Muhammad cartoons, free speech focus of WFU panel discussion

By Jacob McConnico
April 13, 2006

Wake Forest University will host a public panel discussion on the controversy surrounding editorial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad at 7 p.m. April 19 in Pugh Auditorium in the university's Benson University Center.

The event is titled "Protecting the Sacred: Religious Sensitivity and Freedom of Speech in Light of the Muhammad Cartoons," and will be moderated by Jill Crainshaw, associate dean for vocational formation and assistant professor of ministry studies in the Wake Forest Divinity School.

Panelists for the program include Charles Kimball, professor of religion at Wake Forest; Katy Harriger, professor of political science at Wake Forest; Imam Manzarul Islam of the High Point Muslim Community; and Jeri Young, assistant features editor at the Winston-Salem Journal.

Cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad published in Danish and European newspapers have sparked protests, boycotts and outrage around the world. The Wake Forest panel discussion will explore the fundamental issues that lie at the heart of the conflict. In particular, the discussion will focus on the relationship between religious sensitivity and freedom of speech.

The discussion is sponsored by the Wake Forest Interfaith Council, the Wake International Student Association, and the Office of the Chaplain. For more information, contact (336) 758-5210 or or