Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Feb/10

27

Craven

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Well, this story (via The Daily Telegraph) is depressing:

A Danish newspaper on Friday became the first in the country to apologise for offending Muslims by printing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb-shaped turban, rekindling a heated debate about free speech. Politiken said its apology was part of a settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups in the Middle East and Australia…Politiken was among several Danish newspapers that reprinted the cartoon in 2008 after police uncovered an alleged plot to kill its creator, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

In a statement, Politiken said it “recognises and deplores” that Muslims were offended by the caricature. “We apologise to anyone who was offended by our decision to reprint the cartoon drawing,” it said. Toeger Seidenfaden, the paper’s editor, told The Associated Press that the paper was apologising for the offence caused by the cartoon – not the decision to reprint it.

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7 comments

  • Susan · February 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Of course it’s depressing, and it’s certainly craven, but it’s also not entirely unexpected. I suppose Seidenfaden was trying to forestall a fatwa against the paper. (Just recently there was another attempt on the cartoonist’s life: some guy with a machete tried to break into his house and kill him.) Unfortunately, I don’t think grovelling, no matter how abjectly, will dissuade someone bent on jihad.

    I’m reminded of an interview with a British artist I read in one of the London papers a year or so ago. The occasion was an opening of the artist’s most recent anti-Christian works. The interviewer asked the artist if he would consider creating and showing anti-Islamic artworks, and the artist said no, that he knew nothing bad would him to him if he did an anti-Christian show, but that the Muslims would kill him. Well, at least he was honest.

  • Lorenzo · February 27, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    The noxious incentives this creates are patent, but ignoring unfortunate incentives seems to be easy to do.

  • John · February 27, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Winston Churchill said that trying to accommodate Hitler was “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.” How far Europe has fallen since then.

  • mnuez · February 28, 2010 at 3:30 am

    I don’t know the details of this case but yes, it’s horrible. Absolutely dangerous and almost certainly guaranteed to bring more evil oin its wake.

    I recall my utter astonishment as every American newssource’s unwillingness to show the cartoons while the riots were ongoing. That decision scared teh shit out of me. and then there were those lefty atheists (New Humanist? or something like that) who went ahead and raised their middle finger to the establishment by publishing it ion their magazine and saw it removed from Borders’ everywhere.

    I personally am a suppoerter of unfettered free speech but after recently having spent a great deal of time reading and conversing with a bunch of young male nazi soon-to-be’s I understand the justification for putting some limits on speech (though still oppose placing those limits) and thus comprehend Europe’s laws and post-war culture regarding the matter. BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE have they lost the ability to REASON? It’s one thing to disallow the support of mass murder of Jews ion a country that did just that a half century ago while it’s another disallow innocuous cartoons about a world-wide powerful religion that happens to have major elements that are aggressively attempting to overthrow governments around the world and to kill heretics.

    ON THEIR TERMS THEN (that certain speech should be restricted) can they not draw distinctions between speech that might lead to mass murder and speech that makes that – at worst – points to the clear and present danger of teh beliefs of the most powerful religious group in the world?

  • Mike H · February 28, 2010 at 5:51 am

    The apology was part of a settlement with a team of Somali axe-wielders who in turn agreed not to chop off the heads of the involved journalists for now, future negotiations might however be deemed necessary.

  • Polichinello · February 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Steyn had a pretty apposite remark about this situation:

    During my difficulties with the Canadian Islamic Congress, some leftie commentator would occasionally wonder how it came about that some rightwing loudmouth like Steyn got to appoint himself the champion of free speech. Well, that’s because, as Politiken’s weaselly “settlement” makes plain, when it comes to upholding bedrock principles of liberty before their avowed enemies, the nancy boys of the left fold like a cheap Bedouin tent.
    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzIwOTgyMDBhMzJmMDQ3MTJkZTQ0NjI0NDdiMjVhNDI=

  • Susan · March 2, 2010 at 7:42 am

    The Saudi lawyer who got the apology is going to sue another fifteen newspapers on behalf of the 1.5 billion descendants of Mohammed who were “deeply hurt” by thecartoon.

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