(Reuters) – Cartoonists and writers defended freedom of expression after Wednesday’s attack on a satirical magazine in Paris but the reality for some artists accused of insulting Islam has been years in hiding, police protection and, for some, censorship.
Among the 12 dead at Charlie Hebdo, a weekly that lampoons Islam and other religions, were some of France’s top cartoonists. Others before them, such as Swedish artist Lars Vilks, have also drawn threats or actual violence.
“When you take out one of the few bastions of freedom of expression we have, and it has been taken out, who dares to publish anything now?” said Vilks.
With rare exception, none of which spring readily to mind as I write, when was the last time you saw a mainstream cartoonist tackle Islam head On?
In fact North American media in general have shied away from publishing Charlie Hebdo’s Mohammed cartoons.
Such cowardice is complicity.
I will not accept the need to protect “staff” against possible attack as an excuse.
If you lack the guts to tackle Islam head on then perhaps you should reconsider your career.
As for respect for Islam? It hasn’t earned it. Ever.