May 27 2013
AUSTRALIA: Cartoon allegedly offensive to Muslims is pulled off university student newspaper website
Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Ian Young says a cartoon published in a student newspaper satirizing Islam overstepped the mark. (And because I am unable to find the cartoon that was banned, I will post a few of my favorite offensive-to-Muslims cartoons here. —BNI)
ABC.AU (h/t David P) The student newspaper Woroni originally published the cartoon as part of its ‘Advice from Religion’ infographic. It was part of a series previously featuring Mormonism, Catholicism, Scientology, and Judaism. (Apparently none of those ‘offensive’ cartoons were pulled)
The university has forced the editors to retract the piece online and issue a formal apology. Professor Young says he acted after the university received formal complaints from
international MUSLIM students.
“They felt it was both offensive and discriminatory,” he said. (They find everything offensive and discriminatory. And we find Muslims offensive and discriminatory. So let’s ban them)
“That was the view of the university as well. We felt that it actually breached the rules of the university in terms of student conduct and indeed we believed it breached the rules of at least the Australian Press Council principles to which Woroni abides.”
Professor Young says he was also concerned the satire could have provoked a violent response. (Ah yes, because Muslims have no ability to control their violent nature as we have seen so many times before)
“There have been a number of cases internationally of satirical cartoons about the Koran which can have some very unfortunate side effects,” he said. (Yes, hundreds of people have been killed and buildings burned down by Muslim savages over the Danish cartoons below)
Editors from the Woroni say they feel the university had ulterior motives for banning the cartoon. Editor Gus McCubbing says the cartoon was part of a series poking fun at different religions. “We’ve been called homophobic, we’ve been called sexist, chauvinist,” he said. “I guess every edition given we’re a student publication we choose a line between satire and bad taste.
“The problem I had here was never before had the Chancelry taken such an active role in disciplining us and saying what we can and can’t publish.” In an article on the Woroni website, the editors stress the cartoon was intended to be satirical and raise concerns about how the incident will impact on freedom of speech.
Professor Young says he is not concerned by the comments, and denies the censorship is an attack on freedom of speech. He says the paper has published satirical pieces on other major religions without censure. But he says those pieces did not attract formal complaints.
“They published a cartoon which was part of a satirical set of cartoons about religion but this one we felt overstepped the mark,” he said.
The head of Civil Liberties Australia Tim Vine says the ANU may have been justified in censoring the newspaper. Mr Vine says the ANU has a responsibility to ensure all of its (Muslim) students are supported.
“If it is defamatory, if it inspires hatred against a segment of the university community, Muslim students for example, or if it is racially vilifying a particular group then the university has a justification to intervene in this circumstance,” he said.
Well, BNI reader, Aussie106 just sent me the “offensive” cartoon. If you understand why it’s offensive, please let me know.