Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kurt Westergaard and the Danish Cartoons

When one watches the Michael Coren Show on CTS TV, one must bear with the banalities of panelists like Andrea Calver and Marilyn Churley. You do so so that you don’t miss one of the many gems the show produces. Tuesday night produced just one of those gems—Kurt Westergaard was a guest on the show.

Kurt Westergaard is the Danish cartoonist responsible for the now infamous cartoon showing an image of Mohammed with a bomb instead of a turban.

Readers may remember the outrage and violence in the storm of protest in Muslim countries—dozens were murdered—that followed the publishing of the so-called “Danish Cartoons” in a Danish newspaper a couple of years ago.

Fallout from the cartoons could be felt here in Canada as Ezra Levant can attest—he spent a reported $100,000 to depend himself against Section 13 charges by the Alberta Human Rights Commission. The charges were later dropped, but the controversy continues.

Looking at the most offensive cartoon of the series—Mr. Westergaard’s work—which is pictured above, it’s hard to imagine that so many people were killed and that its creator is forced to live in fear for his life to this day.

Kurt Westergaard is soft-spoken and seems a gentle soul. He seems not to be a bigot in any sense. He quietly explained how much his life has changed since he penned the cartoon. Now he moves from house to house on a regular basis and uses 10 different cars to help ensure his safety—three men have been arrested in Denmark for plotting to kill him.

Apparently, Imams from Denmark took his cartoon along with others about a year after publication and used them to whip up a violent reaction in the Muslim world. Destruction of Danish Embassies, threats to the physical safety of Danish personnel and acts of violence against indigenous Christian populations quickly followed. All because of a cartoon, for goodness sake.

So irrational was the response, that anger was directed at Danes and other Christians who were not even vaguely connected to Mr. Westergaard or any of the other cartoonists or even to the newspapers that published the cartoons. Just mindless rage.

I am mindful of and grateful for the fact that courageous men like Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant have fought for free expression in this country and have forced our human rights apparatus to pull back from their path to destroy the right of Canadians to express themselves in a reasonable way. This makes it possible for Michael Coren to have Kurt Westergaard on his show and for me to show the cartoon on this page.

Now, if only our politicians will do their jobs and dismantle the egregious human rights apparatus as it currently exists.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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