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Cartoon Violence and Freedom of Expression

From: Human Rights Quarterly
Volume 30, Number 4, November 2008
pp. 845-875 | 10.1353/hrq.0.0031



The publication of the "Danish cartoons" generated a continuing conflict between freedom of expression and religious tolerance. The article examines the history of cartoon satire, invoking past examples of racial and religious discrimination in cartoons while emphasizing the important role cartoonists have played in criticizing and checking the exercise of power. The legal implications of the "Danish cartoons" is analyzed through the lens of international human rights law, in particular the concepts of hate speech, racial discrimination and religious defamation. Finally the present movement in the UN towards "cartooning for peace" is promoted.