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RE: Danish/American & Sidda

Reader comment on item: Something Rotten in Denmark?
in response to reader comment: thank you

Submitted by Hind Samy (United States), Mar 26, 2006 at 21:16

Hello again,
I would like to reply to one of your comments:

Submitted by Danish/American, Mar 20, 2006 at 22:32

That is what underlies this cartoon debacle. Do the Islamists have the right to impose their religious edicts or prohibitions on to people who do not share their beliefs? Not only in the area of drawing cartoons, but in other areas as well.

It is not just about our religious beliefs - of course it's not right to force any opinion or belief on someone else - I totally believe in my religion and of course I get upset when someone maliciously disrespects it, it's only normal, however the issue here is about freedom of speech isn't it?

Let's try to understand the reasons behind the postings of these cartoons - the intentions of the newspaper - we all know it wasn't about freedom of speech.

60 Minutes CBS:

Buitgen's problem became known to the editors of Denmark's largest newspaper. Its cultural editor, Flemming Rose, said he was offended by what he called this self-censorship. He explained himself in an interview that aired on the BBC.

" "It's problematic if some Muslims require of me that I in the public space, in the public domain, have to submit myselves to their taboos. In that case I don't think they are asking for my respect. I think they are asking for my submission," Rose said.

But Rose has said he wasn't about to submit. Instead, as a challenge, he invited Danish cartoonists to submit cartoons about the Prophet and he printed twelve of them. One showed Muhammad wearing a turban that was really a bomb.

"Because in Denmark we do have a tradition of satire and humor, some of the cartoonists made satirical cartoons. But that's what we do with Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, that's what we do with other religions," Rose said.

Well, not exactly. The editors of the paper, the Jyllands-Posten, recently rejected a satirical depiction of the resurrection, saying it would cause a public outcry. But the paper did print the Muhammad cartoons: all 12 of them. And until last week, Rose defended his decision on just about every broadcast that would have him. "

If Danes like to satirise anything and everything, then why was the piece on the resurrection not done?


"The newspaper insisted from the start that its purpose was to show that there are no higher values in a democratic society than free speech and free expression. And if Muslims want to live in Denmark, the paper insists, they'd better buy that. But as soon as events started careening out of control last week, the editors of this bastion of free speech responded by refusing to speak to anyone at all. "

A comment by Toger Seidenfaden editor of a Danish newspaper:

" "The way I've put it, and we've been saying in our editorials for some time, is we are defending their right to be stupid. We think that being stupid is part of freedom of speech," says Seidenfaden.

Asked if he thinks Jyllands-Posten realized the fallout the publication of these cartoons might cause, Seidenfaden says, "No, I don't think they had any idea that there would be an international crisis. Certainly not one of this size. But, of course, they were doing it to get a reaction from the local Muslim religious minority. And they said so very explicitly. They explained on their front page that they were doing this, and I quote, 'To teach religious Muslims in Denmark that in our society, they must accept to be scorned, mocked and ridiculed.'"

"They were stirring it up?" Simon asked.

"It was very much stirring it up," Seidenfaden replied."

Scorned? Ridiculed? Mocked? This is how to encourage people to integrate into a society? It seems to me Muslims are put in a no win situation - they're accused of not integrating in Western societies, and at the same time they're "mocked, ridiculed and scorned" but expected to take it all in their stride and integrate?

Last night I wrote a post for this forum about the treatment of Muslims in European countries, hopefully it will be posted by the time you read this.

Sidda you write:
"That is what underlies this cartoon debacle. Do the Islamists have the right to impose their religious edicts or prohibitions on to people who do not share their beliefs? Not only in the area of drawing cartoons, but in other areas as well."

The outrage is not just about our religious beliefs - it is about the double standards being practised by the West when it comes to freedom of speech and freedom of expression and the downright blatant racism and hatred Muslims are facing by the West. Please don't deny racism against Muslims isn't a problem - it is and it's growing, Muslims are NOT terrorists - don't generalise, if all Muslims were terrorists the West would be facing World War 3!

I think there's a saying in English somewhere along the lines of : if you keep calling a person a criminal (or something), for long enough, they will eventually begin behaving like one - sorry but I don't remember the expression but I'm sure you'll understand what I'm trying to say.

A friend of mine a while back emailed me a link to the Iranian cartoons done about the Holocaust - I visited the site and saw them. A few days later I revisted the site and it had been closed - freedom of speech and expression indeed - selective freedom of speech more like it.

Peace to you both.

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