Help the refugees

If you move around the world by choice, consider helping those forced from their homes by conflict. Donate to the UN Refugee Agency today.

Home News French cartoonist calls for restraint over Mohammed drawings

French cartoonist calls for restraint over Mohammed drawings

Published on March 03, 2008

   VIENNA, March 3, 2008 - French cartoonist Plantu Friday expressedconcern over renewed tensions between the West and the Islamic world aftercontroversial cartoons of Prophet Mohammed were reprinted by Danish papers.   "If we go on like this, we're heading for war," the caricaturist for Frenchdaily Le Monde said at a Vienna meeting of the Organisation for Security andCooperation in Europe (OSCE) on freedom of the media.   At least 17 Danish newspapers recently printed a cartoon of the ProphetMohammed, vowing to defend freedom of expression after police foiled a murderplot against the cartoonist.   The decision prompted widespread condemnation in the Muslim world, whichhas denounced the drawing as offensive to Islam.   The caricature, featuring the Prophet Mohammed wearing a turban shaped likea bomb with a lit fuse, was one of 12 cartoons published in September 2005 bythe Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper that sparked bloody riots in the Islamicworld.   "Our drawings can humiliate people. You can kill with them. I advocate theright to nuance," Plantu said Friday.   After the 2006 controversy, he had launched the initiative "Cartooning forpeace" with caricaturists from around the world to promote tolerance andmutual understanding between cultures.   "We must keep drawing provocative cartoons, but also make believersunderstand that we're targeting intolerance and not their beliefs," Plantutold AFP.   "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 meansspilling ink, not spilling blood."