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Northern Star runs Danish cartoons

DeKALB - Northern Illinois University's student newspaper has added itself to the handful of American newspapers that have chosen to run 12 controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The Northern Star published the cartoons, which have sparked violent protest throughout the world, in today's edition. They were accompanied by an editorial signed by Editor in Chief Derek Wright explaining the newspaper's decision. The editorial called the cartoons &#8220tasteless and inappropriate” but noted that the staff feels &#8220responsibility to respond to the news.” The editorial said the newspaper wanted to show the very images that have caused so much debate. The cartoons first appeared in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September. Depictions of Muhammad are prohibited under some interpretations of Islam. The Danish cartoons include one showing Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, and another depicts him saying heaven has run out of virgins for suicide bombers. In light of news coverage of the protests, the Star published the cartoons &#8220so people can make their own decisions about them,” said Jim Killam, the Star's faculty adviser. Also in today's edition are a story about the riots, quotes from students of various backgrounds, the editorial condemning the message in the cartoons but saying they should be published to encourage free speech, and a column by the co-president of the university's Muslim Student Association. &#8220College newspapers are supposed to be a forum for ideas,” Killam said. &#8220If people can't disagree rationally, we're not a free society.” The Daily Chronicle said in an editorial published Sunday that it would not run the cartoons because &#8220we feel they are not appropriate for our newspaper.”

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