Dialog on Cartoons at USC


A roundtable discussion on freedom of speech and responsibility was organized by the USC School of Communications on February 23. The panelists include:d Dr. Fathy Osman, an acclaimed writer and Islamic scholar; Nick Goldberg , Los Angeles Times Op-ed Editor; Benjamin Barber,- Prof of Civil Society, Univ of Maryland; and Shakeel Syed, Executive Director of the Shura Council.
The roundtable was hosted by Prof. Geoffrey Cowan and Prof. Diane Winston of USC.
Op-ed Editor Nick Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times reasoned that the decision of not publishing the infamous Danish cartoons was because the cartoons were simply "distasteful." Prof. Benjamin Barber called the press to demonstrate responsibility in a volatile world. Shakeel Syed challenged the ethical disparities and double standards of the press toward Muslims and Islam by citing several examples. Dr. Fathy Osman offered a thoughtful historical narrative about Muslims interaction with societies of other faiths at various times.
The packed audience of academics and students of USC called for a follow-up roundtable.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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