Daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten has been forced to hire security guard to protect employees from angry Muslims, after it printed a series of cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed
Death threats have forced daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten to hire security guards to protect its employees, after printing twelve cartoons featuring the prophet Mohammed.
The newspaper has been accused of deliberately provoking and insulting Muslims by publishing the cartoons. 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 earlier this month.
And the fallout?
The same day as the newspaper published the cartoons, it received a threatening telephone call against 'one of the twelve illustrators', as the caller said. Shortly afterwards, police arrested a 17-year-old, who admitted to phoning in the threat.
Since then, journalists and editors alike have received threats by email and the telephone. The newspaper told its staff to remain alert, but then decided to hire security guards to protect its Copenhagen office.
'Up until now, we have only had receptionists in the lobby. But we don't feel that they should sit down there by themselves, so we posted a guard there as well,' Juste said.
As always, the Muslims miss the point:
[Århus imam Raed Hlayhel] said he did not understand how such illustrations could be printed with reference to freedom of expression, when Denmark did not tolerate the slightest sign of anti-Semitism.
I'm not sure what the law is with regards to anti-Semitic satire in Denmark, but I think it's fair to say that it limits the call for the killing of Jews, but that's about it.
Unless the imam is talking about the limit on Nazi imagery, which in many European countries is outlawed completely. Perhaps he thinks Nazism is just a flavour of anti-Semitism.
The point he is missing, of course, is that satirical cartoons offensive to Jews and Christians have been created by Danish cartoonists and published. Muslims are not a special case because they're being satirized. They are a special case because of their reaction to satire.
Take Danish cartoonist Julius Hansen, who has done cartoons sure to annoy or offend Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
And finally Muslims:
So what's the real difference? Like I've said before, the real difference is captured in the last cartoon. The last cartoon would never make sense with Christian or Jewish figures crouched behind the wall with their fingers in their ears. That difference is why this newspaper is hiring security guards, and not just girding itself to be on the receiving end of an angry letter writing campaign.
Many Muslims, perhaps most, think theirs is a special case, and that any offense is a priori unjustified, and that the only response to a perceived offense is violent one. Many, if not most, believe that a violence response is justified by their faith.
That is simply not the case with most Christians and Jews when it comes to being offended. Those that do think this way are not just categorized as the most extreme fringe, but by and large considered outcasts altogether.
And until people like Imam Hlayhel understand that, and start to deal with it, Muslims will always seem to be on the receiving end of special treatment in return.
[Michelle Malkin has more, including one of the cartoons.]