To our readers:
We editors of A Modest Proposal acknowledge that we have every legal right to print or reprint depictions of the prophet Muhammad. However the legal right to do something is not a compelling reason to do it. We feel that respect and dignity can be preserved while still addressing the most fundamental questions that shape and govern our actions in everyday life.
Twelve cartoons depicting Muhammad were originally published by Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, in September 2005. The depiction of Muhammad, or any prophet, in any form, is blasphemous to Muslims and these 12 cartoons have caused worldwide uproar.
The most notorious responses have been the burning of the Danish embassy in Damascus, Syria, and the burning of Western business establishments across the broader Middle East.
In response to these unwarranted acts of violence, some syndicated newspapers and college publications around the world have reprinted these cartoons as a message of solidarity to Jyllands-Posten and as a statement of free speech.
It is our mission at AMP to provide a forum for students and faculty to discuss relevant topics without fear of reprisal or censorship. We at AMP seek to encourage conversation surrounding issues that may lead to cultural misunderstanding or social conflict.
The Muslim community is a vital part of campus and community life. In the case of the Mohammed cartoons, although we understand we have the right and protection through freedom of the press to reprint these images, we do not wish to alienate the Muslim community and sincerely want to encourage civil and intellectual debate.
In light of this sensitivity, we have chosen to create a graphic (page 3) which highlights the issue at hand and which we hope will not unduly provoke negative responses from valuable and respected members of our community. Furthermore, we hope the image will spark deep thought and conversation across campus and lead to a greater understanding among people with different beliefs from different backgrounds.
The original 12 cartoons are accessible on the internet; we encourage any reader wishing to analyze the cartoons to visit the Jyllands-Posten website or similar sites to gain a fuller understanding of the topic.
We at A Modest Proposal appreciate our readers, our campus and our community, and therefore hope that our decisions will not propagate hatred and cultural tension which surrounds this issue. In our continued attempt to highlight new ideas and foster dialogue, we ask for your thoughts and viewpoints.
If you are offended by our handling of this delicate matter, or have other comments or suggestions, we encourage you to write to us. Thank you for your time, your support, and most of all, your modest opinions.