Appeasing Oslo Strikes at Press, Al-Guardian Strikes at Danes

An article by Hjörtur Gudmundsson, with Alexandra Colen on Al-Guardian

Norway has a far-left government. Since it came to power last October it has grovelled at the feet of extremist Muslims, even considering a consumer boycott of Israel in order to please the islamofascists. The Norwegian government apologized immediately when some of its newspapers reprinted the Danish Muhammad cartoons. This did not prompt the Muslim extremists to treat Oslo any differently than Copenhagen, however. Last week both the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus were torched and ransacked.

Instead of pondering the fact that the islamofascists despise their appeasers at least as much (and perhaps even more) than those who bravely resist them, the Norwegian government is taking it out on the Norwegian media. While the Danish government blamed the Syrian authorities Norway’s Socialist Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg yesterday blamed the Christian newspaper Magazinet for the destruction of the embassy.

Magazinet was the first Norwegian newspaper to republish the Muhammad cartoons, though Aftenposten (the second biggest paper in Norway) and Dagbladet (the third biggest) also did. For some reason, however, Mr Stoltenberg did not accuse the other two papers. “It is more convenient to attack us since we are [a] small [newspaper] and Christian,” says Vebjørn Selbekk, Magazinet’s editor, whom the Muslim extremists have threatened to assassinate. Because they are small, conservative and Christian (how many Muslims read Magazinet and can possibly be offended by it?), Mr. Stoltenberg refers to them as extremists.

Asked whether he thought Magazinet had contributed to the attack on the embassy the Prime Minister replied: “In any case the people protesting use it as a reason – the people protesting the Muhammad cartoons which were republished in Magazinet. We have complained many times that Muslims feel their religion is being insulted. However, in a country with freedom of expression, it would be madness for a government to try to prevent a newspaper from publishing cartoons.” How unfortunate it is that the Norwegian government does not have the powers of Fidel Castro, its great example and hero.

Mr Stoltenberg was also asked if he though the editor of Magazinet was to some extent responsible for the attack. He replied: “I will not use that word. But, as I said, the people protesting are reacting to the cartoons.” In other words Mr Stoltenberg blames Magazinet and its editor, rather than the people who torched the Damascus embassy and the Syrian authorities who refused to protect the building.

When Vebjørn Selbekk was asked for a first reaction to the words of his Prime Minister, he responded with disbelief. “I have received 35 death threats since I published those cartoons. [...] This is naturally an extreme strain for me, my wife and my three children. And then the Norwegian Prime Minister decides to blame me for the burning of the embassy. [...] This is not worthy of a Prime Minister,“ Mr Selbekk said. He added that Norwegian politicians should realize that there are deeper causes for the unrest in the Middle East than those cartoons.

The conservative Progress Party has come out in support of Magazinet. The results of an opinion poll published in Verdens Gang, the country’s largest paper, indicate that a majority of the Norwegians agrees. Asked if the decision to publish the cartoons was right, about 60% said yes.

Last week the BBC asked Flemming Rose, the culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the paper which first published the cartoons last September, whether he would still publish the cartoons today considering the consequences. Mr Rose replied: “I think asking me that question is like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt on Friday night at the discotheque.” Even if the skirt was provocative, the question one should ask is whether the rapist can validly claim  that he is not to blame because the woman provoked him.

Meanwhile the British newspaper al-Guardian, which has not published the Muhammad cartoons, refers readers who want to see the cartoons and make up their own minds to The Brussels Journal. The British paper has not even placed the drawings on its website. While conveniently referring to other websites, it simultaneously attacks those publications that had the courage to show the drawings themselves. Yesterday al-Guardian “revealed” that three years ago Jyllands-Posten refused to run cartoons ridiculing Christ – something al-Guardian has no qualms about, as Steve Bell’s cartoon, reprinted below, shows. Martin Rowson, another al-Guardian cartoonist, also regularly depicts Jesus and the Christian’s God.


Al-Guardian and other liberal European papers have over the past decades deliberately mocked Christians and their beliefs in ways which were far more offensive than the twelve Danish cartoons [see them all here, halfway down the page]. Anyone who would have expected al-Guardian to apply the same standards to the Muslim’s prophet and Allah now realize that its attacks were not directed so much against religion as against Christian religion. The aim was not – as many long thought – the advancement of a secular Europe, but rather the creation of a religious vacuum in Europe which Islam could consequently fill. Last July al-Guardian had a Muslim extremist write in its op-ed pages that the London bombings were the responsibility of the British.

More on the cartoon case (see list at end of article)