Thank God the Anglophone Muslim blogosphere has Svend White to tap into the latest goings on in Scandinavia, in particular Denmark. His detailed posts on the cartoon crisis and the subsequent fallout is a wealth of valuable information. In one of his latest offerings he looks at a new study of the whole affair, which questions the response of the Danish government:
"The early Muslim response did not demand government censorship. The October 2005 letter from Muslim ambassadors to the Prime Minister explicitly affirmed freedom of speech (and presciently warned of the danger of unrest in Muslim societies), as did even Egypt's protest letter the following month to the UN. All that was asked was for him to distance the government from Jyllands-Posten's divisive PR campaign against Islam. In other words, the argument that the Danish government had no choice but to rebuff Muslims because they were demanding that the government ignore Danish laws protecting speech are patently false."
He also looks at the German Catholic response to Popetown, a cartoon lampooning the Vatican which was pulled off the schedule by the BBC a couple of years ago. It is currently being screened on MTV. He noted the double standards at operation (no 'solidatry' being shown by other media outlets); my response, playing devil's advocate, was to note the lack of violence associated with the protests by Catholics:
"Muslims for the most part live in and/or come from much rougher neighborhoods than Westerners, places with much less political stablity, and sometimes various kinds of violence and even warfare playing out within society. One hopes for a peaceful response, but expecting people living in such unstable societies to just write a letter to their non-existent congressman is hopelessly out of touch with reality."