Friday, December 02, 2005

Denmark: New death threats against Mohammed cartoonists

Denmark is a brave and underrated little infidel nation. Even though they already have trouble because of these cartoons of Muhammad, they still want to make a Muslim "Lif of Brian" - movie based on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's script:

New death threats against Mohammed cartoonists

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned Danish travellers to Pakistan of increased hazard after a Danish newspaper's decision to publish cartoons of Muslim prophet Mohammed escalated into a bounty being placed on the heads of the cartoonists. Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoon drawings of Mohammed in September, sparking angry reactions from Denmark's Muslim population and a number of Muslim countries. A bounty of DKK 50,000 had been put on the head the cartoonist responsible for the drawings, daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende reported on Friday. The Pakistani group offering the reward mistakenly believes that the 12 cartoons were created by just one person. Danish Ambassador to Pakistan Bent Wigotski said the bounty had been promised by religious party Jamaat-e-Islami and its youth organisation, which had also demanded Danish representatives expelled from the country. Danish authorities immediately informed the Pakistani government about the death threats and bounty promised by the party, which is described as nationalistic and fundamentalist. Ever since the demonstrators marched through the streets of Islamabad, the party has been spreading its message through the media and flyers. Wigotski said he had no plans to leave Pakistan, despite hundreds of angry protest letters from Muslims around the world.

'But the situation is of course serious,' he said. 'They might want to get to the Danish illustrators, but if they can't reach them, they could make to with a scapegoat.' That scapegoat could be anybody, the embassy warned, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a new travel advisory for Pakistan warning Danes not to visit the country, given that the Jyllands-Posten cartoons were 'seen by many Muslims as derogatory and blasphemous'. Pakistani Ambassador to Denmark Javed Qureshi denounced the death threats. 'No Pakistani government would ever support such a thing, I'm sure that the current government will take action in the case. I can't imagine that a bounty like that doesn't violate Pakistani legislation,' said Qureshi, who was one of the 11 Muslim ambassadors in Denmark to sign a protest letter to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen about the cartoons. Jyllands-Posten had no comment about the bounty placed on the cartoonists' heads.

Islam vs. Free Speech: The Case of Denmark

As an expression of solidarity, you can send in this draft message:

I would hereby like to express my support for the newspaper Jyllands-Posten publishing cartoons of Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Freedom of speech is the lifeblood of a democratic society, and cannot be tampered with. Muslims in Denmark freely exercise this right, even to say things that people in Denmark find greatly offensive. A leading Danish mufti in 2004 said that Danish women not wearing the veil “were asking for rape.” Another imam wanted to import the sharia concept of blood money to Denmark, and pay the equivalent of 100 camels for a man’s life. If Muslims in Denmark think these are acceptable statements, they cannot by any right claim to be offended by a few simple drawings. At least not if they really mean that Islam is compatible with Western democracy. Jyllands-Posten should know that this case is being followed by individuals from all around the world, and that you have the support of thousands of people who don’t want to see their freedom slip away. Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen should also be commended for his clear and principled stand in this case, as Dutch ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali points out. In an age where too many political leaders shy away from defending the basic values of our societies, it serves to Denmark’s credit to have a leader who still possesses a backbone.

I would also like to condemn the actions made by the ambassadors of several Muslims countries in this case, and those of Turkey in particular. The behavior of the Turkish government is incompatible with that of a nation with a desire to become a part of a Western community such as the EU. If Turkey thinks that the EU shouldn’t be a Christian club, than Turkey should respond in kind by withdrawing from all “Islamic clubs” such as the OIC. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has earlier stated that anti-Islamism should be viewed as a ”crime against humanity”, has pushed for criticism of Islam to be treated as racism within the EU and is now backing an effort to curtail the freedom of speech of the citizens of an EU nation. These actions are not those of a secular politician such as Ataturk, but more closely mirror the attitude of the Ottoman sultans of old. They indicate that a Turkey within the EU would threaten the freedom of European citizens, and clearly demonstrate that Turkey is not yet ready to become a part of the European community.

Suggested email addresses:

Newspaper Jyllands-Posten: ,

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen:

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, Copenhagen, Denmark:

Office of the Turkish President:

The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC): ,


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