Looks like we missed a lot while our server was down over the past few days.
The most significant piece of news, which you no doubt already know about, is that we now have confirmation that it is illegal in the UK to offend religious people. Should you be foolish enough to leave a cartoon in a public place and a religious person claims that the cartoon causes them “alarm and distress”, you could end up like Harry Taylor with a 6 month suspended sentence, £250 costs, 100 hours of community service, and an ASBO banning you from carrying potentially offensive materials in public (no more Private Eye or Viz for you).
A jury of Christians found him guilty, and the judge passed sentence with these words:
Not only have you shown no remorse for what you did, but even now you continue to maintain that you have done nothing wrong and say that whenever you feel like it you intend to do the same thing again in the future.
Quite right too, Harry Taylor. You did nothing wrong and you should feel no remorse. Despair at the fact that the country seems to have stepped back 300 years into the pre-enlightenment world of draconian blasphemy laws, perhaps. Disgust at the inequity of a law that protects the feelings of a few, provided those feelings stem from religious beliefs. Disdain towards the pansy-arsed cleric, Nicky Lees, whose delicate sensitivities were so injured by a handful of drawings that she felt compelled to call in the police, and towards the jury who agreed with her. But remorse? No, Harry Taylor, you should feel pride.
This is the most shocking and regressive verdict the UK has seen this century. Maybe it is time to start a fully-fledged Cartoons on Pews campaign?
In other cartoon news, the South Park farrago (see below) has prompted an international “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day“, the brain child of Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris.
Unfortunately, when her idea went viral Molly got frightened, and has now disowned the campaign. She has removed the above image from her website and replaced it with a drawing of herself.
Kurt Westergaard has had a bad week – first having to cancel his appearance at the Atheist Alliance International 2010 Conference for security reasons, then being placed on indefinite leave by his newspaper Jyllands-Posten as a direct result of the attacks on him by extremists.
And Lars Vilks, the Modoggie artist, had a lecture at a Swedish University cancelled because fears about Muslim protests meant that no venue would allow their premises to be used.