OK, I'm gonna cut down on my GLP postings again, but since I've posted quite a bit on various threads I thought I'd just put it all in one big one and be done with it :P
Yeah, it's turned into a psy-ops, yeah, there's something "weird" about the way it's escalating, and yes, it could get really ugly. So just for posterity's sake, here's my attempt at clarifying the issue so at least you have our side of the issue so we don't all blame Denmark for starting WWIII :)
Firstly, yes the cartoons were published in September. The context of the decision to publish was as follows
-Denmark is one of the few countries in the West where we can openly talk about immigration. Unfortunately, this has led to talk of xenophobia, oppression of Islam, racism, etc in the foreign press and among resident foreigners. They're not used to having their "right" to live in a foreign country questioned.
-The contrary is in fact true. Denmark is not oppressing it's muslims, we are just questioning whether we want to *submit* to them or even tolerate their imposition of their rules on *us*.
For example, an Imam (with Danish citizenship) was quoted as saying that it was OK to beat girls who did not wear the veil. (This is cultural aggression, since equality of the sexes is a cornerstone of Danish society). No action was taken against him, except comments like "that's barbaric". But it was left at that.
Halal meat (which is cutting the throat of the animal and letting it slowly bleed to death) is now served in all Copenhagen pre-schools due to protests of muslim parents. Personally, I think even one animal dying this painful and traumatizing way instead of a bullet to the head is one too many, but due to these protests thousands now suffer this fate.
In a few counties school swimming lessons, even if Muslims are only a minority, are now *all* seggregated due to protests from muslim parents who didn't want their daughters swimming with boys.
Due to low native Danish birth rates, very high muslim birth rates, and the continuing effect of chain-migration and asylum applicanst, the muslim minority in Denmark has grown very fast and continues to grow. A study in Norway, for example, showed that Muslims could be an outright majority of the population by 2060. We imagine it could be the same scenario in Denmark.
Freedom of the press was under a perceived pressure, as the movie Theo Van Gogh was killed over in Holland was unable to find a translator who would put his name to the job. Secondly, a children's book (informative, based on muslim sources, very moderate) on the life of Mohammed could not find an illustrator willing to put his name to the job.
And to answer the most asked reply to this, no, holocaust denial is NOT illegal in Denmark, nor is it illegal in most European countries. We can, and DO, publish anti-Israeli cartoons as well.
Add that to the fact that Denmark is a very well-functioning democracy with something like 7 or 8 political parties who all get their say, and also the fact that we have a tradition of talking about things openly, and it was in *this* environment that Jyllandsposten decided to publish the cartoons.
NOT as an unprovoked attack on 1.3 billion muslims, but rather as a *defense* of the free press and a free society. JP chose *not* to give in to fear of radical islamist violence, and they decided to "let the cat out of the bag" as it were and make fun of muslim taboos, just like we make fun of Christian taboos and even Buddhist or Hindu taboos.
Secondly, as for the psy-op angle, it didn't take off until months later, in January. This was a direct result of a delegation of Danish Imams (among them, the guy who said it was ok to beat women for not wearing the veil) going to the Middle East with 3 FAKE and VERY offensive cartoons (mohammed as a pig, mohammed being raped by a dog) to stir up the pot again.
It *had* been almost solved on a government-government issue. The Syrian government just recently (last week) said they were SHOCKED at the cartoons... well, they were aware of them in September and only semi-quietly condemned them in the Arab league back then, I guess the shock must have been so huge that it took 4 months to sink in...
Or else they're just reacting to the public mood (which THEY never wanted to create) unleashed by the Danish Imams and other radical clerics at Friday prayer's - not to mention Al Jazeera and other Arabic stations who took it up at the same time (In January, not September).
So really, the psy-op is not the Jyllandspost or the Danish government, it IS however NOW being used by extremist forces on both sides, but primarily by religious forces in the Arab World who want not only to defend Islam, but also to spread it and impose it's rules on EUROPEAN countries.
In my opinion, and the opinion of the majority of Danes I'm sure, we have have no problems with *all* muslims. There's a VERY reasonable MP in our parliament who is from Syria originally, and he's at the moment making an organization for "moderate muslims" so that fundamentalist Imams don't speak on behalf of all of them. Any reasonable Dane recognizes that he is Danish now, if not by birth, then by culture and allegiance. He, incidentally, thought the cartoons were in bad taste, but supports the right of the newspaper to publish them - and he hates the radical Imams who have not adjusted to Danish culture at all.
We do however, have a problem with the (apparently) vast majority of Danish muslims who think Denmark needs to "make compromises" on our culture to make them feel at home. Listen - it's NOT your home if you feel that way about it... you've been here THIRTY YEARS at the MOST... you speak your home language, many of you have your old citizenships, and if you want to make Denmark muslim or proclaim that our newspapers can't make fun of you because you are so over-sensitive and backwards, then you really should just pack up and leave.
We won't miss you.
Statistically, you're a drain on the country anyways. A government commisioned report showed that quite conclusively. People say you can't generalize, but of course you can - as a group, muslim immigrants receive more money in benefits than you pay in taxes, your crime rates (especially rape and violent crime) are *way* above the national average, and your religion is at odds with a liberal western society.
If you want to fully adapt to Denmark's ways, you're welcome to stay. But we are NOT a multicultural society nor do we want to be one - we tolerate minorities and they are protected from racism under the law, and we respect whatever religious beliefs you practice on a personal level because that's none of our business. But we are not going to let your religious *beliefs* influence the way we've run our country for hundreds of years. We fought long and hard to get to where we are now, and we don't want to take a step back in time to the dark ages, thank you very much...
Anyways, so yeah, in conclusion:
To the 1.3 billion muslims who were offended - we're sorry, you should never have seen those cartoons, and you wouldn't have, if fifth column Danish imams hadn't deliberately stirred the pot. We respect you're right to do whatever you want in your own countries, and we (by a vast majority) oppose the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Now all we're asking for is that same respect - let US do what we want in OUR country. If we start killing our muslims or tearing down all the mosques, you have every right to protest, burn our embassies down, and kill our citizens in retaliation. If we tell them to abide by our LAWS and CULTURAL NORMS, you really should just stay out of it just like we try to stay out of your business.
If you can't do that, then you're not asking for mutual respect, you're asking for submission. And I really don't think we'll ever submit to Islam, at least not without a fight. This is NOT about us attacking muslims or making fun of them just because we can... it's about us defending our own culture and beliefs, which surely muslims - of all people - should understand and respect in the 21st century.
I don't care if you think Islam is a religion of peace... it may well be, and I know that it works very well in the Gulf countries for example. But the RESULT of millions of muslims in EUROPE has been riots, increased crime rates, ethnic tensions, and now the latest benefit - the anger of 1.3 billion muslims who hate us for a cartoon which would never have been published if muslims weren't in Denmark by the hundreds of thousands demanding that we change the way we live to make them feel "welcome"...