John on February 9, 2006 at 8:00 pm
The Culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the Danish paper that published the Islamic cartoons has a solution to the crisis:
We want to show that Jyllands-Posten does not have an anti-Muslim bent,’ he told TV2, showing a cartoon of a crucifix with a black shadow looming over it.
Rose said printing the cartoons was a way to show that all sides were open to criticism in a multi-cultural society.
‘If all religions were allowed to force people in Denmark to abide by their religious dogma and taboo, Denmark wouldn’t be an especially nice place to live,’ he said.
So the way to soothe offended Muslims is by offending Christians. Brilliant! As for his statement that Denmark shouldn’t have to live by dogma, it seems to me there’s only one religion making such a suggestion. Why are we back to lumping Christianity and Islam together. As I think the last week has shown, there is a difference.
In a related story in the same paper, the Vice PM of Denmark has some criticism of his country’s anti-religious culture.
What Jyllands-Posten did is totally legal. I’ve got nothing against freedom of speech – it is important for us all – but if it can offend and hurt a lot of people, why use freedom of speech for that? This is about respecting other people’s cultures,’ Bendtsen said.
Bendtsen compared the 12 Jyllands-Posten caricatures of Mohammed to pictures of Jesus with an erect penis painted by Danish artist Jens JÃ¸rgen Thorsen.
‘I was deeply affected by them. I didn’t like them. Those are some of the same emotions,’ he said, pointing out that it was not unheard of for Danes to get upset over misused religious symbols: Two summers ago, a grocery store was forced to stop selling flip flops with pictures of Jesus after religious groups complained.
I think it’s reasonable to ask how much respect Islamic culture deserves at this point (at least some Muslims are denouncing the violence), but the question surely does apply to Jesus flip-flops. What possible point is there besides being offensive for offense’s sake.
Update: After being forced by senior editors to back down on his plan to print anti-Holocaust and anti-Christian cartoons, the Culture editor of the Jyllands-Posten has taken (been asked to take?) an indefinite leave from the paper.