A Norweigan Christian magazine has outraged Muslims by publishing the same caricatures of Mohamed that earned the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten international condemnation and death threats, Al-Jazeera says.

Magazinet published the controversial drawings in the name of freedom of expression.

"Just like Jyllands-Posten, I have become sick of the ongoing hidden erosion of the freedom of expression," Magazinet editor Vebjoern Selbekk wrote.

Danish publication of the pictures have outraged Muslims in that country enough to send them around the world denouncing their adopted homeland, according to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Muslim groups want authorities to prosecute the paper and its editors, but officials have so far ignored that advice.

"Editors should not take free speech as an excuse to insult a certain religion; otherwise they risk an extremist response from the offended, which carries grave consequences," a spokesman for the Supreme Islamic Council in Cairo warned Islamonline.net.

Monkey Business

A Texas band teacher who used the word "monkey" in front of a black student is being accused of racism by the student's parents, reports NBC5 in Dallas.

The 12-year-old student was in a percussion class when the instructor told him, "I can teach a monkey to do it that way."

The boy's family has filed a complaint with the school board, despite the assertion from school officials that the term was not intended to be racially degrading.

Proper English Would be Nice, But Still ...

Town officials in Sharpsburg, N.C. removed a picture of the local police chief's murderer from the wall of the police station, reports the Charlotte Observer, because of the racist signal it sends to visitors.

The portrait of Abner Nicholson, who is on death row for the slayings of Chief Wayne Hathaway and Nicholson's wife, has hung on the wall for eight years under the phrases "Don't Never Forget This Face" and "Dead Man Walking."

Mayor Sheila Williams asked police to remove the picture, reportedly because it might be interpreted as a racial slur and make visitors to the station uncomfortable

Finkielkraut, Round II

A French philosopher is being sued by an Afro-Caribbean rights group who claim that his comments on a radio program about immigrants living off state benefits were racist, according to the AFP.

The Association of Sons and Daughters of African Deportees are pursuing criminal charges against Alain Finkielkraut for making the "biased" comments during a Jewish community radio show last March.

He is accused of referring to "Caribbean victims of slavery who now live off French state hand-outs" during a discussion about France's role in the slave trade.

Finkielkraut earlier came under fire from Muslims for noting that there was an "ethnic-religious" dimension to the riots in November.

Racist Purses

Two high school girls in Texas were sent home when they refused to let administrators confiscate purses they received for Christmas with the Confederate emblem on them, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas.

Officials at Burleson High School said the purses are racist and violate the school's dress code. Ashley Thomas and Aubrie McAllum both received the handbags as Christmas presents.

Comic Problems

A California woman is decrying as racist a comic book she bought at a discount store and gave to her 11-year-old foster son for Christmas without reading, reports The Record.

The comic, titled Captain Confederacy, is set in a world in which the South won the Civil War and the Confederacy is a world power. The heros include a blond-haired, blue-eyed man wearing a red shirt with the logo of the Confederate flag and a Black female fighter.

Jeanette Boswell of Stockton says she bought the comic without knowing about it's controversial theme.

"I'd actually like to see whoever is writing this to stop putting out this offensive material," said Boswell. "The way they're doing this, it can really warp some young minds."

Heaven Forbid

A county official in Pennsylvannia who spent his own money to send out Christmas cards featuring the Statue of Liberty holding a cross and a Bible is now getting grief from some of the recipients of those cards and church-state monitoring groups, reports the Morning Call.

Bucks County COO David M. Sanko sent out the personal cards prepared by his wife to hundreds of family, friends and co-workers, including people he works with at the county courthouse in Harrisburg. He says he didn't intend to offend anyone, and that anyone who was should say so and he will cross them off the list for next year.

David Koepsell, executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, called Sanko's Christmas goodwill improper in the least and probably unconstitutional. "He's in a position of authority mailing this out to a list of his employees," Koepsell said. "It suggests an official endorsement of a particular religion."

Inevitably ...

The UK's Metropolitan Police says it is investigating whether comments by the head of the Muslim Council of Britain to the effect that homosexuality is harmful are a violation of the Public Order Act, according to the BBC.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie made the comment in an interview with BBC Radio 4's PM Programme in January. Sir Iqbal also criticised same-sex civil partnerships. Asked if he believed homosexuality was harmful to society, he said: "Certainly it is a practice that in terms of health, in terms of the moral issues that comes along in a society -- it is. It is not acceptable."

Scotland Yard said in a statement that it had "received a report of comments made in a radio interview which the complainant believed were homophobic in nature and asked us to investigate."

For more doses of politically correct nuttiness, head on over to the TongueTied daily edition.

Mailbag:

Art in Springfield, Mo. writes:

Leaving the name Slave Canal is a good, solid and ongoing reminder of the reality that helped build many of the states in this nation, predominantly in the south, but also in the north. "Slave Canal" keeps us from sugar-coating or forgetting this reality. We should never forget what was forcibly done to our fellow human beings; let the name stand as a reminder to that grim and shameful part of our past, and a beacon to warn us away from repeating such cruel mistakes.

George in Houston writes:

Concerning the protest over the City of Costa Mesa, Calif., police department, it is apparent (and unfortunate), judging from the demonstrators, that intelligence is not a pre-requisite for U.S. citizenship! I am increasingly concerned that people from other countries, whether here legally or illegally, are trying to rewrite our laws to fit the laws of their native land. In the U.S., when someone is suspected of a crime, our laws give police every right to investigate that person for other crimes.

This is America, and these are OUR laws. If you don't like them, go back to that country of yours you were so desperate to leave!

Aaron writes:

I see that even being a member of a protected group (women, gays) isn't enough to guarantee freedom of speech and the press when your opinion falls outside the allowed bounds of political correctness. It's now come full circle. Groups that allowed or actively campaigned for hate crime legislation and the removal of free speech from other groups, now find that their speech is now limited as well. Wake up everyone, no one is immune from the thought police. Step out of line and they'll take you down.

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