lørdag, februar 04, 2006

Den (u)officielle amerikanske holdning

Det er bemærkelsesværdigt, at både Storbritannien og U.S.A. fra officielt hold har taget afstand fra JPs tegninger, idet disse lande har en tradition for ytringsfrihed der er længere og stærkere end den danske.

Weekly Standard har dog en artikel om tegningerne, som er mere klar i mælet, og som sandsynligvis afspejler den amerikanske regerings reelle holdning bedre end udtalelsen fra Foggy Bottom:

AS MOST OF THE WORLD now knows, on September 30, the Danish newspaper
Jyllands-Posten published twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Subsequent disputes have drawn in the Arab League, the Organization of the
Islamic Conference, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the World Trade
Organization, the United Nations, and Hezbollah, to name a few. Since not only
freedom of the press but also freedom of religion are threatened, it is vital to
be clear-sighted about the issues at stake.

[…]Defending freedom of
religion and freedom of the press requires distinguishing who is being
criticized, and distinguishing criticism from threats. It is one thing to
condemn Jyllands-Posten for offending millions of people. It is a very different
thing to criticize the Danish or other governments, since the criticism
itself, even apart from invidious calls for cartoonists to be punished by
the state, assumes that government should control the media. Saudi Arabia, Iran,
and their authoritarian brethren, as well as jihadist vigilantes, are attempting
to export and impose their media censorship and version of sharia on the world
at large, using economic pressure, international organizations, or

Hence, as Rasmussen correctly stated, he was sorry that Muslims
"felt insulted," but the Danish government"cannot be held responsible for what
is published in the independent media." Similarly, Norwegian prime minister Jens
Stoltenberg was sorry "this may have hurt many Muslims," but said the Norwegian
government "cannot apologize for what the newspapers print."

As a man of principle, Rasmussen should also tell the Egyptian and other ambassadors that
not only is this none of the Danish government's business, but, since they are
ambassadors of countries, not religions, it is none of their business either.
They, especially the Saudis, may reply that they do not make that distinction.
Our response should be to state clearly and firmly that we do, and that
protecting religious freedom requires us to uphold it in our dealings with

Finally, amid current calls for "toleration" and "respect for
belief," we need to be very clear about the distinction between religious
toleration and religious freedom. Religious toleration means not insulting
somebody else's religion, and it is a good thing.

But religious freedom means being free to reject somebody else's religion and even to insult it. Government should want and encourage its citizens to be tolerant of one another, but its
primary responsibility is to protect its citizens' rights and freedoms. The fact
that people are sometimes insulted is one cost of freedom. The Jyllands-Posten
affair calls us to uphold that principle internationally as well as

Artiklen adskiller på fin vis forskelle aspekter af debatten der til tider bliver forplumret af de stridende parters forskellige agendaer.

Hos Punditokraterne har Jørgen Møller i øvrigt startet en interessant diskussion om baggrunden for USA's og Storbritanniens udmeldinger, med udgangspunkt i idehistoriske forskelle mellem kontinental-Europa og de angel-saksiske lande.

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