Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Insulting Muslims

I first became aware of all this on October 9, 2005, thru JihadWatch.
The list of insults over which Muslims become outraged is endless, but this example illustrates that they take this a bit too seriously.
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http://www.jp.dk/english_news/artikel:aid=3306572/

Imam demands apology for Mohammed cartoons
By The Copenhagen Post

Prophet Muhammed. By: Rasmus Sand Høyer
Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten is facing accusations that it deliberately provoked and insulted Muslims by publishing twelve cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed.

The newspaper urged cartoonists to send in drawings of the prophet, after an author complained that nobody dared to illustrate his book on Mohammed. The author claimed that illustrators feared that extremist Muslims would find it sacrilegious to break the Islamic ban on depicting Mohammed.






Twelve illustrators heeded the newspaper's call, and sent in cartoons of the prophet, which were published in the newspaper one week ago.

Daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad said one Muslim, at least, had taken offence.

'This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims,' Imam Raed Hlayhel wrote in a statement. 'Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world. We demand an apology!'

Jyllands-Posten described the cartoons as a defence for 'secular democracy and right to expression'.

Hlayhel, however, said the newspaper had abused democracy with the single intention of humiliating Muslims.
Lars Refn, one of the cartoonists who participated in the newspaper's call to arms, said he actually agreed with Hlayhel. Therefore, his cartoon did not feature the prophet Mohammed, but a normal Danish schoolboy Mohammed, who had written a Persian text on his schoolroom's blackboard.



'On the blackboard it says in Persian with Arabic letters that 'Jyllands-Posten's journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs',' Refn said. 'Of course we shouldn't let ourselves be censored by a few extremist Muslims, but Jyllands-Posten's only goal is to vent the fires as soon as they get the opportunity. There's nothing constructive in that.'

Flemming Rose, cultural editor at the newspaper, denied that the purpose had been to provoke Muslim. It was simply a reaction to the rising number of situations where artists and writers censured themselves out of fear of radical Islamists, he said.

'Religious feelings cannot demand special treatment in a secular society,' he added. 'In a democracy one must from time to time accept criticism or becoming a laughingstock.'

It is not the first time Hlayhel has created headlines in Denmark. One year ago, he became the target of criticism from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, when he said in a sermon during Friday prayer, that Danish women's behaviour and dress invited rape.





http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/382

Jihad Against Danish Newspaper
From the desk of Paul Belien on Sat, 2005-10-22 21:25

Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten is being protected by security guards and several cartoonists have gone into hiding after the newspaper published a series of twelve cartoons (view them here) about the prophet Muhammad. According to the Islam it is blasphemous to make images of the prophet. Muslim fundamentalists have threatened to bomb the paper’s offices and kill the cartoonists.

The newspaper published the cartoons when a Danish author complained that he could find no-one to illustrate his book about Muhammad. Jyllands-Posten wondered whether there were more cases of self-censorship regarding Islam in Denmark and asked twelve illustrators to draw the prophet for them. Carsten Juste, the paper’s editor, said the cartoons were a test of whether the threat of Islamic terrorism had limited the freedom of expression in Denmark.



The publication led to outrage among the Muslim immigrants living in Denmark. 5,000 of them took to the streets to protest. Muslim organisations have demanded an apology, but Juste rejects this idea: “We live in a democracy. That’s why we can use all the journalistic methods we want to. Satire is accepted in this country, and you can make caricatures,” he said. The Danish imam Raed Hlayhel reacted with the statement: “This type of democracy is worthless for Muslims. Muslims will never accept this kind of humiliation. The article has insulted every Muslim in the world.”

Flemming Rose, the cultural editor at the newspaper, denied that the purpose had been to provoke Muslims. It was simply a reaction to the rising number of situations where artists and writers censored themselves out of fear of radical Islamists, he said. “Religious feelings cannot demand special treatment in a secular society,” he added. “In a democracy one must from time to time accept criticism or becoming a laughingstock.”



The affair, however, has also led to a diplomatic incident. On Thursday the ambassadors of eleven Muslim countries, including Indonesia, a number of Arab states, Pakistan, Iran, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, complained about the cartoons in a letter to Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen. They say the publication of the cartoons is a “provocation” and demand apologies from the newspaper.

Jyllands-Posten was also included on an al-Qaeda website listing possible terrorist targets. An organisation which calls itself “The Glorious Brigades in Northern Europe” is circulating pictures on the internet which show bombs exploding over pictures of the newspaper and blood flowing over the national flag of Denmark. “The Mujahedeen have numerous targets in Denmark – very soon you all will regret this,” the website says.



Meanwhile in Brussels a young Muslim immigrant published a poster depicting the Virgin Mary with naked breasts. Though the picture has drawn some protest from Catholics (though not from Western embassies, nor from the bishops), this artist need not fear being murdered in the street. On the contrary, he is being subsidised by the Ministry for Culture.


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http://www.cphpost.dk/get/91710.html

PM ditches Muslims for freedom of speech

25.10.2005

Muslim ambassadors will not be granted a meeting with the prime minister on the freedom of speech

Eleven Muslim ambassadors in Denmark looking to meet with Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to discuss what they call a 'smear campaign' in the media against Islam and Muslims have had their request denied.

The prime minister had otherwise been encouraged by the opposition to meet with the group as a way to increase understanding in an increasingly controversial public debate.

In recent weeks, both the minister of culture and a Copenhagen mayoral candidate have retracted statements they made about Muslims and Islamic culture.

Most recently, national daily Jyllands-Posten has invoked international ire by publishing twelve caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, some of which characterised him as a terrorist.


Pictorial depictions of Mohammed are frowned upon by Islam.

'This is a matter of principle. I won't meet with them because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so,' said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen reiterated his message that individuals who felt offended by the tone of the public debate should bring their grievances to the courts.

'As prime minister, I have no power whatsoever to limit the press - nor do I want such a power,' he said. 'It is a basic principle of our democracy that a prime minister cannot control the press.'

Rasmussen said that though he preferred a positive debate in the press, as long as people kept their comments with in the boundaries of the law, the motives behind the comments were not an issue.

'Some people say that the press needs to be constructive, and sometimes I also think that'd be nice. But who's to say what's constructive? That's an unfair demand to make. The press needs to be critical - I need to bear that as prime minister and religions must do so as well,' he said.
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