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Monday, July 28, 2008

Dutch cartoonist arrested for rude cartoons

This cartoonist, to whom few probably pay attention, is another "big public danger":
On a sunny May morning, six plainclothes police officers, two uniformed policemen and a trio of functionaries from the state prosecutor's office closed in on a small apartment in Amsterdam. Their quarry: a skinny Dutch cartoonist with a rude sense of humor. Informed that he was suspected of sketching offensive drawings of Muslims and other minorities, the Dutchman surrendered without a struggle.

"I never expected the Spanish Inquisition," recalls the cartoonist, who goes by the nom de plume Gregorius Nekschot, quoting the British comedy team Monty Python. A fan of ribald gags, he's a caustic foe of religion, particularly Islam. The Quran, crucifixion, sexual organs and goats are among his favorite motifs.
Higher resolution still:
The cartoon affair has come as a shock to a country that sees itself as a bastion of tolerance, a tradition forged by grim memories of bloody conflict between Catholics and Protestants. The Netherlands sheltered Jews and other refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, and Calvinists fleeing persecution in France. Its thinkers helped nurture the 18th-century Enlightenment. Prostitutes, marijuana and pornography have been legal for decades.
Yes, but "prostitutes, marijuana and pornography " are about self-indulgence, not about liberty.

A government that wants to introduce a dictatorship will gladly give you the weed, the whores, and the whoo-hoo! - as long as you otherwise let them rule your life as if you had never graduated from kindergarten.

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