Saturday, February 04, 2006

Is this why the cartoons were published?

The New York Times
To the Editor:

The widespread anger across the Islamic world and in Muslim communities in Europe over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in the European press is ironic considering that newspapers in the Arab and Muslim world have no moral scruples when it comes to demonizing and stereotyping Jews in editorial cartoons.

In the Muslim and Arab press, Jews are routinely depicted as stereotypical hook-nosed, greedy and manipulative killers.

Moreover, leaders of regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia have virtually ignored appeals from the United States and Jewish organizations to put an end to incitement in the media, excusing it in the name of "freedom of the press."

One would hope that Muslim and Arab leaders would turn all of the anger being aimed at the European press into a larger lesson for their own people about the power of images. Those incensed by the portrayal of Muhammad should turn a mirror on their own press before assuming the moral high ground in a discussion of press freedom.

Abraham H. Foxman
National Director
Anti-Defamation League
New York, Feb. 3, 2006

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