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2006-02-24

Editor of Finnish magazine gets the sack for refusing to remove Muhammad cartoon

The board of Finnish culture magazine Kaltio decided Friday to sack its editor, Jussi Vilkuna, after he refused to remove a cartoon featuring a masked prophet Muhammad from the magazine's website.
kaltio
Harri Kynnös, the chairman, told the Finnish News Agency (STT) that letting Mr Vilkuna go after eight years as editor of Kaltio had been a difficult one.

Mr Vilkuna said the board's decision illustrated that it had not grasped the nature of a culture magazine.

"The task of a culture magazine is to arouse debate on important issues. What a grand way to interpret freedom of speech," Mr Vilkuna added ironically.

In the cartoon, the prophet Muhammad is depicted debating the meaning of free speech with a cartoonist.

On Thursday, Tapiola, Sampo and Pohjola withdrew their advertisements from the Kaltio website. Olavi Nieminen, the chief lawyer of Pohjola, a non-life insurance firm owned by OKO Bank, said the posting of the cartoon had been irresponsible and a wrong way to defend free speech.

Kaltio has about 2,000 print subscribers in Finland.


See also Editor of Finnish magazine fired for new Mohammed cartoons , Finnish culture magazine posts Muhammad cartoon and bottom of this page

I received this from a Finnish reader in the comments section:

The three companies in question are all big and powerful insurance and banking corporations. What is not written in the English version of the news is that this traitor Harri Kynnös commented that "we think this is socially such a serious matter that a thing showing such a strong opinion shouldn't have been made public at all"

I'M SICK OF THIS!!! First it's our PM apologizing for a marginal far right group publishing the Danish cartoons on their website, now it's the editor-in-chief of a cultural magazine sacked for publishing a commentary on the issue on the web, no, not even in the magazine itself.

What's happening here is a lot more horrible than what's going on in Denmark.

Some hours ago, the pictures were still visible at www.kaltio.fi. Now, the page is but blank.

Is this the Finland which was according to Reporters Withour Borders one of the countries that shared with Denmark the no. 1 position in the freedom of press in the world?

Your reader from Finland


Added: I found the drawings via Brussels Journal. You can get them here in Finnish or English.

KaltioKaltioKaltioKaltio

Comments:
Thanks a lot for publishing this. I hope it gets as many readers as possible.

However, if you want to go on publishing the facts in CAPITAL LETTERS, it seems that the saga goes on and is actually getting more absurd than ever before.

Now, the City of Oulu - where Kaltio is published - is one of the towns in Finland celebrating the 200 years since the birth of J. V. Snellman, the so-called national philosopher and a champion of, amongst others, free press in the 19th century.

One of the committees preparing the festivities in Oulu had ordered illustrations from the artist behind the new Muhammad cartoon for a book for schoolchildren on Snellman's life. Now, the City has withdrawn the order, stating that they don't want to order an illustration from somebody whose cartoon many have found insulting.

Ateist, you have to believe your eyes. This is Finland, not North Korea. What I wrote is unbelievable but true. Every time I think the maximum has been reached in caving in and hystery, there's always somebody who can make the earlier attempts seem lame.

Your reader in Finland
 
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