Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Worldwide Reactions Continue In Aftermath of Cartoon Republication: UPDATE: Bombing in Copenhagen

UPDATE --- See below for latest on bombing incident in Copenhagen ---

While rioting in Denmark itself has settled down (or isn't being reported by the wire services, demonstrations in Muslim countries around the world continue to make news and headlines. One such demonstration took place in Indonesia. At least 150 people demonstrated, organized by Hizbut Tahrir, outside the Danish embassy:
The protesters, who blocked the entrance to the embassies, wore headbands bearing Arabic inscriptions and waved banners saying "Death to those who insult the Prophet" and "Freedom of speech a disguise to insult Islam".
Free speech for me, but not for thee. You disagree with the Islamists, and you could find yourself sans head.

Pakistani officials summoned Danish officials to demand explanations for the cartoon republication.
"The Danish charge d'affaires was called to the foreign office today... to lodge a strong protest over the republication of the blasphemous cartoons in Denmark," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Danish envoy was told by a senior Pakistani foreign ministry official that the republication of the cartoons had "deeply offended Muslim feeling and sentiment" all over the world, it said.

"Since hurting sentiments of other religions was not responsible behaviour, the Danish government was obliged as a responsible government to stop the publication of the cartoons," it quoted the official as telling the Danish envoy.

The ministry said that the Danish diplomat explained that his government did not have any hand in the publication of the cartoons and that he would convey the sentiments of the government of Pakistan to his government.
None of these governments are exactly going out of their way to condemn the men who were arrested plotting to assassinate one of the cartoonists who drew one of the cartoons involved. They, instead, are going after the newspapers and those who republished the cartoons.

The matter has even made its way into the United Nations Durban II conference, where they're debating limitations on free speech.

Kurt Westergaard, one of the cartoonists, and the author who penned the cartoon that accompanies this and other postings on the cartoon jihad, has been kicked out of a hotel where he was staying on fear that the jihadis might strike at him there:
He was booted from his police-protected hotel room on Feb. 15 for being “too much of a security risk.” And now the 73-year-old cartoonist and his wife are without a place to live.
This is the only report I've seen thus far, but apparently a bomb went off in Copenhagen earlier today and two other suspicious packages were destroyed as well. No one was injured, but it does mark an escalation in the violence. Once again, the author is Jakob Illeborg, and I've been highly critical of him before. He again suggests appeasement in the face of violence, and I'm not alone in that criticism. Eugene Volokh also wonders why Illeborg doesn't consider free speech an important concept worth defending, and instead counsels waiting until it really matters (leaving it completely undefined and amorphous).

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