Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mohammed cartoons on campus

One of my favorite groups, The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)has reported on reactions on campus to the posting of the Danish cartoons:

Although censorship in response to displays of the cartoons has been rare, it has indeed occurred. At Century College in Minnesota, adjunct professor of geography Karen Murdock posted the 12 original cartoons, articles about the resultant international controversy, and comment sheets on a bulletin board near her office. After the cartoons were anonymously torn down several times, Murdock reported that her division head removed the cartoons and a university administrator requested that she not repost them.

Some Muslim students also wrote a letter saying they were “heartbroken” to see that Murdock had posted the cartoons, claiming that “[d]uring the last week, this incident had a very negative impact on our ability to concentrate on our studies.” While no disciplinary action was taken against Murdock, she has not reposted the cartoons out of fear of possible fallout. She told FIRE, “When a division chairman and a college vice president both tell an untenured adjunct professor that something should not be posted on a bulletin board, this is a suggestion that has the force of a direct order. The cartoons would still be posted if I felt that I had a say in the matter.”

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, student editors Acton Gorton and Chuck Prochaska printed six of the original 12 cartoons in the independent student paper The Daily Illini. The Chicago Tribune reported on February 14 that the Illini’s board of directors, composed of staff and students, dismissed Gorton and Prochaska for failing to consult with “other student editors and staff members” in making the decision to print the cartoons. The paper then ran an editorial apologizing for printing the cartoons and calling Gorton “a renegade editor who firmly believes that his will is also the will of the paper.”

The Chicago Maroon reported on February 17 that an anonymous University of Chicago student hung a homemade sketch of Mohammed with a caption reading “Mo’ Mohammed, Mo’ Problems” outside his dorm room. After receiving a complaint about the sketch, Resident Head Andrea Gates ordered it removed and reported the student who had posted it to the Housing Office for a possible investigation. The student removed the sketch and issued a written apology. The university has taken no further action, and FIRE continues to investigate the situation.

Similarly, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), student Mitchell Foley reported to FIRE that he had posted the 12 cartoons on his dorm room door until his resident assistant told him to remove them. He removed the cartoons and has not reposted them; RPI has not commented on the situation


FIRE reports that campus newspapers have reprinted the cartoons at an number of schools without official reaction, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard.

5 comments:

jack fulasofy said...

Would papers that publish the cartoons of Muhammad also publish cartoons that show the hypocrisy in Christian and Jewish cultures and risk offending their audience and advertisers? NO.
Check the taboo out at http://www.expensivespeech.com/

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Rick Esenberg said...

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Jack F.

Yes they would. They do.

Anon.

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Rick Esenberg said...

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