Danish Muslim groups are to report Denmark to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights for failing to prosecute the newspaper that first published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The 27 Muslim groups also plan to sue the newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, for defamation in a Danish court, according to their lawyer, Michael Christiani Havemann.
“Denmark is obliged through the UN to secure the civil rights of its citizens,” Havemann said by telephone. “The national prosecutor won’t pursue the case and, therefore, acts as a barrier to justice to the complainants.”
Henning Fode, Denmark’s director of public prosecutions, announced on Wednesday that he would not charge Jyllands-Posten, ruling that the drawings it published last September did not violate Denmark’s laws against blasphemy and racist speech.
Mr Fode said that the cartoons could be considered an affront to the Prophet, but did not break Danish law.
HT: Ace of Spades.
Well, certainly it’s an improvement from the burning of embassies and the killing of people. BUT then the State of Denmark should sue Abu Laban & Co. for the boycott and the damages they have suffered, as it was their idea to walk along this world showing the cartoons (and 3 more false). Oh, of course, and for defamation of the country too. Then all the European countries whose flags/embassies have been burnt just the same. And the people who have relatives who have been killed, too.
Mohammed al-Asadi gave this interview which was published today, to the Danish newspaper Information’s correspondent in Cairo. He was released on bail February 22, following international pressure. Al-Asadi is still in good health and managed on March 10 to leave Yemen to attend a journalists’ conference. Contrary to some reports he is facing the death penalty as this article makes clear. He intends to return to Yemen to fight the good fight.
“I don’t regret printing those cartoons. I was defending the Prophet, I was defending Islam against those who wish to use the religion to create conflicts and maintain their grip on power,” says Mohammed al-Asadi – the editor in chief of The Yemen Observer who is now on trial for his life for having printed three of the Danish Mohammed cartoons.
By Rune Lykkeberg
The Friday after he was released from jail, he went to pray at the Mosque. Mohammed al-Asadi had become a known face in Yemen: He had been presented as a criminal on national TV and in government-friendly newspapers. He was also a known face outside of Yemen: Newsweek did a telephone interview with him in prison where they called him a “martyr for the free press” and BBC World has told his story. This Friday Mohammed al-Asadi didn’t wish to be recognised. All he wanted to do was to go to Friday Prayers, so he walked towards a Mosque in a part of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, where he doesn’t usually go:
“When I entered, I bowed my head and listened. The preacher warned against a terrible sinner among us, against one in Yemen who has dishonored our religion and our prophet. He talked of how disgraceful this man was. I realised that I was who he was talking about. I was their sinner. I dared not lift my head. I covered my head with my scarf and looked down. There and then I realised how bad things are. If the others in the Mosque had recognised me, they would have killed me. With their shoes if they had nothing else to do it with.”
[…] “My trial will recommence on March 22. I have three children and my wife in Yemen, who I must return to. And I have my newspaper and my fight against our fanatical leaders.”
[…] “It will be hard to rebuild the editorial staff. We have written of the government’s corruption. In our last issue we wrote of how Yemen’s embassies abroad are so corrupted that it is fair to call it ‘exporting corruption’. So when we printed the cartoons, they took their chance and shut us down and destroyed our foundation.”
The prosecutors started the trial against him with a parable: There was once a woman who insulted the prophet Muhammed, saying horrible things. When a man of her city heard of this, he went and killed her. A couple of days later, the prophet Muhammed passed through the city and said: “That was good, that was just.” That was how the prosecutors presented their demand for the death penalty for Mohammed al-Asadi.
al-Asadi emphasises that this isn’t only his battle. Reporters Without Borders supports him, colleagues in the West have told his story and international media have appealed to the government of Yemen to release him and two other journalists who are also on trial for having printed cartoons:
“In Yemen we are outnumbered and the fanatics have succeded in pressuring us. But this is an international battle in all countries against all fanatics. And there the balance of power is much more equal. It’s an international battle for release from the bondages of extremisms and fanatics.”
We also know that the student editor of a newspaper that published the cartoons has been fired (Last night’s meeting before the board of directors took only about 10 minutes of the 30 minutes I was allotted to defend myself against the allegations levied against me. There were no questions. Just a curt dismissal after my statement. And I wasn’t interviewed by the “student task force”). On the other hands,the Berkeley paper -student- has reprinted them.
Elder of Ziyon informs about a conference in Copenhagen to open a dialogue between Muslim youths and Danish ones (excerpt):
The first day of the two-day conference was dedicated to dialogue among the youths. They discussed who Islam’s prophet is; what Islam is all about; freedom of expression from the Muslim point of view; respect of the other’s holy scriptures. Young Muslim participants also proposed practical projects encouraging mutual respect and co-existence.
“The Danish youths were impressed and we, too, were very happy to find that many Danes are friendly to foreigners, had no biases against Arabs and Muslims, and in some cases, wore the Palestinian scarf to show solidarity with the Palestinian issue,” Barakat said. The impression was based on field survey the young Muslims carried out, talking to Danish people in the streets, and asking them questions about the cartoon crisis.
“Many said they were against the publication of the offensive cartoons, but that they were equally offended to see their flags and embassies burnt,” Barakat went on. “The dialogue was indeed a step forward on the way to building bridges. People should realise that the Danes are not a single entity and that we still have friends there. It’s enough to know that we left with tears in our eyes.”
Read the rest: it’s very useful.
By the way, according to all these issues is there any religious tolerance in the West? The answer is hilarious (HT: Drinking from Home).
Of course, there are others who are just as totalitarians as the Islamists. Or just as foolish.
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