Danish newspaper drawings of Mohammed
Blogging is more fun than work. Here I already spent much more time than I should on my rants.
Anyway, this morning I read a great editors opinion in another large Danish newspaper considering the other Danish newspaper drawings of Mohammed (Mohammed being a prophet - the major one, if you ask muslims - of Allah - same God as the Christian God). You can read in detail in English about the story here at Fjordman. (Fjordman is very critical - excessively so in my opinion - of Muslim immigrants in
Briefly: 12 drawings, not all flattering, by professional drawers were published as a provocation to illustrate the principle of liberty of expression. Also probably to provoke a reaction from Muslims. You see - it is not permitted to draw Mohammed. I don't really know why. I think even the few indigenous Indians in the Amazon basin know by now that your soul is not robbed by a photograph or a drawing.
Obviously, morally, it was not nice thing to attack a religion in this way. You should not hurt peoples feelings by blasphemy (dangerous concept that one), that have no purpose except provocation.
On the other hand freedom of expression and freedom of the press are in my opinion much more holy than any religion. I believe it is one of the few things worth to lay down your life for. Thus even distasteful opinions have a right to be published.
To me the above provocation seem small. But so did the Satanic Verses of Mr. Salman Rushdie. And he must live hidden away in eternal fear of "holy" men.
The reaction was stronger than the newspaper anticipated. There have been several threats of death to the newspaper.
Beyond mad men's threats there has been official protests from ambassadors to the Danish Government. The Danish PM handled those gracefully.
And now we finally get to the editors opinion (strongly abbreviated and transcribed)
The Turkish ambassador, a lady (I presume but a woman for sure), protested as well. She asked that the Danish Government takes "all necessary steps" to stop the Danish newspaper.
This from a representative of country asking to be let into the European Union (of democratic countries). As if a Danish prime minister has any direct power to control the Danish press.
Only the courts may do so and only within the law. As the Ambassador should know.
The editor then asks the ambassador to explain how she as a representative of a secular society asking to join ranks with the EU can raise such a religious issue - even more as a formal protest.
Obviously the ambassador has not answered - as there is no answer.
Europe must carefully consider whether we want
Conclusion: The provocation of drawing Mohammed has shown itself to be necessary as it raises important issues and demonstrates our need to handle religious fanatism.