Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Europe Criticises Copenhagen over Cartoons

The Council of Europe (CoE), an organisation of 46 European countries, has criticised the Danish government for invoking the “freedom of the press” in its refusal to take action against “insulting” cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The CoE Committee of Ministers discussed the case during a meeting in Strassburg last week. In a statement the Committee said that “a seam of intolerance within Danish society is noted […] in certain media” – a reference to the Danish cartoon case. (...)The CoE added that it is also concerned that “[Danish] legislation, such as the reform of the Aliens Act, and policy, such as the Government’s policy towards integration, may contribute to a climate of hostility towards different ethnic and religious groups.”(...)

The case escalated into a major diplomatic crisis, even though, apart from the Danish press, it has been hardly been reported upon in the international mainstream media. There were violent protest demonstrations and strikes against the cartoons in the Indian state of Kashmir and in Pakistan, after which Denmark warned its citizens not to travel to Pakistan. Egypt cut off its talks on human rights with Denmark while the Egyptian Grand-Imam Muhammad Said Tantawy condemned the Danish government. Tantawy is the religious leader of Egypt, appointed by the Egyptian president, and chancellor of the prestigious al-Azhar University, one of the Sunni Muslims’ most important centers of learning. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised his Danish colleague during bilateral talks last month (and other consequences).(...)

Instead of supporting their government, 22 prominent Danish former career diplomats criticised Prime Minister Rasmussen this week. (...)

Their criticism, however, did not impress Rasmussen. The letter by the former ambassadors was “very misguided and sad,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman Troels Lund Poulsen said yesterday. “They are willing to compromise freedom of expression by taking a moral stand."(...)

Meanwhile, Carsten Juste, Jyllands-Posten’s editor, has welcomed efforts to end the cartoon controversy. Moderate Muslim groups in Denmark proposed to stop demanding apologies from JP and organise a “celebration” to show the moderate side of Islam. Juste welcomed the idea. “I consider it a chance at reconciliation,” he said. “While it’s important to protect freedom of speech, there is also a need among Danes to gain more knowledge of Islam and Mohammed.”

To read all the article, click here.


Pastorius said...

Oh, for God's sake. I'm guessing Sister Europe's knees have very bad rugburns.

Krishna109 said...

IMO, this story is of major importance. In addition to being about the extreme intolerance of militant Islam, it also raises some other important issues, amongst them freedom of speech and biased reporting in the media (as this post points out, there has been very little coverage in the media). Also, the attempts (all too sucessful) of various parties to control what information the public sees.

It seems to me that we, as bloggers, should do what we can to bring this to the public's attention.

(Unfortunately, I am currently involved in another project and can't spend any time on it today, but I think this story is very important, and will be posting a few things about it soon).

Epaminondas said...

What a farce.

I applaud the Danish stand.
They did for freedom of the press what the US Navy does all the time for freedom of the seas by sailing contested waters.

If the muslims are insulted, well, sorry, but welcome to a free society.

I'm insulted the institution of the dhimma, when will the EU condemn Islam for this to satisfy me?

Oh wait I forgot, THEY ARE DHIMMIS

Dag said...

Epaminondas, if you review victor David hanson's book on the war, please send me a copy in your best Orwellian style. I'll find the cartoons to illustrate it.

Epaminondas said...

deal...readin it right now.. superb as usu.

I congrat u on foto ID, most think I look that a geek (Probably do, but a different kind of geek)

Amazing how all these kennedy democrats (like VDH and Krauthammer and a few others) turn out to be so solid. Must mean something