SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
DANISH MUSLIMS DEFEND CHOICE TO BRING ATTENTION TO CARTOON ISSUE
DANISH EDITOR LEAVES NEWSPAPER
February 11, 2006
The effects of one Danish editor’s decision to solicit and publish 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed continue to have repurcussions around the world –violence, civil disobedience, and economic sanctions. Tehran has severed diplomatic relations with Denmark. The “culture” editor who started the whole thing has left the newspaper, and the paper has apologized.
Yesterday morning on NPR it was reported that two Danish companies, manufacturers of dairy products — butter and cheeses — have lost their Middle Eastern contracts, almost overnight. The smaller of these two companies faces impending bankruptcy.
Muslim groups had petitioned the Danish Prime Minister for more than four months to address the issue of hateful sacreligious images of Mohammed. The PM Rasmussen refused to meet with them. So they brought the issue to Egypt, and kept bringing it to world attention until last week, finally, violence and rioting drove the point home.
See also: J’ACCUSE. JE REFUSE.
In yesterday’s diary I called for the firing of the “culture” editor Rose, and apology from the newspaper, and the closing down of the newspaper. Well, two out of three ain’t bad as Meat Loaf once sang.
The newspaper’s policy of printing incindiary images of Mohammed is defended by the paper, citing “freedom of speech.” 66% of Danes polled continue to support the paper’s position, 22% blame the paper for starting international riots, and 58% of Danes blame the Muslim imams who petitioned Danish govt to stop publishing the images.
In Bhopal India thousands of demonstrators held a sllent protest. Tens of thousands of people in 15 countries have been holding peaceful protests.
Here’s a good article from India:
India; February 11, 2006
Despite the dangers it presents, the outrage over caricatures of Prophet Mohammad also affords us opportunities, writes KISHORE MAHBUBANI
The Chinese word for “crisis” is brilliant: It combines two characters: danger and opportunity. The crisis over the Danish cartoons on Islam presents many dangers, but also offers some opportunities.
The first opportunity the crisis provides is to educate us on how much the world has changed. Before this crisis, the 5.4 million Danes could retain the illusion that they sailed on a different boat from the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.
Now they, like most Europeans, are aware that those Muslims share the same boat. None of us would board a boat and deliberately rile a large group of fellow passengers. If one group rocks the boat, we would all sink together. The Danish cartoon crisis has demonstrated that the 5.4 million Danes, and 400 million fellow EU citizens, share a common political and emotional space with 1.2 billion Muslims. These Muslims are experiencing a deep existential angst, an angst aggravated by the Danish cartoons. Their anger can rock our boat. The widespread riots and loss of life that followed should now spur us to understand the deep roots of this anger.
The Danes are familiar with the proverbial expression of the straw that broke the camel’s back. The cartoons, perhaps only a straw, reinforce the deep sense of injustice that many Muslims feel. Muslims are convinced that the world, especially the West, shows no moral concern over their plight. The loss of innocent Muslim lives, whether in Iraq and Palestinian territories, Afghanistan or Pakistan, does not stir the world.
IN OTHER WORLD NEWS:
MASSIVE PEACEFUL WORLDWIDE DEMONSTRATIONS.
MANY PEOPLE SEEN BEARING PLACARDS:
WE LOVE SUSAN HU.
Okay, so they didn’t. But I am protesting peacefully and here’s my placard:
OPEN LETTER TO SUSAN HU
You are such an asset to this site, and to journalism that you should be awarded a Pulitzer.
THOU SHALT NOT CONSIDER LEAVING THIS SITE.
THOU SHALT HAVE NEW EYEGLASSES TO IMPROVE THY SIGHT.
THOU ART A PERSON WHO IS SO FAR OUT AS TO BE OUTTASITE!!
I love you. Don’t consider leaving. You are the best. Your work on Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo documents, your work on human rights issues…. who else would undertake this work with your dedication and discipline, tenacity…. which translates down into HOPE doing the WORK in FAITH THAT JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL.
(Like you, I also once received a letter from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. This letter says: Your work is valuable, even though it may seem thankless and that you struggle on alone… there are countless others around the world working, sometimes in isolation, towards the same goal.)
Susan, I want you to have all the peace, wellness, love that you have earned, and all the money you need… for glasses, and smokes, and maybe a two-day holiday? WHO’S GOT A BETTER RIGHT???
I REALLY LOVE YOU, SUSANHU!!
I Take Offense; Catnip; February 8th, 2006