It’s being now exactly 4 months since a Danish newspaper published controversial 12 drawings of the Muslim prophet Mohamed. It all culminated few days ago when several Arab nations and Iran begun boycotting Danish goods. In the Gaza, Palestinians even burnt Danish flag.
I believe Arab world want from the Danish Prime Minister to apologize and punish the newspaper. Problem is Danish state does not own the newspaper and therefore cannot take any actions against it. For the same reason I don’t think Prime Minister can give an apology for something he did not do. I think he should explain to Arab leaders and media that he and the government does not favour nor support publishing of the drawings, and NOT talk about freedom of speech, because I don’t see the relevance here. Many millions around the world have been offended by the drawings.
I myself do not have anything against (normal) drawings of the prophet, but 3-4 of the drawings ARE offensive and serve no other meaning but to provoke. One of the drawings presents Mohamed with turban filled with a bomb, which can be translated as “all Muslims are terrorists”. So, I partially understand reactions from the Arab world. But on the other hand I believe the reactions are somewhat exaggerated.
The drawings are not symbol of collective Danish hatred against Islam nor it is supported by all Danes, which, I am afraid, some Arabs may get an impression is the case here. Besides, the newspaper has already given some kind of an apology, even in Arabic.
I can say that I support Danish Prime Minister who distanced himself from the drawings but refuses to apologize for something he nor his government did. I am also furious at some Danish Muslims, namely imams, who did not acted very “patriotic” and used this situation to criticize Danish government for being racist and discriminatory. Allegedly, they toured across the Middle East and, beside the actual 12 drawings, displayed some images the Danish newspaper never published itself. They should have shown some greater loyalty, because they know the actual situation in Denmark and know who is responsible for this turmoil.
Now we have a divided Danish society, helped by some extremist Danes who agitate for Danish boycott of Muslim pizzerias, greengrocer shops and restaurants in Denmark. That would be actually quite stupid, because than we’ll get more people on welfare (read: on the back of Danish society). Luckily, many secular Muslims, including member of Danish Parliament, Naser Khader, will make a statement to the Arab world in order to ease the tensions.