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Monday, 24 September 2012


Here we go again... Seven years ago the Jyllands-Posten published cartoons which fuelled the anger of extremist Muslims around the world. Another 'Muhammad cartoons row' has erupted after the publication of drawings in Charlie Hebdo. Let me be clear about this: satire and caricature are essential to freedom, and we should not yield to intimidation or threat from fundamentalists. To celebrate the right to satirize, here are a few caricatures on religious issues. #1 and #2 are by James Gillray (1757-1815) and today they would no doubt cause a fatwa to be issued on the artist's life. #3 is a 16th-century Protestant caricature picturing the pope as a cannibal. #4 is a modern cartoon making fun of the militant atheists waging war on Christmas in the United States.

#1. 'Presentation of Mahometan Credentials.' Oil painting.

#2. 'Théologie à la Turque or The Pale of the Church of Mahomet.' Etching.

#3. 16th century engraving. Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français.

#4. Cartoon. 

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