SAY UNCLE, ALREADY.
The fiery protests raging across the Islamic world and in Europe and US would leave no one in doubt that if immediate steps are not taken to check the Muslim anger, situation could very well get out of hand. As this newspaper had pointed out earlier, the tame explanation offered by the Jyllands-Posten has failed to mollify the anguished Muslims. And rightly so. Things have gone too far to be brought in control now. Only a genuine apology by the Danish leadership and action against those responsible for this outrage could bring this episode to a close. It’s rather strange therefore that Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen continues to ignore this call hiding behind the fig-leaf of freedom of speech. Even after his marathon meeting with the 76 ambassadors from the Muslim and Western nations on Friday, Rasmussen insists that the Danish government cannot apologise for the newspaper.
The Danish leadership has to realise that this issue has now become much bigger than a mere apology. It has acquired the contours of a veritable clash of civilisations. And at stake is the fabled tolerance and inclusive character of the European society that has for years allowed all faiths and people to co-exist in peace.
The Danish newspaper and all those that emulated it have endangered the peace and stability of this multicultural society. In the name of freedom of speech, they have deeply hurt the religious sensibilities and deeply-held beliefs of a community that not only loves and reveres its own Prophet but also holds in high esteem all prophets who came before him. A tolerant and pluralist society always respects the sentiments and feelings of its minorities. This is what is secularism is all about. This is why Denmark must not only apologise for the actions of Jyllands-Posten, but it must show it genuinely cares for its minorities by acting against those responsible for this outrage.
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pst314 - 2/8/2006
Blogger Laurence Simon has promised to apologize from the steps fo the largest synagogue in Saudi Arabia...which certainly highlights the moral failings of the Muslim world.
Pomerol - 2/8/2006
"Because of the stridency and childishness I am encountering on this website I find I am being pushed into a position which I don't want to take. I too, believe in freedom of expression and belief, but it has to be tempered by common sense. To see this incident as merely 'freedom' related is simplifying it."
Sometimes it gives clearance to view the world from a simple point of view. But I don't understand your argument -it seems pretty simple to me from my point of view and it does not backup your statement.
"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you only have to fool the majority of people for one day every couple of years, and you have a democracy!"
Makes you wonder who is fooling who doesn't it. Can Islam be defined as equivalent to democracy?
BTW yes this in a very narrow view on democracy I think.
pst314 - 2/7/2006
I am not allowed to spit in your face or let my dog defecate on your property, but I DO have the right to say that I think your opinions are wrong-headed and pernicious. I also have the right to draw cartoons satirizing your opinions. If you cannot accept that, then you should move to a society where the state controls all speech.
pst314 - 2/7/2006
"I don't have the right or freedom to spit in your face. Or do you have the right to spit in mine and so secure your rights?"
Spitting is assault. Expressing an opinion that offends you is not.
"Because of the stridency and childishness I am encountering on this website"
Perhaps you see disagreement as childishness, and passionate defense of liberty against theocracy as stridency.
To quote Thomas Jefferson on tyranny-minded clergy: "...for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Lorraine Paul - 2/7/2006
I don't have the right or freedom to spit in your face. Or do you have the right to spit in mine and so secure your rights?
Because of the stridency and childishness I am encountering on this website I find I am being pushed into a position which I don't want to take. I too, believe in freedom of expression and belief, but it has to be tempered by common sense. To see this incident as merely 'freedom' related is simplifying it.
As another example I don't have the freedom of expression to let my dogs bark all night or defecate on your property. This is taking it to absurd levels! Thankfully we are all constrained explicitly and implicitly. Why do we queue at the post office? Isn't it one's right to just shove through and demand to be served first?
This is not a simplistic situation, why are so many treating it as such?
Pomerol - 2/6/2006
One more thing.
"A tolerant and pluralist society always respects the sentiments and feelings of its minorities. This is what is secularism is all about."
To be precise "secularism" is the seperation of church and state. This conflict is do the fact that secularism has not been taken place in ME. And I think it will take centuries before it does take place - if ever...
Henning - 2/6/2006
Ok... Apology will be given by Fogh Rasmussen in the largest church in Saudi Arab Kingdom..
Pomerol - 2/6/2006
"A society does have to be sensitive to the minorities living within it. After all, that minority meets bigotry and prejudice every day by stupid people living with such a society."
You are right a society should be sensitive to the minorities living within it. But the only way to be sensitive is by securing all people their rights in a democracy. And that is exactly what we have been trying to do in Denmark for years. I'm not saying the project is finished. It probably never will be. Democracy is a project always on its move.
Pomerol - 2/6/2006
"This is why Denmark must not only apologise for the actions of Jyllands-Posten, but it must show it genuinely cares for its minorities by acting against those responsible for this outrage."
