Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Kidlit Connection to World Events

The turmoil in the middle east over cartoons published in Danish and European newspapers has a very definite kidlit connection.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald (and a couple of blogs my computer guy, who has very little to do, found), the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons we've all been hearing about after learning that a children's book author was unable to find an illustrator for his new book about the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

The illustrators were concerned that Muslims would take offense if they created images of the prophet. The 2004 murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by someone who claimed to be acting out of religious conviction after van Gogh made a movie on women in Muslim society was weighing on the mind of at least one of the artists.

After learning of the children's author's problem, people at the newspaper Jyllands-Posten and some other Danish publications began to consider "How far should Denmark go down the road of self-censorship?" Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons we've all been hearing about, and the rest is rapidly becoming history with a capital H.

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