One of the most striking features of the Mohammed crisis that has plagued the Danish and international communities since 2005, is a lack of dialogue.
The parties have repeatedly reacted – and over-reacted – without studying what others felt, or the background to their behavior.
Our predominant view throughout the lengthy debate has been that much could have been avoided if the government of the time had chosen to handle the crisis differently and added an element of dialogue and diplomacy.
It is in this light, that today’s small contribution to dialogue in this unfortunate case should be seen.
We have not found it too difficult to accept that our re-print of Kurt Westergaard’s caricature of the Prophet Mohammed has seemed offensive to many Muslims.
It has never been our intention to offend anyone. The cartoon is legal under Danish law. And we have only printed the cartoon in connection with our news coverage.
But that does not change the fact that our re-print in February 2008 was perceived as part of a renewed affront and provocation that once again caused tempers to fly in large parts of the world.
Tired of the case
Thanks to this acknowledgement and regret, we have reached agreement with a large group of Muslims from eight different countries.That's what you think, Politiken. Don't you know that, as far as the "Muslim world" is concerned, you're only "sovereign" until you submit (and it sounds to me that that's exactly what you've done)? No matter how much "jaw jaw" you engage in with the affronted, the aggrieved and the over-the-top angry, under the terms of sharia, Islam's "universal" law, you cannot--I repeat, cannot--be a "sovereign" dhimmi.
The accord is an agreement designed to look forward, focus on de-escalating tensions and with hopes for further reconciliation between Denmark and the Muslim world.
At the same time it has naturally been vital that Politiken in no way, as a result of an accord, has placed any form of restriction on its editorial freedoms.
What we choose to publish, including which cartoons we choose to print, will continue to be our sovereign and free decision...
As for your show of bravado about publishing whatever you want--bravado is all it is since it's unlikely you'd jeopordize your newfound amity with Muslims by knowingly publishing something that would upset them.
Update: The Politiken move has caused an uproar, reports the timesonline (my bolds):
A leading Danish newspaper was today accused of betraying the freedom of the press after breaking ranks with its rivals to offer an apology to Muslims for publishing a cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban.
Politiken issued the apology after settling with a Saudi lawyer representing eight Muslim groups that complained after the cartoon was reprinted by 11 Danish papers in solidarity with the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who received death threats last year.Yes, one can see how the two are waaaay different.
Outrage at the move was led by Denmark’s Prime Minister and by Mr Westergaard, 74, who survived an alleged assassination attempt by an Islamic axeman at his home last month.
Politiken responded that it was apologising for the offence caused, not the decision to publish, in an attempt to reduce tensions with the Muslim world...
Update: It's good to see that at least some Danes still have some gumption. From the Beeb report:
...The editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten, the paper which originally published the cartoons, was highly critical of Politiken.
Joern Mikkelse said: "Politiken's pathetic prostrating before a Saudi lawyer takes the first prize in stupidity."
In 2006 Jyllands-Posten apologised for the offence caused by the drawings, but other European media reprinted them...
On Friday, the Danish Union of Journalists described Politiken as "kneeling before opponents of the freedom of press."
Mr Westergaard expressed disappointment: "I fear this is a setback for the freedom of speech," AP reported him as saying...