Guardian Unlimited: How one of the biggest rows of modern times helped Danish exports to prosper
A year ago, Denmark’s 200,000 Muslims found themselves at the centre of one of the most defining cultural rows of our time. On September 30 a conservative Danish newspaper decided to publish a series of cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. It was a provocative exercise in free speech.
The cartoons provoked a group of Danish imams to tour the Middle East. By February this year, Denmark’s centre-right Liberal prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, was dealing with the country’s worst crisis since the second world war. Muslim mobs set fire to Danish embassies in Damascus and Beirut, burnt the Danish flag, and boycotted Danish cheese. At least 139 people died.
But one year on there is a strong sense in Denmark that the crisis might just have helped.
All European governments now seem to be grappling with the same problem: how far do they go in accommodating Muslims who do not share the same values of free speech? And as a row over the cancellation of a Mozart opera in Berlin this week – for fear of Muslim attacks – demonstrates, the issues raised by the cartoon row have not gone away.
If anything the publishing of the Muhammad Caricatures or Cartoons was neutral for Danish exports.Increased exports to the United States picked up the loss of exports to Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
So, the Muhammad Cartoons were not bad for Danish business.
Did it sensitze Denmark and other countries in Europe to Muslim immigration and the lack of their assimilation?
Is there now a discussion in Europe as to European identity and the Islamic illegal immigration problem?
Yes and LONG overdue…..
Indonesian Muslim protesters burn a Danish flag during a demonstration in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, Monday, Feb. 6, 2006. Muslims rallied in several cities in the worldâ€™s most populous Muslim country Monday to show anger over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in Western newspapers. Writings on the posters say â€˜Put Danish Prime Minister on international tribunal.â€™
Technorati Tags:Jyllands-Posten, ProphetMuhammad, Islam, Muhammadcaricatures, MuhammadCartoons