A delegation of fundamental Muslims from Denmark have toured The Middle East with the material shown in these links (published today in a Danish newspaper), in order to stir up the situation as they were not able to ignite the confrontation they wanted in Denmark. However, the most offensive pictures shown on page 35 and page 36 were never (before) published in any Danish paper or magazine. They were added to the original series of pictures by the delegation itself. The fundamental religious leaders in Denmark speaks with two tongues. They are talking about integration in Danish, and confrontation in Arabic.
It should be noted that those radical Muslim organizations do not represent all Muslims. Note for example the response of my friend and former colleague, Aarhus University political science professor, Mehdi Mozaffari:
The question here is how far do you show sensitivity and self-control over issues without falling into self-censorship. . . .
It's unthinkable that the prime minister would make an apology. These are Islamists putting democracies on trial to see how far they can be pressured.
Fortunately, Mehdi Mozaffari wrote a couple of articles for HNN explaining his views of the nature of Islamism which he compares to Nazism. Is It Possible to Combat Radical Islamism Without Combating Islam? and How to Combat Radical Islamists
Nor is he alone amongst Danish Muslims. Religious News Online reports:
For its part, the newspaper has found Muslim allies. When the controversy first broke, hundreds of Danish Muslims demonstrated in Copenhagen in support of the newspaper. Among them were refugees that right-wing, anti-immigration parties would like to see turned away at Denmark's borders.
"People have a right to say what they want without being killed," says Nasim Rahnama, the 20-year-old Iranian woman who started a petition in support of the newspaper."These Islamic groups have to be stopped. I just can't sit down and do nothing."
So far Ms. Rahnama, who moved here from Tehran four years ago, has collected over 150 signatures from Danish Muslims who support the paper's stance but says that she would have got many more if it weren't for people's fear that Islamic groups would find out.
"I am so happy here," she says."I have learnt the language. I have a lot of friends. I live in freedom; I love it."
Let us remember that this type of action is not unique. In the sixties, two American Quakers initiated the Danish anti-Vietnam War movement which later led to the second session of the Russel Tribunal to be held in Roskilde which found the US guilty of genocide in Vietnam.
Let us not forget that this is not only an argument between Muslims and non-Muslims but also between moderate Muslims and Islamists. Caving will play into the hand of the Islamists. In any case, Arab countries should beware of extremists requests. This one certainly boomeranged.