Le Monde takes a stand with Mohammed cartoon

2nd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 2, 2006 (AFP) - France's respected daily newspaper Le Monde joined a European press campaign for freedom of expression Thursday with a front-page cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and an editorial defending the right to ridicule religions.

PARIS, Feb 2, 2006 (AFP) - France's respected daily newspaper Le Monde joined a European press campaign for freedom of expression Thursday with a front-page cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed and an editorial defending the right to ridicule religions.

The drawing by the paper's long-time cartoonist Plantu featured a head of the prophet made up of the words "I must not draw Mohammed" written repeatedly in long-hand.

"Religions are systems of thought, constructions of the spirit, beliefs which are to be respected certainly, but also freely analysed, criticised and even turned to ridicule," Le Monde said.

"A Muslim may well be shocked by a picture of Mohammed, especially an ill-intentioned one. But a democracy cannot start policing people's opinions, except by trampling the rights of man underfoot," it said.

Plantu told the newspaper that cartoonists and other humourists find it increasingly hard to touch on religion in their work.

"People do not understand to what point — outside the Catholic Church which we can attack and which is, one has to say, very lenient — it has become impossible to criticise religious things," he said.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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