COPENHAGEN — A book on the crisis sparked by a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago hit stores in Denmark on Thursday amid concerns over a backlash from the Muslim world.
Remember: human beings control their own reactions to things. If Muslims choose yet again to riot and murder because of these cartoons, that would be a choice they make out of an unlimited array of other choices. Western authorities have fallen into the Islamic supremacists’ trap and are starting to behave in just the way they want them to: thinking that they must not do certain things, because if they do, there will be violence from Muslims. Yet that violence is in every case solely the responsibility of the perpetrator, not of anyone else.
At one bookshop in Copenhagen, staff prepared for a busy day of trading with Flemming Rose’s “The Tyranny of Silence” on the shelves, but fears were also high after a month in which Denmark faced two new security alerts.
On Tuesday an Iraqi Kurd being held in Norway on suspicion of planning bombings admitted that his target was the Jyllands-Posten daily.
Exactly five years ago — on September 30, 2005 — the newspaper, where Rose was cultural editor, ran a front-page spread featuring 12 cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The drawings sparked outrage across the Muslim world and led to violent protests against Denmark and Danish interests in 2006. Rose himself has since received numerous death threats.
Danish police confirmed the Norwegian claim and said Denmark had become a “priority terrorist target for Islamic extremists.”
“Among Islamic militants, it is a priority objective to lead terrorist attacks against Denmark and symbols related to the caricature case,” the head of Danish intelligence Jakob Scharf said in a statement.
Earlier this month, Danish police arrested a Chechen man in connection with a small explosion at a central Copenhagen hotel.
Investigators later said he was planning a letter bomb for the Jyllands-Posten.
“This is the second time in a very short period that the public has learned that Jyllands-Posten has probably been the target of organised terrorist acts,” head of the Danish Intelligence Service PET, Jakob Scharf, said in a statement.
“This naturally illustrates that, among Islamic militants, it is a priority objective to lead terrorist attacks against Denmark and symbols related to the caricature case,” he added.
In a bid to “avoid new confrontations” Denmark’s foreign minister met ambassadors of 17 Muslim countries on Wednesday, ahead of the book’s publication.
He was almost certainly telling them how sorry he was and pleading for leniency, when he should have told them, “Stop the madness! If anyone gets hurt or killed because of this book, the insane violence of your societies will be revealed to the world!”
The 499-page book will not reprint the drawings separately, but its inside pages will feature “a picture of the front page of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper that had the Mohammed cartoons on it,” it’s [sic] editor said….
In an August interview, Rose insisted he was not trying to be provocative with the new book, stressing that he simply wanted to “tell the story of the 12 drawings and put them into a context of (other) pictures considered offensive.
It was important to write the book because, he said: “Words should be answered with words.
“That’s all we have in a democracy, and if we give that up, we will be locked in a tyranny of silence.”
Indeed. And it is coming down fast.