The Mohammed cartoons

In light of a riot in Iran a few days ago against New Zealand, in which an interviewed leader seemed quite confused as to where NZ was:

Surely with just a few well-placed web-postings on discovery of the Mohammed cartoons in yet another country’s newspapers, someone could bring it about that we get to see video footage of mobs chanting “Death to Ruritania!” and looking for its embassy.

Reuters February 6, 2006

The controversy over The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons has spread to Ruritania. Late yesterday evening, riots broke out in the largely Muslim suburbs outside the nation’s capital city of Shanorewni after the Ruritania Times reprinted the twelve editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad.  Other newspapers in Europe, the United States, New Zealand, and Jordan have reprinted the controversial cartoons.

Ruritania’s Prime Minister, Rupert Zenda, has defended the editorial decision of the Times on the grounds of free expression, “Our nation was founded on the proud tradition of creative, free expression. We are very, very, very upset by the violent reaction in other nations’ capitals.” Zenda has vowed not to remove his diplomatic staff from Ruritanian embassies around the world, saying “We view this as a challenge to legitimate democracies throughout the free world.”

(With thanks to Alan Smithee for this spoof press release)

By Jacques Rousseau

Jacques Rousseau teaches critical thinking and ethics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and is the founder and director of the Free Society Institute, a non-profit organisation promoting secular humanism and scientific reasoning.