Saturday, February 25, 2006

I find something in this to be offensive

This Non-Sequitur cartoon was published by the Malaysian paper New Straits Times. Outrage among certain parties including government-run Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) prompted this apology from the paper.
We apologize. Unreservedly
When the caricature controversy began, our editors and section heads were instructed not to even think about reproducing any of the caricatures.

In the case of the Wiley Miller comic strip, the sub-editor in charge let through the cartoon because it bore no caricature nor words offensive to Islam.

Unfortunately, one blog and some media, including RTM, highlighted the cartoon and came to the verdict that the NST had mocked the Prophet and Islam. From there, the issue took a life of its own.

The NSTP on Tuesday lodged a police report against the blog for inciting religious hatred against the NSTP.

But on our own part, as we said in our editorial on Tuesday, the NSTP and its editors must be held accountable if they are deemed to have crossed the boundaries which make this multiracial and multi-religious country of ours a peaceful haven.

We cannot afford to have any media inciting racial and religious hatred, especially an institution like the New Straits Times Press.

The 160-year old newspaper, one of the region's oldest, on Wednesday received a show-cause letter from the Internal Security Ministry over a syndicated Non Sequitur cartoon by Wiley Miller. It shows a street artist sitting on a chair next to a sign reading: "Caricatures of Muhammad While You Wait".

It was given three days to give reasons in writing why action should not be taken against it for publishing the cartoon in its Life & Times section on Monday.

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