Skip to comments.[New Zealand PM] Helen Clark says [Muhammad] cartoon issue not freedom of press issue (surrenders)
Posted on 02/05/2006 3:14:11 PM PST by NZerFromHK
The Prime Minister has spoken out about the Mohammad cartoon controversy, saying she does not think it is a freedom of the press issue.
Helen Clark says the New Zealand press is free, and politicians do not dictate what it can and cannot print.
She says it is a question of judgement.
She does not think the publication of the cartoons does anything to bring communities together in New Zealand or around the world.
Helen Clark says the New Zealand government's position is very strongly in favour of respecting all religions and working to bring communities together, not drive them apart.
New Zealand and Jordan are the only countries outside Europe to publish the caricatures.
The Prime Minister says the decision by the Dominion Post and Christchurch Press to print them seems gratuitous.
She says the government is monitoring offshore reaction to the New Zealand publication.
She seemed reluctant to discuss a possible backlash from Iran.
The Iranian president has warned of a review and cancellation of economic contracts with countries where the cartoons have been published.
For New Zealand it could mean the death of a $100 million dollar trade, which includes dairy, wool, meat, and manufacturing.
New Zealand's Muslim community has vented its frustrations over the cartoons.
About 800 people marched up Queen Street in Auckland yesterday, chanting 'We love the prophet Mohammed- peace be upon him.'
Labour list MP and Muslim Anjum Rahman was among the protestors.
She says she respects the newspapers' freedom to print the cartoons, and now people have to respect the right of Muslims to be upset about it.
Ms Rahman says it was a peaceful protest and those taking part acted within the law to express how they feel.
She says since Friday she has found it difficult to go anywhere without people shouting insults at her.
She says the cartoons have stirred racist feelings.
The protest remained relatively peaceful, although one man had to be restrained by police for yelling abuse at the protestors to get out of his country.
Iran has recalled its ambassador to Denmark over the publication.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry says freedoms should be accompanied by responsibility.
Denmark's largest newspaper ran 12 cartoons last September, including one of the prophet with a turban resembling a bomb.
The cartoons have now been reprinted in Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Norway and Poland.
Iran says it is forming a committee to review trade ties with the countries that printed the cartoons.
An international relations expert is concerned that all of society is being blamed for the decision to publish.
Otago University's Robert Patman says the press of course has freedom.
However he says with that freedom goes responsibility.
He says the government's disapproval of the publication could prevent any unrest in New Zealand.
Robert Patman says it could help prevent scenes of mayhem such as have occurred in Syria.
He says nobody would like to see that in New Zealand.
Helen Clark --- You're No Margret Thatcher! The best I can say is that you Dishonor all of the fallen KIWI warriors from past wars by being a weak - sister Socialist.
Helen Clark is a wuss.
"doesn't do much for bringging communities together"
"The Iranian president has warned of a review and cancellation of economic contracts with countries where the cartoons have been published.
"For New Zealand it could mean the death of a $100 million dollar trade, which includes dairy, wool, meat, and manufacturing."
Old red Helen should keep her pie hole shut.
She's Labour. What do you expect?
of course Ms Clark (note the Ms title) doesn't want to be another Margaret Thatcher. She wants to be the opposite.
Yeah, you're right - it's not a freedom of press/speech issue.
This is about controlling what people say, think and talk. There's a BIG difference between not being allowed to run these cartoons and free speech.
And since brown skinned people of the world are mad (instead of white guys), this is a tolerance/racism issue...
Yep, talk about lofty "justice, peace, human rights" lectures in front of the United States, and "developing trade opportunities" with the likes of Iran.
They onlycare about money and postmodern leftist ideology.
I think we should see an actual transcript. Anyone have it?
After the hoopla about what the State Dept ACTUALLY said versus what the media reported, I think it's only fair that we hit the NZ PM on what she actually said, if appropriate.
I guess I'll search for one in the meantime. If she did say what the article represented it is DISGUSTING. Giving in to extortion.
"She says she respects the newspapers' freedom to print the cartoons, and now people have to respect the right of Muslims to be upset about it".........
upset??......... are you kidding?
and why is it I dont hear the "western" muslims denoucing the rioting, kids carry signs saying "behead those who insult Islam" and babies with "I luv Al-Qaeda" hats on, who are our friends and a peacefull loving people, you know, the ones who live in the west
If I moved to a country and didnt like it I would move...
Why is it that muslims move to western countries and then try to get us to change our christian heritige and continually complain about our land and custom but they dont go back to the wonderful Islamic state they left behind
bottom line a muslim is a muslim and are like oil in water in a christian land.........multiculturalism BAA HUMBUG!!
Praise be to Jesus
Amen to that - Would PM Helen have her Muslim citizens arrested if they started burning Auckland? This is all just the beginning of the end for gratuitous pandering by all the socialist govts. of the world.
The norwegian govt too is leftist and surrendered rather early unlike the courageous Danish one.
Wow! Whoda thunk Muslims lived in New Zealand.
She says the cartoons have stirred racist feelings.
Ms Rahman is mistaken in two ways. In the first place, muslims aren't a race. In the second place, the reactions of muslims to the cartoons are the source of the trouble. If muslims had simply ignored them, the cartoons would've soon been forgotten (after all, they were first published last September). Moreover, in some quarters, muslims would've received praise for their restraint (it's a measure of where we are today that if people who are usually quick to anger somehow manage not to get angry, many rush to praise them for their restraint).
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