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what generally happens is that westerners brought up in Christianity finds easy targets in another culture and thereby feeds the fundamentalists sense of a culture war against another culture.

Doesn't bear much resemblance to the case in discussion (Charlie Hebdo's special "life of the prophet" issue). It's an anti-clerical paper, always has been. The issue is whether the fundamentalists get to censor them or not. I say not. The jurisprudence (i.e. numerous attempts by the Catholic church to censor them) is in Charlie's favour.

depicting cops as pigs is forbidden in France.

News to me. Do you have a reference?

I can add that the right to depict other cultures prophets are not a very important right. In my book it is about as important as using particular garments in other religions holy buildings.

That's not it (the implication in your analogy is that all of France is a holy place for Islam). The right to depict anyone or anything is the issue. Granting special exceptions demanded by particular groups for arbitrary reasons is a slippery slope. Obviously, there are exceptions to free expression; if you are inciting violence, or racial or religious hatred, then you may well be banned after the event, and condemned by courts. That's what happens in France. I find it likely that complaints will be laid, and will be thrown out by the courts. This may raise the question : are the courts biased against Islam? On balance, whatever the personal opinions or prejudices of individual judges, they judge these matters carefully according to the law. In the past, judgements which were biased by religious opinions (in particular, in favour of the Catholic church) have been challenged and overturned.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 at 09:46:42 AM EST
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