Muslims want to 'provoke an apology and win prestige' by saying one thing to Muslims and another to Danes
February 2, 2006
Vebjørn Selbekk, editor of the Norwegian christian paper Magazinet deplores having printed the Mohammed-cartoons. If he would have known the uproar this caused he would not have done so he told his newspaper. Selbekk: 'It is obvious that I have exposed Norwegian civilians, myself, and my family to danger. I do, however, not deplore having used my freedom of speech, as guaranteed by the constitution. The question arises if there is truly freedom of speech in Norway or not. But the fact remains that I now am forced to say that I would not have published these cartoons, and that indicates that the freedom is speech is the real loser.
In the meantime Swedish extremists promise to publish their own Mohammed cartoons. The readers of the magazine SD-Kuriren have been asked to send in their own drawings. The Swedish union of muslims protest and threatens to boycot Swedish goods if the drawings are published. They will seek support from the government. Mahmoud Aldebe: "If they do not protect us, we will seek support elsewhere, in Muslim-countries and from muslim organisations. De Danish foreign secretary awaits eagerly the friday prayers in Mosques. he says that we must anticipate 'an expansion of the boycot now that France, Germany and Austria have printed the cartoons. This may have consequences, according to Per Stig Møller. The Danish prime-minister Fogh Rasmussen says that the government will not apologize. 'The framework of the Danish society does not allow a government to apologize for a free and independent newspaper.
Sükrü Ertosun, chairman of the council for ethnic minorities, criticizes Det Islamiske Trossamfund (Islamic church association) as their demands go to far. Ertosun: 'This is not a matter of more apologies, but of a dialogue between Denmark and the countries in the Middle-East. Ertosun believes that imam Abu Laban, who headed the cartoon- delegation that travelled to Islamic countries, has gone too far. 'He is speaking with two tongues. He says one thing on Arab TV, supports the boycot, and another on Danish television.' Tim Jensen, a researcher of religions, says that the Islamic churches in Denmark have overreached themselves, speaking with two tongues. The historian Karen-Lise Johansen agrees. She says: 'They wanted to provoke an apology and win prestige, but they didn't and it went altogether in another direction. Now they have to pay the price for this tactic.