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Where do we draw the line between satirizing something and causing intentional offense?

1 min read

The subject of this article is very similar to the subject of my first essay, where I discussed the subtle differences between a satirical cartoon that may not be too offensive and a completely offensive image that no one in their right minds would like. The author of this article, Ishmael N. Daro, condemns many of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons as highly offensive to Muhammed, the primary deity in Islam, and claims that the shootings have made such cartoons even more prominent. Those that would have normally deemed such cartoons as in poor taste have begun to flaunt them and present them, no doubt in defiance of the shooters, but such an increase in presentation has a negative effect on Muslims everywhere. Images such as this: 


and this: 

are undoubtedly offensive to Muslims. As a result, we must remember that the shootings and most Islam-based terrorist attacks are perpetrated by an extremely small percentage of the Muslim population. In the same vein, such offensive cartoons are created and distributed by a very small percentage of news outlets, and we must therefore be careful not to adopt what were previously outliers into our normal distribution.