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Old 02-13-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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Newspapers reprint Prophet Mohammed cartoon

Wow.

Newspapers reprint Prophet Mohammed cartoon

* NEW: European newspapers reprint cartoon that sparked Muslim protests in 2006
* Prophet Mohammed drawing depicts its subject prophet wearing a bomb as a turban
* Danish police: Several arrested for plotting terror-related assassination Tuesday
* Newspaper says the target was its cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, behind the cartoon

(CNN) -- Newspapers across Europe Wednesday reprinted the controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed that sparked worldwide protests two years ago.

The move came one day after Danish authorities arrested three people allegedly plotting a "terror-related assassination" of Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist behind the drawing.

Berlingske Tidende, was one of the newspapers involved in the republication by newspapers in Denmark. It said: "We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case, and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper always will defend," in comments reported by The Associated Press.

Newspapers in Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands also republished the drawing Wednesday as part of their coverage of Tuesday's arrests.

The image, by Morgenavisen Jullands-Posten cartoonist Westergaard, was one of 12 cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed originally published in September 2005. Westergaard's cartoon depicted the prophet wearing a bomb as a turban with a lit fuse.

Violent demonstrations erupted across the world in early 2006 after other newspapers reprinted the images as a matter of free speech. The uproar came as some Muslims believe it is forbidden by the Quran to show an image of the prophet.

Many protesters directed their ire at Denmark, prompting the closure of several Danish embassies in predominantly Muslim countries, including Indonesia and Pakistan. There were also attacks on other diplomatic missions in Iran and Syria among others.

The Danish Foreign Ministry has said it is keeping a watch on the situation at its embassies and has yet to report any incidents.

Muslim leaders in Denmark Wednesday attacked the republication of the cartoon, as well as the alleged murder plot, while calling for calm. Imam Mostafa Chendid, chief of the Islamic Faith Community, told AP his group was discussing whether to hold a demonstration before parliament, adding: "We are so unhappy about the cartoon being reprinted."

"No blood was ever shed in Denmark because of this, and no blood will be shed. We are trying to calm down people, but let's see what happens. Let's open a dialogue."

The Danish Security and Intelligence Service Tuesday said police arrested a 40-year-old Dane of Moroccan origin and two Tunisians in the Aarhus area of western Denmark following lengthy surveillance.

The Danish citizen is charged with a terrorism offense, the intelligence service said, and the Tunisians will be deported. Police have not yet released the names of the three.

The target of the plot, the intelligence service said, was the cartoonist for the Danish newspaper Morgenavisen Jullands-Posten, which first published the controversial drawings in September 2005. The paper identified the cartoonist as Kurt Westergaard. VideoWatch how threats have targeted cartoonists »

"Not wanting to take any undue risks [the intelligence service] has decided to intervene at a very early stage in order to interrupt the planning and the actual assassination," the statement by Jakob Scharf, the agency's director general, said. "Thus, this morning's operation must first and foremost be seen as a preventive measure where the aim has been to stop a crime from being committed."

Westergaard has previously said that he wanted his cartoon to say that some people exploited the prophet to legitimize terror. However, many in the Muslim world interpreted the drawing as depicting their prophet as a terrorist.

"Of course I fear for my life after the Danish Security and Intelligence Service informed me of the concrete plans of certain people to kill me," Westergaard said in a statement posted on the newspaper's Web site. "However, I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness."

CNN's Paula Newton said the arrests reinforced growing fears in Europe that radical Islam was trying to suppress free speech.

"More and more Europeans feel that Islam is a threat to their way of life," Newton said. A recent Gallup poll for the World Economic Forum showed a majority of Europeans believed relations between the West and the Muslim world were worsening. According to the poll this sentiment was strongest held among Danish.

Westergaard remains under police protection and does not know whether it will continue.

"I could not possibly know for how long I have to live under police protection; I think, however, that the impact of the insane response to my cartoon will last for the rest of my life," he said. "It is sad indeed, but it has become a fact of my life."

Carsten Juste, the paper's editor-in-chief, said staffers have been "deeply worried" for several months.

"The arrests have hopefully thwarted the murder plans," he said on the newspaper's Web site.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:55 PM   #3
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"CNN's Paula Newton said the arrests reinforced growing fears in Europe that radical Islam was trying to suppress free speech."


*elevation
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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With all due respect to you all, I do get this impression that some Americans seem to have this idea that we in Europe are all living in a constant state of morbid fear of radical Islam. We're not, for the most part.

