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'Modoggie' Cartoon Published by Swedish Artist Lars Vilks

Contact: Gary McCullough, Director, Christian Newswire, 202-546-0054

MEDIA ADVISORY, Sept. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- On September 15, AP published that a reward of USD $100,000 from Al-Qaida to the one who murders Lars Vilks was issued. Also a reward for a murder on the chief editor of Nerikes Allehanda was issued.

In an expression of solidarity, to stand against attempts to intimidate journalists and publishers, Christian Newswire has once again chosen to make controversial cartoons available to reporters. 

The following are the creative expressions of Lars Vilks:

Background:

Muhammad cartoons spark new protest

Sweden denies apologizing over cartoon row

Al-Qaeda puts bounties on heads of Swedes

Copy of 2006 press release from Christian Newswire:

Religious Press Release Distributor Publishes Controversial Muhammad Cartoon
 

"Count us among those who act on our belief in freedom of the press." -- Gary McCullough, director, Christian Newswire

 

Contact: Gary McCullough, 202-546-0054

 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /Christian Newswire/ -- In response to the shrinking number of news outlets willing to display the controversial cartoon of Muhammad the Christian Newswire wishes to be counted among those on the side of free speech and in defense of the principles behind America's First Amendment. 

 

Photo: Muhammed Cartoon by Kurt Westergaard; collection of cartoons involved in this controversy

 

Our response is the following statement from Gary McCullough, Director of the Christian Newswire:

 

"America's  'free press' and the world's news media as a whole are facing the same decision many nations have recently faced in dealing with terrorists.  Do we acquiesce to unjust demands under the threat of violence, even though history demonstrates that by giving in we only encourage acts of violence toward us in the future?

 

"If the world's press gives in to demands, backed by threats of violence, not to print a political cartoon today--what freedom will we give up tomorrow to keep the peace?  It is imbecilic to believe that such a success in the use of violence and threats of violence does not encourage such behavior. 

 

"To newspaper publishers world wide, and the broadcasters who claim any freedom to display newsworthy items; it is not too late to send a clear message.   I ask you to publish the controversial cartoon of Muhammed to send the message; 'We will not be censored by threats of violence.'

 

"The alternative will not be peace.  The alterative will be increased violence to censor the media.  And those demands will not just come from those who revere Muhammad.  You must decide if you will negotiate away a foundational principle of your part of the culture to save yourself from violence.  If you run from this battle now--you have emboldened those who would use terror to restrict what you publish.

 

"I for one am not willing to go one inch down the road that ends with the media publishing only that which Muhammad would approve."