Britain’s Home Secretary criticizes Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for not throwing freedom of speech overboard and rushing into dhimmitude. From The Guardian, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
The British government has accused its Danish counterparts of making “a serious mistake” in the way it handled relations with Muslim countries after the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.
The home secretary, Charles Clarke, criticised the decision by the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, to snub a request from 11 Muslim countries for a meeting after the cartoons were published in the Jyllands Posten newspaper in September.
Mr Clarke told a public meeting in Willesden Green – primarily held to discuss law and order issues – that Mr Rasmussen had not even responded to the request.
Admitting it was a “political point”, Mr Clarke said: “I think that was a serious mistake which you could not imagine happening in other countries … certainly not in this country. It is a question of respecting others, and that means do not provoke or challenge the deeply-held views of others.”
His comments appeared to contradict Downing Street’s supportive line towards the Danish government.
The prime minister, Tony Blair, last month said it was important to be seen be standing alongside Denmark following worldwide protests and riots over the cartoons last month.
The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, said he had never, and nor would he, criticise the Danish government.
However, it appears government officials hold private misgivings about the Danish failure to restore relations with the Muslim world last autumn. Mr Straw’s office this morning said Mr Clarke’s comments chimed with his own views.