Danish author Kåre Bluitgen
was set to publish a book on the Muslim prophet Muhammad, but there was just
one catch: he couldn’t find an illustrator. Artistic representations of the
human form are forbidden in Islam (as in Judaism*), and pictures of Muhammad
are especially taboo — so
three artists turned down Bluitgen’s
offer to illustrate the book for fear that they would pay with their
lives for doing so.
Frants Iver Gundelach,
president of the Danish Writers Union, decried this as a threat to free speech
— and the largest newspaper in Denmark, Jyllands-Posten,
responded. They approached forty (40*) artists asking for depictions of
Muhammad and received in response twelve (12*) cartoons of the Prophet —
several playing on the violence committed by Muslims in the name of Islam
around the world today. "
The rest is history, on-line
history this time.
Our questions now are:
Did this story really start with
the cartoons? Or, with what?
Are the caricatures the real
issue and the goal?
Or, can the real issue be whether an old European
democracy can hold his good old values upright, or, together with the 28
cartoonists of the 40 invited, prefers to keep distant, considering well the
dangers, the Islamist threats and the deadly precedent of Theo Van Gogh?
Is it possible that the well-orchestrated global
anti-Danish campaign has something to do with the Danes having had enough of
Muslim mass immigration into Denmark
and of Muslim hostility towards the hosts? Might it have something to do
with the Danes having changed their government from liberal to
conservative, and their immigration rules accordingly?
In July 2005 anarchists, allegedly Muslim
immigrants, burned the private car of Denmark's Minister for Immigration and
death threats to her and her family were voiced ("Anarchists torch
minister's car and Denmark's ideals" - Irish Times, 10 June 2005).
Did the perpetrators take revenge
already in July for the cartoons to come in October?
Or the new
immigration laws of Denmark
accepting immigrants less generously had actually been the real reason of the
Muslim uproar against Denmark,
and the cartoons were not much more than a pretext?
Having looked back to old times 'Before the
Cartoons' (B.C.) let's have now a look towards the
future; A.C., After the Cartoons'. If not the cartoons, then what else can be
the future goal of the well-orchestrated and state-sponsored Islamist
Some suggest as relevant for the analysis of
the motives behind the riots that Denmark has the
chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council for
the whole year of 2006. Thus for any plans Islamist expansionism has
for this year, it would be most helpful to intimidate Denmark
and thus manipulate the agenda. The cartoon riots are here
probably to cover up to Islamist global ambitions and to
discourage anti-terror acts like the designation of Islamist
organizations or states as sponsors of terrorism.
Therefore the debate about the
cartoons and the riots is much more important that it seems to be. That is why we support and urge all of you, and in particular our dear Danish Pen-friends, to write now; to
write to media and to politicians, for your values, for freedom of speech and
of thought. Write whatever you think,
about any aspect of the cartoon crisis, but be sure to express Yourself!
This may be a decisive debate for
the future of your country and society, and maybe for more.
Take-A-Pen Chairman wrote this editorial)