Back in 2005, Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen set the gold standard on defending free speech when, on being approached by perpetually aggrieved Islamic ambassadors hoping for official redress againstÂ Jyllands Posten (Cartoon Rage was just kicking in), he refused to hear their plaints,Â explaining to them and the world thatÂ it was not his place, as prime minister, to interfere with free speech in Denmark.
“This is a matter of principle. I will not meet with them [the ambassadors] because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so…As prime minister, I have no power whatsoever to limit the press â€“ nor do I want such power.” Â (continue reading:Â Free Speech, Then And Now/Brussels Journal)
Free Speech Death Watch Alert: “Danish FM meets top Muslim cleric to defuse cartoon tension,” by Samer al-Atrush forÂ AFP, October 13:
Danish FM meets top Muslim cleric to defuse cartoon tension
Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen
CAIRO â€” Denmark’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that the hurt caused to Muslims from cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed was “very regrettable,” after she met Egypt’s top cleric to defuse tensions caused by the re-publication of the caricatures.
Lene Espersen said she and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed al-Tayeb, discussed “how to make sure that the great religions of the world can live peacefully side by side.”
The meeting followed the publication last last month of a book carrying the caricatures, entitled “The Tyranny of Silence.” (AFP)