Thursday, March 02, 2006

Danish PM accused of Creating deep Divisions in Danish Society

(Basquiat: Profit):
Fogh Rasmussen has called his critics "unprincipled", when they have questioned the more or less absolute character of freedom of speech. They should defend freedom of speech as steadfastly as he himself has done. "Now is the time to separate the sheep from the goats".

The prime minister was seconded by the minister of taxation, who said that the business community in Denmark mostly thought of profit instead of the moral and ethical principles of human rights, among them freedom of speech. The managing director of the Danish Association of Industrialists has criticised the government of jeopardising Danish export interests.

It has made former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, who is former leader of the P.M' s political party, angry: "Am I a sheep or a goat?" he asks in the Danish paper Berlinske Tidende March 2nd. His biblical wife could inform him that the sheep are the "good ones", the "goats the bad ones". "That is fine with me", Uffe Ellemann says. "I have always been most happy when I belonged to the "bad guys" - even though it's hard for me to see the wisdom of this kind of binary way of dividing people".

According to Ellemann it is important to distinguish between drawings and caricatures. The Jyllandsposten published caricatures. It is not about whether there are boundaries of freedom of speech. When Jyllandsposten refused to print holocaust drawings, the paper accepted that there are such boundaries. So it's about trying to see where the boundaries for freedom of speech are. The intention with publishing the caricatures was expressed by the culture editor (Flemming Rose) when he said that, "muslims in this country must, like everybody else, be prepared to accept mockery, derision and ridicule".

According to Uffe Ellemann this is exactly the place where the logic slips and the true intentions of Jyllandsposten are revealed. The boundaries of free speech are transgressed, as most people support the view that freedom of speech is not for harming deeply felt religious feelings - unless it is necessary for some honorable purpose.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen's divisive tone of debate is also questioned by the manager and owner of one of Denmarks largest multinational corporations, Grundfos, a world leader in electric pumps. He mentions the possibility of moving the company headquarters abroad, when business has to live with a prime minister and his junior minister questioning the honorable intentions of industrialists taking part in discussions.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"unprincipled" ? odd thing for a war criminal to call anyone.

11:45 AM  

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