Danish Muslim Leader Regrets Role in Cartoon Rage
It appears that the Danish Muslim who was the spokesman for the group of imams who led protests & traveled the world whipping up outrage over the Jyllands-Posten cartoons has had a change of heart.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - A Danish Muslim leader who seven years ago traveled the Muslim world fueling the uproar over newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is back in the headlines in Denmark after doing an about-face on the issue.
Once a leading critic of the Danish cartoons, which sparked fiery protests in Muslim countries, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari now says the Jyllands-Posten newspaper had the right to print them.
His unexpected change of heart has received praise from pundits and politicians in recent weeks, though some question his sincerity. It has also disappointed some in the country’s Muslim minority who were deeply offended by the cartoons. […]
He said he’s still a practicing Muslim but started doubting his fundamentalist beliefs after a 2007 trip to Lebanon, where he met Islamist leaders.
“I was shocked. I realized what an oppressive mentality they have,” Akkari said. […]
Naturally, there are skeptics:
Akkari’s former colleagues in the Islamic Society of Denmark are not impressed, and have reportedly accused him of being an attention-seeker trying to get back into the limelight. […]
Michael Ulveman, who was an adviser to then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Ramussen during the cartoon crisis, also expressed doubts about Akkari’s sincerity. […]
If he’s sincere—and I have no reason to believe he isn’t—then he has a lot of blood on his hands to atone for.