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The so-called Muhammed cartoon events took place in the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006. On September 30, 2005, 12 drawings of the prophet Muhammed—including one with a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse—were published by Jyllands-Posten, a provincial newspaper situated in Denmark. Reactions to mediated news about the cartoons triggered a global debate about the proper uses of press freedom and selfcensorship versus blasphemy and multicultural considerations. Pros and cons were diffused worldwide, combining traditional mass media, word of mouth, and religious preaching with text messaging and e-mail grapevines.

By January 2006 anticartoon riots had broken out in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Pakistan. Danish and Norwegian flags were burned in the streets and embassies picketed, documented live by Al Jazeera. A ...

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