2.12.2006

protest, canadian style

Hundreds of Muslims protested in Toronto and Montreal yesterday, peacefully raising their voices against the insulting depiction of the prophet Mohammed in European newspapers.

According to the CBC, about 250 people demonstrated near McGill University in Montreal and another 200 people marched in front of the Danish consulate in Toronto. (Does that mean there were really 1,000 people at each? Veteran demonstrators will know what I mean.) Apparently there was one arrest in Montreal, of a man who was shouting profanities about Islam.

In Europe, there were several peaceful protests, many people condemning both the cartoons and the violent responses to their publication.

Four days ago, the student newspaper of the University of Prince Edward Island published the infamous cartoons. CBC: "Two thousand copies of The Cadre were distributed on campus Wednesday, but university administration ordered them removed. Officials say the cartoons have already caused enough violence around the world."

The school's student union came out in support of the administrators' decision, and the newspaper's editors complied, returning all the remaining copies.

In the US, student journalists often conflict with school administrators, with the school calling publications offensive and inappropriate, and newspaper staff citing principles of free speech. This can be a huge issue in the US, where high schools and universities routinely demand students surrender their Constitutional rights. Courts have divided over the issue.

In P.E.I., the newspaper was technically owned by the student union, which was demanding the return of the newspapers. It sounds like it was pretty clear cut and the editors didn't put up a fight.

I'm reading about free speech vs hate speech laws in Canada, and I'll post something for us to discuss. Please stay tuned and hold your comments.

14 comments:

Carrie said...

I just have to say how funny it is that this happened in P.E.I. :) I'd sort of expect it from a bigger land mass province but PEI? I'm wondering if they're feeling left out and need some hugs or something so they know we still love them. Personally, I would LOVE to live there. PEI rocks. Err...rolls I mean. They're calm usually. That's why this surprised me.

Sorry I just had to get that comment in before it gets all serious on this issue ;)

doggerelblogger said...

Ed Greenspan wrote a very thoughtful article on the Globe's decision not to reprint the cartoons in the Saturday issue - I have to say I agree with his assessment, it was a well-written piece. Check it out online if you get the chance.

David Cho said...

LAURA SAID NOT TO COMMENT.

-thank you-

L-girl said...

David, I was posting on your blog at the exact moment you were posting on mine.

Does that mean anything?

Actually, I was only asking people not to talk (here) about the anti-hate-speech laws vs free speech issue until I get a post together about it.

You're all welcome to comment away about whatever else. Blather your little hearts out. :)

doggerelblogger said...

Whoops, sorry - I really only meant for you to have a look at the article, since you are putting together a post on the subject.

Just trying to be helpful.

Scott M. said...

While I'm typically not a huge fan of Rex Murphy's "Cross Country Checkup", I think he did a good job of handling the subject today.

One caller mentioned that there is a newspaper planning on publishing all 12 tomorrow...

L-girl said...

Doggerelblogger, there's nothing to apologize for! That column isn't even about what I'm going to post about. I was just asking people not to jump into a discussion yet. Pay no attention to David Cho!

(Take that, Dogeater! :) )

L-girl said...

While I'm typically not a huge fan of Rex Murphy's "Cross Country Checkup", I think he did a good job of handling the subject today.

Hmm, why do I have trouble imagining Murphy handling this issue in a way I could stomach? Mr Sensitivity he is not.

But perhaps I'm wrong. What was his take?

David Cho said...

You know what I did reminds me of my elementary school days when these teacher's pets would say

"The teacher says to..."

They were always rich kids who got to be the teacher's pets because their parents gave him/her cash under the table, which was a common and well known practice.

Always wanted to clock those kids, but now ironically I became one.

BTW, in what kind of summer camp did you get to sing Little Boxes? It's a political protest song, isn't it?

Are you happy that I am sampling Pete Seeger's songs? :). His rendition of "We shall overcome" is quite amazing. You realize he was black listed by McArthy, right?

L-girl said...

They were always rich kids who got to be the teacher's pets because their parents gave him/her cash under the table, which was a common and well known practice.

Whoa!! That's amazing.

BTW, in what kind of summer camp did you get to sing Little Boxes? It's a political protest song, isn't it?

I suppose it is, but it's also a folk song. We sang Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" too. It wasn't radical. It was just the way we felt.

Are you happy that I am sampling Pete Seeger's songs? :). His rendition of "We shall overcome" is quite amazing. You realize he was black listed by McArthy, right?

Pete Seeger and I go way back. :)

I've seen him sing at many rallies and demonstrations, also at a folk festival I used to go to every year called Clearwater (Clearwater Hudson River Revival). It was an environmental-activism-music event. I believe Seeger founded the group or was a co-founder, and he was hugely active in it for a long time.

He's a great man, a national treasure.

And yes, it's cool you're listening to him. I watch your political explorations with great interest. I don't want to show too much enthusiasm - don't want to scare you away. :)

Wrye said...

Hmm, why do I have trouble imagining Murphy handling this issue in a way I could stomach? Mr Sensitivity he is not.

But perhaps I'm wrong. What was his take?


It was fine. He's a curmudgeon, but a thoughtful one. He simply laid out the various sides of the issue and how very very complex it's become--how the controversy is seen in different places, what the latest developments were, and so on. He also did a goiod job (from the little I heard) of stayiong out of the way and letting callers express what theyr thought. Sensitivity didn't really enter into it.

L-girl said...

He simply laid out the various sides of the issue and how very very complex it's become

That does sound good.

He is a curmudgeon, that's for sure, but not always as thoughtful as I'd like.

Pat said...

I wonder if everyone was as shocked as I was by the eagerness of UPEI students to insist, in these letters to the Cadre, that their student newspaper had no right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press?

http://cadre.upei.ca/node/3096#comment

And see this CBC story, "Human rights lawyer calls on media to print Muhammad cartoons":

http://www.cbc.ca/montreal/story...ons- 060208.html

L-girl said...

I wonder if everyone was as shocked as I was by the eagerness of UPEI students to insist, in these letters to the Cadre, that their student newspaper had no right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press?

It bothered me, too.