada] than in America.”

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