Róbert H. Haraldsson: Freedom of Expression and the Danish Cartoons
This essay takes up themes raised in Markus Meckl’s essay “Dönsku skopmyndirnar og baráttan fyrir prentfelsi” (Ritið 2/2008). Meckl argues for an important difference between those who refer to the freedom of the press in their defence for the publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed on the one hand and the fighters for the freedom of the press during the age of Enlightenment on the other. This essay rejects Meckl’s interpretation of the Enlightenment authors on the freedom of the press, and then attempts to answer the question whether a key author in this tradition, John Stuart Mill, would have supported a restriction on the freedom of the press when it comes to the publication of the Danish cartoons of Mohammed. It is argued that he would not have supported such restrictions.
Keywords: freedom of press, Danish cartoons of Mohammed, harm principle, offence principle