Well acting against those responsible for this outrage - isn't that excatly what the Danish Government and the Danes are doing. We are not responsible for the muslims reaction. We are all responsible for our own actions - I really don't believe in this "stimuli - respons theory". Or do muslims feel that they are not responsible for their own actions - maybe - afterall many muslims are not allowed to act freely due to the fact that they are living in countries where that isn't allowed...
"It’s rather strange therefore that Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen continues to ignore this call hiding behind the fig-leaf of freedom of speech. Even after his marathon meeting with the 76 ambassadors from the Muslim and Western nations on Friday, Rasmussen insists that the Danish government cannot apologise for the newspaper."
I do not find it strange. Rasmussen doesn't control the media. Therefore apologising on behalf of a media he doesn't controle just doesn't make any sense at all.
Nilanjana Dasgupta - 2/5/2006
Absolute rubbish and garbage. On the contrary more such cartoons should be published. The Islamo-facists should understand that peoples perception of their religion is all about terrorism and bombs, and perceptions cannot be changed by black-mailing and holding others hostage. The have done it for all too long, and for once everone should stand up, show resilience by backing up for those newspapers who have shown the courage to print them. I dont understand what this hue and cry is all about. Even Muslim artists in India (Maqbool Fida Hussain) has the guts to denigrate Hindu Godess (saraswati) by depicting her in nude, in a Hindu majority land. So why can't we do it. We sure can.
Lorraine Paul - 2/5/2006
I don't know what the problem is with the above article. I found it moderate and sensible. A society does have to be sensitive to the minorities living within it. After all, that minority meets bigotry and prejudice every day by stupid people living with such a society. Surely it isn't too much to ask that an ethos of courtesy to minorities be maintained within societal institutions such as newspapers. No matter their political persuasion.
Some may call this lip-service, however, I live in Australia, one of the most, if not the most, successful multi-cultural societies in the world.
Islamic newspapers have often portrayed Jews and at times Christians with similar disdain, yet the streets aren't filled with protestors from these faiths. Iran wants to eradicate Israel and by extension the Jews, they call the USA the Great Satan, Palestinians celebrated when planes crash into the WTC. Do they really think Westerners are sympathetic when they protest about some lousy drawings?
As one of the great monotheistic religions, Islam should be respected, but will never be in the West as long as these extremists are allowed to "hijack" a great religion of peace and charity. It is the responsibility of the religious leadership to explain this to their followers.
The violence of the extreme Islamic protestors reflects exactly the type of behavior that inspired these cartoons in the first place.
Heidi H - 2/5/2006
I've just been chatting with a Bhuddist from India, his advice is: West! sharpen your weapons!
He also said: The holy Quran states that no Muslim should judge - that is for Allah to do!
So my question is: Are all Muslims reading the same book? Or are there different editions of the same book published in different countries/among different groups? Or is this book so selfcontradicting (like the bible in many cases) that nobody knows what to make of it? Or is it really true that the fundamentalistic, extremist Muslims are a minority? If this is the case then the silence of moderate, Arabic Muslims deafening!
Tom Jefferson - 2/5/2006
Hiding behind free speech? Without free speech no minority would have any rights. Without the right to speak your mind you have nothing. Tolerance works both ways, and if Muslims want to wear their ignorance on their sleeves as they tend to do. Then so be it. But burning and killing is not free speech, nor is it tolerant. J
M.T. - 2/5/2006
Listen: The danish prime-minister is the representative of the danish population: WE DID NOTHING WRONG; DO YOU UNDERSTAND - WE CANNOT AND WILL NOT EXCUSE SOMETHING WE DIDN'T DO!!! TALK TO THE NEWSPAPER!
The newspaper appologized - so isn't it time for you to start using your intelligence and make an analysis why you are using this situation to get your aggressions out?
I can tell you, that you seem very frustrated because the world you are living in doesn't contribute much to the rest of the world! You are SO much behind because of the way your societies are "ruled" and the way the religion is used! The rest of the world really dosn't need you all that much!
NOBODY UNDERSTANDS YOUR MINORITY COMPLEX THIS WAY - YOU ONLY CREATE DISBELIEF, ANGER AND A WILL TO ISOLATE YOU IN WORLD MATTERS!
Nobody can deal with the way the arab world is showing off its total misery - I'm so sorry for you, and I would like to help - If you would stop taking an entire nation hostage, threatening to cut of our heads and explode bombs in our cities!
Cant you se that you are in rage about a cartoon that implies that your religion is violent - and then you react like this! Don't you have mirrors down there, so you can look at yourself?
And listen - you are destroying it for every muslim in europe. ITs a sad sad thing!
Bry - 2/5/2006
I have a new theory. It seems that
the more you fill your head with religious beliefs the more stupid you get...
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