No Danish Apology for the Cartoons
"I think we have to insist on respecting our core values, including freedom of expression, gender equality for women and men, and a clear distinction between politics and religion."
"Mr. Rasmussen reiterated that there would be no Danish apology for the cartoons"
YES and YES. Finally I can say with some little pride again: I am Danish!
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that attempts by European companies in the Middle East to disassociate themselves from Denmark or Danish products were "disgraceful."
At the same time, Mr. Rasmussen tried to shield the Bush administration and some of Denmark's partners in NATO from accusations that they had been tardy and overcautious in coming to Denmark's defense in the crisis, which he attributed more to attempts by Iran and Syria to cause diversions in the Middle East than to a few satirical cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper. ...
Mr. Rasmussen did not refer to a particular business organization or country. But his response came in reply to a question referring to attempts in the Arab world by companies associated with Nestlé, the Swiss food giant, and Carrefour, the French retailer, to distance themselves from Denmark. Danish industry estimates it has lost more than $55 million in sales in the Middle East since the furor began a week ago. ...
Mr. Rasmussen reiterated that there would be no Danish apology for the cartoons. He brushed aside any suggestion that Denmark's policies requiring immigrants to accommodate themselves to Danish tradition were at fault, and asserted, "We are on the right track." More broadly, he said, "I see a very clear tendency that other European countries will go in our direction." ...
"Denmark is a liberal country," he said. "We do believe in individual liberty and freedom. People can live according to their own customs. However, I think we have to insist on respecting our core values, including freedom of expression, gender equality for women and men, and a clear distinction between politics and religion."