Sunday, February 26, 2006

Explanation From Danish Editor

The News and Record ran a story in the Ideas section of todays Sunday paper from Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten that ran the cartoons depicting Muhammad. He gives his explanation for running them, the reason behind it, and some insight into freedom of speech rights and the cultural double edged sword that a lot of people expect.

Some highlight quotes:

"I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam."

"The cartoonist treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions. And by treating Muslims in Denmark as equals they made a point: We are integrating you into the Danish tradition of satire because you are part of our society."

"When I visit a mosque, I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible in a secular democracy."

It is a very insightful op-ed piece. The original printed in the WAPO is here, originally ran on Feb. 19th.
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