All entries for Tuesday 07 February 2006

February 07, 2006

The Danish PM deserves respect

As blogged by many people, the issue of the newspapers publishing cartoons of Muhammad have seen a storm of protests. I personally believe Ankit's entry link has a good argument on the issues of free speech. Although I believe the newspaper was wrong to publish the cartoons and so were the other newspapers, who then did not apologise in the name of preserving free speech, I believe the anger at the Danish people must stop.

The Nordic countries are peace loving countries and have always helped the poor, unlike the USA or Australia, Denmark gives 1% of its GNP towards international aid, one of the highest percentages amongst the rich nations. Norway is helping out with the peace agreement between SriLankan government and the LTTE. They do not possess nuclear weapons, they have the lowest rates of corruption and are probably the safest and best living conditions. Denmark also has a 200,000 Muslim population, who themselves did not react with such violence.
The prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen rightly says "We need to resolve this issue through dialogue, not violence," apart from pointing out that Danish people are not the enemies of Islam. But what truly caught my attention was his remark

"[This] is a very unpleasant situation for Danes, we're not used to this,
It is true, Danes are peace loving people who live in probably one of the best countries to live in. They do not interfere too much with messy politics and respect the values of democracy. Unfortunately the newspaper that published the articles failed to recognize that free speech does not mean depicting Muhammad as a terrorist, and its failure to apologise has put an entire country of innocent peace loving people in turmoil, as well as giving fundamentalists another reason to take demonstrations to an entire new level.

I fully respect the Danish PMs stance in this issue, and hope that the Danish people aren't misrepresented due to the action of one newspaper being copied by others arounf Europe.

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