The Danish cartoon case is becoming a never-ending story, which shows that freedom of speech no longer exists in Europe. After the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations and the Council of Europe, the European Union is now the fourth multinational organisation to lash out at the Danish government for not calling a Danish newspaper to account for publishing caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Franco Frattini, the vice-President of the European Commission, called the publication of the twelve cartoons [see them here] “thoughtless and inappropriate” in a time when animosity towards Islam is on the rise. According to Frattini, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security, the cartoons foment hostility against Islam and foreigners:
“Honestly, these kinds of drawings can add to the growing Islamophobia in Europe. I fully respect the freedom of speech, but, excuse me, one should avoid making any statement like this, which only arouses and incites to the growing radicalisation.”
The twelve cartoons were not all disrespectul, but Islam prohibits making pictures of the prophet. The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons last September to test the limits of free speech in multicultural Denmark.
The ambassadors of eleven Muslim countries to Copenhagen, including Bosnia and Turkey, asked Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to demand that the paper apologize to Muslims, but Rasmussen refused to interfere because the Danish government respects the freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
According to the author Robert Spencer the EU reaction shows that the EU recommends dhimmitude: “Instead of praising Rasmussen for his defense of Western values of free speech, the EU is demanding that he stand down and adopt their policy of appeasement.” What the whole affair has so far proved is that Denmark is one of the last Western countries where freedom of speech still exists.
“I am a Catholic myself, and if anyone had created a drawing of a holy Christian symbol with a bomb and a message about death, I would personally take it as an insult,” Frattini said. Does he really? Frattini became European commissioner last year because the European Union vetoed the Catholic Rocco Buttiglione because as a Catholic the latter disapproved of homosexuality and abortion.
Meanwhile, the UN has taken its action against Denmark a step further by asking the Danish Prime Minister for “an official explanation.” Doudou Diene, a Senegalese investigator appointed by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Louise Arbour, has asked the Rasmussen government to respond to the question: “Do the caricatures insult or discredit?” Copenhagen is expected to present the UN its “official view” on January 24.
Diene emphasized that the UN are taking the matter very seriously because, he says, “Islamophobia is the greatest component of discrimination within Europe.” Earlier on, the Canadian Arbour had stated in a letter to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference that the cartoons were “an unacceptable disrespect.”
Jihad Against Danish Paper, 22 October 2005
Cartoon Case Escalates into International Crisis, 27 October 2005
Out of the Iranian Frying Pan into the Danish Fire, 29 October 2005
Pigs Do Not Fly, 17 November 2005
Bounty Offered for Murdering Cartoonists, 4 December 2005
UN to Investigate Racism of Danish Cartoonists, 7 December 2005
Dispatch from the Eurabian Front, 9 December 2005
Europe Criticises Copenhagen over Cartoons, 21 December 2005