Profit or Prophet?
Put under pressure by the islamic boycot of Danish goods, some of the Danish business leaders have begun whining about the threat to their dividend. Hans Skov Christensen, the head of the association "Danish Industry" came out saturday in the paper Berlingske Tidende, demanding that Jyllands-Posten explain itself. The following is the reply of Jyllands-Posten on sunday:
You have sent The Morning Paper Jyllands-Posten an open letter, in which you request what you describe as a clear statement on this matter from the leadership of Jyllands-Posten. In other mediea, among them radio and television, you have claimed that Jyllands-Posten has been completely silent in the discussion about the Mohammed-drawings of September 30th last year. We note, that you apparently havent read neither the numerous articles nor the 13 editorials, of which the one brought on October 12th was translated into arabic and is still online at Jyllands-Postens website in both danish and arabic.
In this editorial we again write, what we have said many times before: that it wasnt our intention with this initiative to hurt anybodys religious feelings.
Anybody who reads Jyllands-Posten even superficially knows, that the paper respects everybodys right to worship his religion and both have and express the feelings that this brings with it.
On September 30th last year we published 12 drawings as part of a debate on the increasing self-censorship in the media and the arts - some of the artists had directed their satire against Jyllands-Posten itself, but we take that smiling. That is part of an open and free debate.
Some moslems have felt offended to a degree we did not foresee, and this we feel sorry for, and we repeat that that was not our intet.
When that is said, we dont have anything more to regret, and The Morning Paper Jyllands-Posten has nothing to apologize for.
This journalistic initiative is in full agreement with the papers´ set of ethical values, with the governmentally guiding lines for press ethics and with the danish laws that regulate media activity and set out punishment where due.
One wonders, Mr Skov Christensen, that you only speak up four months after the drawings were published, and that you claim that there is no direct link between this and that middle eastern dictatorships now boycot goods from innocent danish export companies.
You claim that you in vain have looked for statements on the affair from the paper, for example in editorials. Apparently, you have overlooked the editorials on the topic on september 30th, October 9th, October 12th, October 20th, October 30th, November 18th, December 21st, December 23rd, December 31st, January 4th, January 10th, January 16th and January 24th.
Maybe you now will bother to read these editorials before you come out with false accusations.
Maybe you might even set aside time for a bit of reflection: Do you really think, that middleeastern dictatorships, for whom freedom of religion and speech are cuss-words, and who practice flogging, decapitation and the chopping off of hands as punishment for banal crimes, are to decide how Danish media are edited?
Is the businessman Asger Aamund right when he says, that profits are more import to you than the prophet?
He probably is, but are you really so blinded by profit that you think that foreign powers, even bloody dictatorships, should be allowed to decide how the Danish media should treat a relevant topic like religiously incited self-censorship?
Do you really think, that the danish government should short-circuit constitutionally secured principles just to pander to an alien dictatorship?
If you think so, it will be hard to continue this dialogue any further. If you, on the other hand let reason reign, you will see, that The Morning Paper Jyllands-Posten has nothing further to explain in this affair, and certainly nothing to apologise for.
It is not the responsibility of the paper, that a slew of persons, organisations and now also foreign countries have abused this affair to ends that have nothing to do with this paper.
Your accusations against the paper can probably be expained by the fact that the saudiarabic porfit-weapon has blinded you. When you have regained sight, you will see that you owe The Morning Paper Jyllands-Posten an apology.
Today, tuesday, Jyllandsposten topped that one off with this carricature:
Picture courtesy of Dansk-Svensk. The piece of paper is a Danish 100-crown bill.