Monday, September 10, 2007

Ambassadors call for censorship in Sweden

Or did they?

The above drawing of the head of Mohammed on the body of a dog has caused some offence to Muslims in Sweden and elsewhere. Last Friday, the Swedish Prime Minister met with a delegation of ambassadors from Muslim countries:

After a meeting with his Muslim colleagues on Thursday, the Egyptian ambassador had indicated that the group wanted to see "action, not just nice words."

But [Prime Minister] Reinfeldt said that the ambassadors did not present a list of demands at government offices in Rosenbad.
Just the one, then? It's hard to tell.
The ambassadors agreed earlier in the week to condemn the publication, which they described as a "humiliating action", and to hand over a letter to the government pointing out the importance of reaching a long-term solution.

"We reject all forms of violence, psychological as well as physical," Iran's ambassador Hassan Ghashghavi told TT after the meeting.

"Diplomacy needs to be employed for issues such as this. It is my view that the Swedish government has handled this situation well. Causing offence does not belong to the concept of freedom of speech," he added.
Causing offence is central to the concept. And offence is no great issue. Get over it.

Of course, many Muslims have done just that - get over the concept of Neanderthal face-saving:
But now two groups - the Secular Muslims in Sweden (Semus) network and the magazine Minaret - have taken a joint decision to exhibit the sketches.

"This will take place at an established musical and cultural venue in Stockholm. Negotiations are underway and I think it will be ready at the beginning of next week," Semus spokesman Hooman Anvari told news agency TT.

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