The title to this post is the name of the Danish (Denmark) newspaper that printed the anti-Muslim cartoons. Here is what the editor had to say during a subsequent interview:
Absolutely not. That's not our newspaper's attitude. It's not any newspaper's attitude. We have a set of ethical guidelines that require us to be considerate of people, of minorities, etc, and we viewed these drawings in that light. Even now, when I look at those drawings I still ask myself: 'How in the world could anybody react so dramatically to what for me are simple, commonplace, and harmless cartoons?'
I kid you not. The dude really is, apparently, that much of an asshole.
My interest in this racism was recently renewed when another editor-type, presumably from the same paper, maybe the guy who actually 'pulled the trigger', so to speak, got some space in the WaPo for pushing his tired defense. He listed his email address, so I wrote letters, despite how tired I am of writing to such crude people:
There are serious flaws with just about every piece of 'evidence' you put forth to support your decision to recklessly publish those anti-Muslim/Islam images. Trying to latch onto totalitarianism? You gotta be kidding me, man. You sound like Bush - talkin about 'freedom' and 'democracy' - it's all hollow.
Let me cite just one example of flimsy evidence from your weak defense: the museum that didn't want to 'rile things up' in England. First, that museum was an equal-opportunity religion basher. Had you printed cartoons of the 'Pope sucking the penis of a little boy', next to the anti-Muslim cartoons, I suspect that the often-violent response we're seeing around the world would not be limited to Muslims, but all sorts of Christians, too. Second, you seem to suggest as a bad thing a newspaper choosing to not print something that would incite worldwide violence. Are you really that irresponsible? I guess you thought you were safe up there in good 'ol Denmark, but there are these other places in the world that, you know, have those Muslim folks there - and the people in those places actually have to live with Muslims - close by, next door and stuff. Comprende?
It was irresponsible in the extreme. You should own up to it, finally, at long last. I wrote on my world-famous blog (or something) that i was anxiously awaiting the publication/re-printing of the winners of the Iranian anti-Jewish/pro-Holocaust-as-myth winning images - and i still am. Let's see how far this free speech thing really goes. You can make the case for Muslim intimidation - I can make the case for Jewish intimidation, most often occurring here in the United States in the form of the 'anti-Semitic' labeling of any person who disagrees with Israeli policy.
I really feel like maybe you don't 'get it' yet. Let me say this - I supported Chomsky, and still do, when he defended the right of a Holocaust denier to speak his mind without being punished by the state (France). That's a pretty hard-core belief in 'free speech', wouldn't you say? Yet, I would not have, and do not, support your position in publishing those images. It would be akin to a major U.S.-based newspaper running a bunch of cartoons depicting the 'Fun of lynching blacks' - you can imagine what those cartoons would look like. It is, on its face, completely outrageous. Am I getting through yet? I don't walk around the streets of the U.S. pushing the limits of 'free speech' by dropping 'N-bombs' on every black person I see because I'm not racist, but even if I was, I wouldn't do it unless I had a death wish. Do you, sir, have a death wish? Or, perhaps you had a death wish for innocent non-Muslims and Muslims around the world who would be caught up in the violence caused by your decision to recklessly print that garbage?
You should be deeply ashamed of yourself for this horrific thing you've done which has led to so much violence, destruction, and death. Granted, Bushco helped build Muslim passions (and all decent people, one would hope, though that is obviously not the case with you) over the last few years with his systematic rape and torture of Arab and Muslim men, women, and children, but that makes me wonder even more what planet you've been living on. Are you that righteous that you couldn't even begin to understand your role in what was to become this catastrophe? You just had no idea that something like this was going to happen? Have you heard about this thing going on in the Middle East. Ira...Ira....Iraq? Something like that, anyways. Abu...Ab...Abu Grhaib? Is that it? Gua...Guant...Gitmo? Torture? Rape? Murder? Occupation? Heard of any of that sir, or have you been watching Fox News full-time?
It's deeply offensive, this article of yours - suggesting that you were just innocently defending free speech, and freedom from intimidation. And i'm not buying it. Your story doesn't hold water. Don't be a John Rocker - we're not buying it, and we never will. Come clean, now - it's the best way - it's the only way.
You put your email here - good job. I feel bad about all the hate mail you're going to get, but forgive me for not losing sleep over it. You are responsible for this. You had plenty of help, but you are the one who did this. Life is long, though - so there may still be time for you to do some good in the world. Start by coming clean about why you published these cartoons. Come clean about your disregard for the feelings of billions of Muslims around the world. Apologize.
And to think that I've harbored such a positive vision of Denmark, ever since I visited as a teen, to play soccer on your awesome soccer fields. Shame. Shame. Your country is just as bigoted as America.
Looking forward to those 'Holocaust-as-myth' cartoons!
Dude's trying to play righteous and/or dumb. Unreal. Nobody died when John Rocker went on his racist tirade.
UPDATE: Changed 'anti-Muslim articles' in the first line of this post to 'anti-Muslim cartoons'. Thanks to a reader for pointing it out.
UPDATE: What is this wacky Danish newspaper all about, anyways? Raimondo links to a Counterpunch article:
So, let’s look at the guy who started this whole cartoon escapade. He’s Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of the Danish newspaper. In all of the Lexis-Nexis database of stories from the American media on the Mohammed cartoons, there is absolutely no mention of the fact that Rose is a close confederate of arch-Islamophobe Daniel Pipes. Indeed, there is almost no context at all about Rose’s newspaper. On a brief mention in the Washington Post gave a hint at a fact desperately needed to understand the situation. The Post described the affair as “a calculated insult … by a right-wing newspaper in a country where bigotry toward the minority Muslim population is a major, if frequently unacknowledged, problem.”
How bad is Pipes? He wants the utter military obliteration of the Palestinians; indeed, from the Muslim world, his racism is about as blatant as that of the Holocaust denying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Pipes’ frequent outbursts of racism -- designed to toss gasoline on the neo-cons’ lust for a wholesale conflict of cultures -- earned him a Bush nomination to the U.S. Institute of Peace, a congressionally funded think tank. Rose came to America to commune with Pipes in 2004, and it was after that meeting the cartoon gambit materialized.
[WaPo link added by moi.]
Holy freakin' racism, batman! Daniel Fuckin Loony-Tunes Pipes?
Now we know what you're all about, Flemming - you fuckin fuck. Are you a neocon now, too, you evil fuck?
UPDATE: More evidence of Flemming Rose's Straussian tactics - provocation.
UPDATE: An article/interview of Flemming Rose's from October 29, 2004, apparently. The man interviewing him is Daniel Pipes, who said this:
"Western European societies are unprepared for the massive immigration of brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene..."
Someone should ask Flemming Rose if he, too, thinks that brown-skinned peoples have lower hygiene standards thatn do Western European societies. Remember, Bush appointed this guy, Pipes, to the US Institute of Peace. Seriously.