Of the small number of Muslims I personally know, none have threatened my 'way of life' or for that matter, tried to proselytize me in any way. So a bit of perspective is called for. (As a statement of fact, I have on several occasions been proselytized by various Christians of different denominations.)

I think countries like Denmark and the Netherlands (and perhaps some parts of the UK) have a bit of a problem, perhaps in some cases due to policies that were previously too 'accommodating' of some aspects of radical Islam.

People forget that the last two assassinations of prominent political figures in Europe were not carried out by radical Islamists. They were carried out by our own home-grown extremists. (I refer to the assassinations of Pim Fortuyn and Anna Lindh)

People also forget that the only currently active terrorist campaign in Western Europe (Basque separatists) has absolutely diddley squat to do with Islam.

Basically I think that these cartoonists are rather childish and ill mannered people. And the people who go rioting as a result of these cartoons are also rather ill mannered. But I'm not signing up to some 'Europe at war with radical Islam' hysterical bullshit just because some talking head on CNN said so.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:16 PM   #5
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Everyone (both sides) made a mountain out of a mole hill last time this cartoons business came up.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:25 PM   #6
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Denmark does have room for improvement though, per the ECRI report.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:02 AM   #7
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Oh my gahhhhd a snarky cartoon in a newspaper
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:28 AM   #8
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Denmark is a very interesting country in that respect.
On the one hand, they are very friendly and welcoming to visitors and tourists, and alongside Norway and Sweden famous for their hospitality.
But on the other hand, when it comes to "opening up", like joining the EU, or European Community as it was called back then, they are very sceptic and would prefer to stay out of everything.
They also didn't accept the Euro in a national referendum, though that has changed a bit over the years and I expect them to join the Euro zone in a few years.
With immigration it's a bit similar. The Danes welcome you as a guest, but if you want to settle there it's an entirely different thing.

But I wouldn't say they are xenophobic in any way, or that Muslims in Denmark are having it more difficult than in any other European country.

You can also see this with the current, and last year sadly reelected, government which is, from a European perspective, far right (though not as far right as you would position e.g. Haider in Austria) and has introduced a very strict immigration policy etc.

Our current problem in European countries currently is not as much Islamic radicalism, but the integration and assmilation of the Turkish and Arabic immigrants that live here since the 1960's.
But the media sure prefers such demonstrations as come with those cartoons.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy

Basically I think that these cartoonists are rather childish and ill mannered people. And the people who go rioting as a result of these cartoons are also rather ill mannered. But I'm not signing up to some 'Europe at war with radical Islam' hysterical bullshit just because some talking head on CNN said so.
agreed.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy


People forget that the last two assassinations of prominent political figures in Europe were not carried out by radical Islamists. They were carried out by our own home-grown extremists. (I refer to the assassinations of Pim Fortuyn and Anna Lindh)


and, to me, this is what's so troubling. people coming to your shores and blowing things up is one thing.

raising your own terrorists is something quite different, and more frightening.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:14 PM   #11
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I'm a Muslim and these cartoons were offensive. Why channel freedom of speech into something that insults and makes fun of a different group of people? As if we didn't have enough crap to deal with at airport securities, etc.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:06 PM   #12
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Originally posted by Babydoll
Why channel freedom of speech into something that insults and makes fun of a different group of people?
Ahmadinejad tried to do the same thing to Judeo-Christians by sponsoring a "Holocaust cartoon" exhibition. Guess what? Nobody (Jews or Christians) gave a rat's ass.

Everybody involved on both sides needs to grow up and get over themselves in a real hurry.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:07 PM   #13
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that's kind of missing the point.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:09 PM   #14
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Babydoll
I'm a Muslim and these cartoons were offensive. Why channel freedom of speech into something that insults and makes fun of a different group of people? As if we didn't have enough crap to deal with at airport securities, etc.
Because you (presumed) live in a Western Country with freedom - if the cartoons were published in Iran or Saudi Arabia then sure there would be laws to procecute whoever published them. Listen, it's about bloody time Muslims everywhere quit whining about this kind of stuff. Have you seen some of the offensive cartoons and "art" depicting Jesus??? Yet (most) Christians don't go on a rampage because I think they realise that Jesus is bigger and better than that. It's about time Muslims stop being offended at such petty things and start speaking out against the fanatical wing(s) of the religion. Really. If not, then you are free to move to Saudi Arabia, Iran or a number of other countries. I am NOT a fan of Bush or the so-called "War On Terror" but this stuff is really starting to get on my nerves. How about this...GET ANGRY ABOUT STUFF THAT MATTERS!!!
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