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Danish Cartoons: Freedom Of Speech Versus Freedom Of Religion?

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Chapter Summary

The publication of a series of cartoons by a Danish newspaper that depicted Islam in a derogatory manner and which were accompanied by an editorial criticizing Islam, ignited significant emotions about both the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion or the respect for religion. This chapter examines how international human rights law helps us to understand the cartoon controversy of international proportions. This is the case, even though the controversy is predominately political. As the controversy took place in a multicultural society, international law provides some guidance, particularly as to how the state authorities might have responded. Moreover, had more attention been paid to the guidance provided by international law, it is suggested that, this controversy could have been defused at an early stage.

Keywords: Danish cartoons; freedom of religion; freedom of speech; international human rights law



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