Howard Friedman reports:
In Russia, a Russian Orthodox Church group, the People’s Council, has filed suit in Moscow against the Andrei Sakharov Museum and Public Center over a display titled “Forbidden Art — 2006”. Today’s Baltimore Sun reports that the suit charges the Museum with inciting religious and ethnic hatred. The display contains two dozen works that were kept out of Russian art galleries by self-censorship last year. Among them is a portrait of Jesus with a Mickey Mouse face and an icon of the Virgin Mary made to look like caviar. The coordinator of the People’s Council said: “It’s considered blasphemous to mock Christian feelings. It’s like insulting the American flag.”
God do I ever get tired of small-minded authoritarians who think that if anything offends them it should be banned. They are the enemy of everything of value in this world. Meanwhile, he also reports that France has acquitted a satirical paper of similar charges for reprinting the Danish caricatures of Muhammed.
A French court yesterday acquitted the satirical newspaper Charlie-Hebdo and its director, Philippe Val, of charges of “publicly abusing a group of people because of their religion” by publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. Several of the cartoons had first appeared in a Danish newspaper. The court ruled that Charlie-Hebdo had no intention of insulting the Muslim community with the caricatures.
Well I guess that’s a victory, but why would it matter if he did have the intent of insulting the Muslim community? Insulting a person is not a crime, nor is insulting a group of people, nor should it be.