Sweden: 'Mohammad crisis' update

The developing 'Mohammed crisis' in Sweden:

So far Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan made official protests over the printing of a Mohammed cartoon in a Swedish newspaper.  The Organization of the Islamic Conference has also condemned the publication and urged the Swedish government to punish the artist and the publisher and demand an apology.

The Örebro Islamic Cultural Center is organizing protests:

Just after 2pm on Friday a group of around 300 demonstrators marched the short distance from the Islamic Cultural Centre in Örebro to the offices of Nerikes Allehanda newspaper. The demonstrators chanted slogans and bore placards demanding an apology from the newspaper and calling for a ban on insults to Muhammad.

The Islamic Cultural Centre said it was protesting against the newspaper's decision to publish a drawing by artist Lars Vilks, whose series of pictures depicting the head of Muslim prophet Muhammad on a dog's body was rejected by galleries in western Sweden.

But not everybody in the Swedish Muslim community has applauded Friday's demonstration - the second in the space of a week.

"I think the demonstration is counterproductive and will only serve to reinforce any prejudices people have about Muslims," Mohamed Omar, editor of Minaret magazine, told The Local.

"Nerikes Allehanda published the picture to illustrate a story. It's irrational to regard their decision to publish as being offensive to Muslims."

Contrary to initial reports, Mohamed Omar says that Minaret never intended to exhibit the pictures, which he regarded as questionable from an ethical standpoint.

"Exhibiting them would have just contributed to anti-Muslim sentiment. Although Nerikes Allehanda had a legal right to publish, I am critical of their decision for the same reason that I didn't want any part in exhibiting the pictures."


Some observers did, however, note important differences with Denmark, where the publication of cartoons deemed offensive two years ago caused deadly riots in several countries.

Unlike its Danish neighbor, Sweden has a reputation for taking in refugees and immigrants, the paper said. Sweden is the primary destination in Europe for asylum-seeking Iraqis, who are the second-largest immigrant community there. [ed: According to this logic, the UK shouldn't be suffering from terror attacks]

Naser Khader, of the Danish Ny Alliance party contacted the Swedish integration minister, Nyanko Sabuni, offering his help.  Khader had helped the Danish government during the Muhammed crisis.

Khader advised the Islamic Society not to get involved in Sweden, saying they had caused the conflict in Denmark to get out of proportions.  He calls on moderate Swedish Muslims to organize themselves, like he had done in Denmark.

Sources: The Local 1, 2 (English), Berlingske Tidende (Danish)

See also: Sweden: Iran upset at "Mohammed dogs" , Sweden: Muslim groups to exhibit Mohammad "dog" sketches

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is said that Swedish is one of the most developed and civilized society. That includes the values like freedom of speech, human right etc. Does it include "We say anything we want" or maybe "We take anything we want" or "we draw anything we want" etc?
If that so... I would like to live in the most uncivilized society that hold the values like "We say anything we want as long as it doesn't hurt other people" or "we take anything we want as long as it doesn't belong to others" and "we draw anything we want as long as it doesn't mock other person". Thank's for the most sophisticated cartoon ever.