Muslim clerics in Denmark are demanding an apology from the Danish government: Clerics demand cartoon apology. (Hat tip: Gabriela.)
And they’re also demanding that Danish and European laws be changed to criminalize everything that offends them.
ONLY an official apology by the Danish government to all Muslims for offence caused by the prophet Mohammad cartoons would prompt the lifting of the boycott of Danish goods, Muslim preachers said.
An official apology “is absolutely necessary … because your government has not dealt with them (Muslims) respectfully,” Islamic scholar Tareq al-Suweidan told a conference hosted by the Government in an attempt to ease tension over the drawings.
The cartoons, first printed by a Danish paper last year and later reprinted elsewhere, provoked a storm of protests among Muslims, attacks on three Danish embassies and a boycott of Danish goods in some countries that has hit dairy exports.
If there is no apology, “the scholars of Islam and myself … I am running an Islamic satellite TV channel, we will encourage people to continue the boycott,” Suweidan said. …
Suweidan said his argument was not with the Danish cartoonists, who are under police protection after being threatened, but with their government. “We are not angry because some of your cartoonists have drawn our beloved prophet. We are aggravated because of the way your government has mishandled this situation,” he said.
The centre-right Danish government has refused to apologise on behalf of the newspaper saying it cannot influence the free press, but it acknowledged that many Muslims had felt gravely insulted by the controversial drawings.
Suweidan, a Kuwaiti, said the Norwegian Government had apologised after a Norwegian newspaper printed the cartoons in January. “If they (the Danish Government) had just done that, the problem would not have arrived,” he said.
In Norway the editor of the paper Magazinet apologised to Muslims for hurting them by printing the cartoons, while the Government defended free speech but regretted the insult.
Both Muslim clerics supported free speech but accused the western world of applying double standards.
“We want the laws in Denmark and the European Union to be changed, either to have free speech for everyone including on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, or to change the law to respect religious figures like Mohammad,” Suweidan said.
This Associated Press article puts a very different spin on the clerics’ demands: Muslim Preacher Urges Reconciliation.
That’s an amazingly backwards headline, since the text of the article itself contains several not-very-veiled threats from the clerics. They’re urging reconciliation, all right—in the same way a Mafia extortionist does.
“We feel there are forces of extremism which are aiming to light fires and transform Denmark from a peaceful country to a country which will suffer from conflicts,” said Amr Khaled, an Egyptian preacher known for his youthful style and his sermons applying Islam to day-to-day modern life. …
“We request an official apology from your government to the Muslim nation and to the Muslims in Denmark,” said Tariq al-Suweidan, an Islamic scholar from Kuwait. He also demanded that the European Union enact a law “that forbids the insult to religious figures.” …
“We don’t agree on burning flags … or attacks on embassies, BUT we are not willing to sit and do nothing,” al-Suweidan said, defending the boycott. “We’re sending a very strong message. If the Danish people do something about it, the boycott will stop.”