MOI Lezing: Cartoons, minorities, freedom of speech and self-censorship in Denmark – Jørgen S. Nielsen


Datum: Maandag 18 mei, 19.30 uur
Plaats: Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht

The representation of religion in the public sphere can bring about major debates and conflicts. In the Netherlands, the limits of free speech and Dutch tolerance are to be tested in a court case after judges ruled that a right-wing MP Geert Wilders who compared the Koran to Mein Kampf and last year released the film Fitna, should be put on trial for inciting hatred and discrimination in his speeches. Similar issues can be found in other cases such as the “Muhammad Cartoons in 2005/2006. The Dutch Association for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (MOI) invites you to attend a lecture that will address the issues of freedom speech, self-censorship and the representation of religion:

Cartoons, minorities, freedom of speech and self-censorship in Denmark“.

By Jørgen S. Nielsen

The publication on 30 September 2005 of the “Muhammad cartoons” by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten is best known for the international crisis it provoked. Outside the country, however, less attention has been paid to the circumstances which led to the publication, at the centre of which was a debate about the balance between freedom of expression and self-censorship. The lecture will look at how the crisis developed domestically, the issues it raised and the following debate and locates it in the context of the mutual experiences of Muslim minorities and the national community.

Attendance is free, no registration required

Jørgen S. Nielsen is Professor of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, and currently a visiting professor at the University of Utrecht. He has previously held academic positions in Beirut, Birmingham (UK), and Damascus. Since 1978 his research has been focused on the situation of Muslims in Europe. He is author of Muslims in Western Europe (Edinburgh University Press, 1992, 2nd ed. 1995, 3rd ed. 2004; Arabic translation, Beirut: Saqi Press, 2006), and chief editor of the forthcoming Yearbook of Muslims in Europe, Leiden: Brill.

The Dutch Association for the Study of the Middle East and Islam (MOI) MOI is the main professional organisation involved in Arabic-Islamic studies, social scientists, students, policy-makers and journalists. MOI organizes workshops, lectures and is involved in ZemZem, the Dutch periodical on the Middle East, North Africa and Islam.

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