Show support for Spanish cartoonists

Where are the editors and cartoonists of Europe once so eager to show solidarity?

Recently in Spain, two cartoonists have been fined and face a possible prison sentence because they depicted a Spanish royal couple in an obscene pose. The cartoonists were found guilty of offending the Spanish royal family, which is a crime punishable by a two-year prison sentence. The high court judge presiding over this case ruled that the cartoon insulted the royal family and that it “struck at the honor and dignity of the people represented.”

Let me take you back approximately two years to when a Danish publication published demeaning and blasphemous cartoons of Muhammad. There was a huge outcry by Muslims on this issue, the editors were asked to retract the cartoons and issue an apology but they refused on the grounds of “freedom of speech.” In fact, just to make a point for free speech, these reprehensible cartoons were published in different newspapers across Europe and some other parts of the world.

These acts caused great distress to not just the people of one nation, but to people all over the world. The only difference was that these people were Muslims, regardless of their nationalities.

All the European countries in which the cartoon was published failed to ban the issues of those publications and refused to take action against those editors and cartoonists. And why would they?

Those cartoons insulted Muslims and “struck at the honor and dignity” of the Muslims, but it seems that these days Muslim dignity means nothing to the Western world. After all, we are the terrorists and oppressors of women, right?

So, where is the freedom of speech of these Spanish cartoonists now? Where are those editors and cartoonists across Europe who were so eager to show solidarity with their Danish counterparts two years ago but are not publishing the Spanish cartoons now to show support for their Spanish colleagues? Why isn’t the world crying about these cartoonists’ rights to express themselves? I guess defaming the royal family is a much more grievous sin than defaming the Prophet of Islam; otherwise why would these poor cartoonists be staring at a two-year prison sentence and a 3,000 euro fine?

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the hypocrisy. I already knew all about it.

Sahban Ozair is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]