Cartoons in Celebration of Free Speech
& the Worldwide Resistance to Islamist Terrorism
January 4th, 2010, USA. -- In celebration of free speech and in response to the latest Islamist assault on freedom of expression, Laughyourheadoff.org has announced the Second International Islamic Cartoon Contest.
"In light of the latest attempted murder of Danish cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, it is vital at the outset of a new decade that artists, writers, and citizens in all free nations renew our commitment to a free press and freedom of expression," said Walter Skold, of laughyourheadoff.org.
"We are urging cartoonists, journalists, and all supporters of artistic and political liberty to submit cartoons or just promote the contest," he said.
In 2006, the US-based Laughyourheadoff.org launched the 1st Islamic cartoon competition in order to support those editors, artists and political figures who defended artistic and press freedoms against the growing chorus of those who supported some form of censorship for publications and artworks deemed "offensive."
The winning cartoon in the 2006 contest was a satire suggesting that Danish people learn the Koran by printing it onto toilet paper, but Skold said that lighthearted entries are most welcome.
“Besides those who send in sarcastic cartoons, I urge Muslims to send in their own positive cartoons related to Islam so that non-Muslims can learn to appreciate their humor,” said Skold, referring to a long history of humor in Islam.
Skold points out that the original cartoons which prompted such violent actions were not written with the intent to offend Muslims, but rather to satirize Danish artists who gave into pressure to not draw pictures of Mohammed for a children's book.
"On the other hand, Islamic Hadiths teach that Mohammed had poets killed, and modern Islamists have killed filmmakers, authors, and journalists in his name," said Skold, who is a poet and former journalist.
"Because of persistent attempts by Islamists to intimidate and terrorize, and also because of the continuing efforts by the Organization of the Islamic Conference to regulate free expression," he added, "Individuals as well as governments need to keep making it clear that commitments to liberty of speech and expression are essential and non-negotiable tenets."
Skold feels that most citizens in Western nations are probably not aware that most Islamic nations have never signed onto the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, which states (in Article 19) that "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression..."