Our Danish correspondent TB sends the latest on the New Improved Motoon Crisis, including a couple of translated quotes from the Danish-language media:
Today the Danish Board of Foreign Policy Matters unanimously have cancelled a planned trip to Iran after the Iranian ambassador demanded an apology for the reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons. That is, every single member from the far right to the far left has collectively made it crystal clear to the Iranians that under no conditions will they try to interfere with the press, or even worse, make an apology. And since this is an ultimatum from the Iranians, the trip is cancelled!
As they say: “No one is going to tell us what to print in our own newspapers. If anyone should make an apology it should be the Iranians for all their repeated violations against human rights etc.”
I cannot tell you how happy I am to see this kind of collective spirit among Danish politicians.
An excerpt from an article in today’s Berlingske Tidende:
On behalf of the committee in Iran who was supposed to host the Danes, the Iranian ambassador in Denmark writes in a letter Saturday that the case would risk overshadowing the visit. The Iranians therefore ask for the Danes to condemn the fact that a whole range of newspapers [that is, ALL of them — TB] have republished one of the cartoons.
A quote from Villy Søvndal, the leader of the Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti, SF), as reported by today’s Jyllands-Posten:
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“We are not the ones who have a need for making apologies. If anyone has a reason to make an apology related to questions about freedom of speech, human rights, executions, and lack of democracy, it is the Iranians. And that was exactly the intention of the trip, that we could tell the government and others that there exist a whole range of conditions in Iran that we do not like,” says Søvndal to Ritzau.
I mean, this is the socialist leader speaking. I know they are supposed to see religion as an opiate of the people, but they have, for sure, had their problems recently with sticking to their own principles. Now all this has changed.
Søvndal was a man that I until recently happily would compare with the collaborators during WW2! Today…!?
Strange days indeed, Baron. And good they sure are!
We live in interesting times.