French cartoonist calls for restraint over Mohammed drawings
Plantu expressed concern over renewed tensions between the West and the Islamic world after controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed were reprinted by Danish papers.
VIENNA, March 3, 2008 - French cartoonist Plantu Friday expressed
concern over renewed tensions between the West and the Islamic world after
controversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed were reprinted by Danish papers.
"If we go on like this, we're heading for war," the caricaturist for French
daily Le Monde said at a Vienna meeting of the Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on freedom of the media.
At least 17 Danish newspapers recently printed a cartoon of the Prophet
Mohammed, vowing to defend freedom of expression after police foiled a murder
plot against the cartoonist.
The decision prompted widespread condemnation in the Muslim world, which
has denounced the drawing as offensive to Islam.
The caricature, featuring the Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped like
a bomb with a lit fuse, was one of 12 cartoons published in September 2005 by
the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper that sparked bloody riots in the Islamic
"Our drawings can humiliate people. You can kill with them. I advocate the
right to nuance," Plantu said Friday.
After the 2006 controversy, he had launched the initiative "Cartooning for
peace" with caricaturists from around the world to promote tolerance and
mutual understanding between cultures.
"We must keep drawing provocative cartoons, but also make believers
understand that we're targeting intolerance and not their beliefs," Plantu
"I don't understand why they (Danish cartoonists) are fixating on Mohammed,
the urgent issue is intolerance," he added.
On giant screens, he had projected a cartoon by an Israeli colleague,
Kichka, that showed a cartoonist thinking aloud: "Freedom of expression means
spilling ink, not spilling blood."