BE prepared for further juvenile displays of rage by the Magic Carpet Brigade over a plan by the Danish Free Press Society to sell 1,000 signed copies of Kurt Westergaard’s iconic Mo-bomb cartoon.
“The image won Kurt Westergaard international fame, but it has also forced him to live under constant police protection”, the Society says on its website.
Two Tunisians were arrested in Denmark last year on suspicion of planning to murder Westergaard, but later released without trial after they appealed a government order for their expulsion on national security grounds.
The Huffington Post reports that Westergaard enjoys the backing of free speech and free press advocates around the globe in this regard.
A notable example of one such advocate, just this week, is NATO Secretary General and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who defended the drawings in 2006 and who forewent any diplomatic gesture or apology in Turkey at the Alliance of Civilizations meeting, despite earlier reports that said an apology was forthcoming.
During a panel discussion at Ã‡Ä±raÄŸan Palace in Istanbul, Rasmussen said:
I would never myself depict any religious figure, including the Prophet Mohammed, in a way that could hurt other people’s feelings. I respect Islam as one of the world’s major religions.
My position is clear before, during and after the crisis. I condemn action that aims to demonize people on their religious or ethnic background.
That said, Rasmussen also asserted that:
All kinds of censorship are the enemy of dialogue and enhance prejudice. All kinds of prejudice have to confronted, not ignored. That is why freedom of expression is a precondition for open dialogue.