Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jyllandsposten receives reward for publishing cartoons

The brave act of expressing opinion leads to reception of Danish freedom award.

Jyllandsposten today received a reward for fighting for freedom of speech. It is an annual reward instituted by the Danish paper Ekstrabladet. It is called the Victor prize.

The prize, which consists of a cobblestone with the year of its receipt and name Victor on it, is given for active struggle for freedom of speech (symbolized by the cobblestone, which was used by anarchists in the great revolutions in Europe in the 18th to 20th centuries.

Who Carsten Juste, the chief editor of Jyllandsposten, will throw the cobblestone at, remains to be seen. Let's not hope it'll be at muslims. Now the cartoons story has been eclipsed by the Samarra bombing, so relative calm has set in. A smug Carsten Juste criticized all the wiseguys, like for instance an auditorium of University pundits, - and perhaps people like former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, for their attitude to the paper saying what it wanted, even though it means bothering the prophet (PBUH).

Ekstrabladet and Jyllandsposten, together with daily Politiken, form part of the biggest publishing house in Denmark. So you can say the prize remains in-house. The in-house media barons keep the prize to themselves in an act of self flattery that is not untypical of Danish press.

The monopoly of the big publishing houses owned by concentrated capital interests is the seamy side of Danish press freedom. It is extremely difficult for people who don't belong to the inner circles of friends, or who are famous, to have anything published in these monopoly papers.

The British daily paper the Guardian has pointed out that Jyllandsposten 3 years ago was against printing a picture making a mockery of Jesus.

And in the mid 1980's the Danish artist Jens Jorgen Thorsen made a painting of Jesus with an erect penis (in stante pene, as the medical expression has it). This picture was exhibited outside a metro station in Copenhagen. At that time Jyllandsposten condemned this very much as a breach of blasphemy and public morals. So we're talking about some double standards on the part of Jyllandsposten. There seems to be no boundaries to Jyllandsposten's bigotry.

The publication of the Mohammed drawings was due to the fact that Jyllandsposten was riding the wave of islamophobia so widespread after the Danish People's Party got a decisive say in the parliamentary majority behind the liberal conservative government.

A Libyan-Danish blogger living in Copenhagen ("Safia Speaks") has desribed it in the following way:"I followed the issue from its very start in September 2005; a loony communist writer proposed to fill a wagon with qurans, then shed some menstruation blood on it (his name is Kare Bluitgen) - he declared he wanted to irritate Muslims for fun (he called it ART!)Nobody took him serious and he was ignored for a while. Then suddenly he declared he wanted to make a comic book about the life of our Prophet Muhammed (SAAS). He could not get anyone to draw the book, though. That started a discussion in the newspapers about why no one would draw the comic - Bluitgen claimed that Muslims had intimidated artists from working on the book. When journalists ridiculed him, he suggested to bring some comic drawings in the media to "test" the reaction of the Muslim community. The rest is history... (reprinted from Kadjateri's, another Libyan blog)"

Jyllandsposten wrote about the Drawings when the paper printed them that "you must be ready to put up with mockery derision and ridicule" (JP, 30.9.2005). Therefore it is beside the point when the paper's top brass again and again say that they did not intend to offend - this was exactly the intention.

This is not about freedom of speech and some Danes' valiant struggle for this right, but rather about insidious islamophobia in Denmark.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not at least try to listen to the other side of the story? This is what Flemming Rose himself says about the cartoons:

http://www.jp.dk/english_news/artikel:aid=3566642/

Of course it's only the editor's point of view but then, can you say you know better their motives and the context than JP do themselves? If so, you must be a part of the circle of friends you claim this publishing house constructs :).

And what do you think about this article:
http://www.arabeuropean.org/newsdetail.php?ID=114&PHPSESSID=242a238ddab27c1dc830d3436e7c4649

Now that you're so concerned about Islamophobia in Denmark, do you also have a concern about anti-Semitism among Muslims which leads to conspiracy theories that JP published the cartoons because it's Zionist?

Cosmic Duck, these people are serious and DANGEROUS, whatever your political leanings, also to you. I wouldn't like to live anywhere where they're ruling.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Anonymous.

Certainly, you should be concerned about anti-semitism among muslims. But you don't have to be anti-semitic to worry about the motives for the publication of the cartoons.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course not. A Muslim can be an anti-Semite, a Jew anti-Islam, and someone who's neither anti-Semite and/or Islamphobe... What I want to stress is only that I'd like to see the thing in a perspective. If you only mock your press and government, it gives the impression that they're much worse than anything else. But of course, that's your right and that's the point in blogs, you don't ahve to tell the truth and you're not obliged to give a balanced worldview here. And then we who don't agree or simply have a bad day can comment on you ;).

I'm already an at least once per day reader of your blog anyway!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmic D, you're full of shit! Everyone following the case in denmark knows that you are twisting the facts, just as arab countries.
Most of your writing on other blogs have been refused (lately the one about the egyptian foreign minister) - but you cite rumors as facts, and that makes you not credible!
But as a mock-site, I think you are a succes!

1:02 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Anonymous.

No, I have quoted Danish newspapers and said so. I have not quoted them wrongly. But of course, You may be right that these newspapers sometimes are not quite up to the mark with regard to accuracy.

That is probably due to the explosive potential in this case, and everybody wants to be first with news.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmic Duck, I'm the anonymous of the two first comments, the third one is not by me... Maybe I should invent a username here.

9:12 AM  

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