Cartoon Rage Update. I must confess, I am amazed that this story never seems to die. Perhaps these twelve cartoons will end up being the Gavrilo Princip of 2006. "Protests Over Muhammad Cartoon Grow," from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
BEIRUT, Lebanon - The controversy over Danish caricatures of Prophet Muhammad escalated Monday as gunmen seized an EU office in Gaza and Muslims appealed for a trade boycott of Danish products. Denmark called for its citizens in the Middle East to exercise vigilance.
Denmark-based Arla Foods, which has been the target of a widespread boycott in the Middle East, reported that two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by angry customers. Aid groups, meanwhile, pulled workers out of Gaza, citing the threat of hostilities....
But Arla Food's executive director urged the Danish government to take action.
"Freedom of expression is an internal Danish issue but this has a totally different dimension," Peder Tuborgh said. "This is about Denmark having offended millions of Muslims."
I.e., surrender, please, before we go broke. Buy those cheeses, people. We are few in number, but maybe if we act we can help Mr. Tuborgh regain a little backbone.
Villy Soevndal, leader of the small opposition Socialist People's Party, said Denmark "cannot be a country where the prime minister goes into hiding while Denmark loses export money, Danish citizens are being threatened and Danish flags burned."...
Villy, you're right. The whole free world should be standing with Rasmussen. What a pity that craven political hacks like Bill Clinton have already lined up on the other side.
The Danish Red Cross said it was evacuating two employees from Gaza and one from Yemen.
"There have been concrete threats against our employees. The fact that they are Danish nationals has made the difference," Danish Red Cross spokesman Anders Ladekarl said.
The Norwegian People's Aid group also said it was withdrawing its two Norwegian representatives in Gaza but that operations would be maintained by local staff....
In Iraq, a roadside bomb targeted a joint Danish-Iraqi patrol near the southern city of Basra on Monday, wounding one Iraqi policeman, military officials said. The attack was the first involving Danish troops since the protests flared.
Danish forces said the roadside bomb was targeting the Iraqi police rather than the Danes, though British Maj. Peter Cripps said coalition forces were investigating if there was any link between the attack and the drawings....
Libya on Sunday said it was closing its embassy in Denmark.
Emirates' Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs Mohammed Al Dhaheri said publishing the "blasphemous" cartoons was "disgusting and irresponsible," according to comments released Monday by the official WAM news agency.
"This is cultural terrorism, not freedom of expression. The repercussions of such irresponsible acts will have adverse impact on international relations."
The Egyptian parliament's Economic Committee refused to discuss a $72.5 million loan from Denmark to Egypt, with newspapers quoting lawmakers as saying they do not want to cooperate with a country that has insulted the prophet.
In Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said the government is "engaged with the Danish government" over the cartoon publication.
She said Pakistan hopes the Danish government would "try to resolve this issue because you cannot hurt the sentiments of billions of Muslims in the name of freedom of press."
Why not? What is freedom of the press if nothing can be said that hurts anyone's sentiments?