“The 10 members of the Danish parliament’s Foreign Policy Committee, including Denmark’s former Foreign Minister Mogens Lykketoft, erred when they canceled a trip to Iran two days prior to scheduled meetings. The purpose of the trip was to meet with members of the Iranian parliament as well as to look into such issues as the country’s human rights and uranium enrichment.
“During this same time period Danish police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent on Tuesday, accusing them of planning to kill a cartoonist who drew a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad that was published in Danish newspapers two years ago.
“One presumes that Denmark upholds due process, and that in Denmark arrests are not equated with guilt, but remarkably 15 Danish newspapers reprinted this very same cartoon on Wednesday in protest against the alleged plot. The alleged plot.
“Even if these papers had waited for a guilty verdict following due process, it would remain the case that an infantile provocation of this magnitude is beyond reproach. Considering the vast difficulties worldwide that derived from the initial printing of these cartoons, there are simply no words to describe the decision of not one or two deranged editors, but a coordinated effort among 15 newspapers in what is generally regarded as a modern nation. Publication of the cartoons two years ago led to protests and rioting in Muslim countries around the world. At least 50 people were killed and three Danish embassies attacked…..
“For a government to stand behind actions that are so patently reprehensible as a unified media decision to offend religious believers around the world, and then to poison international relations by canceling a high level diplomatic mission is a near perfect error, a disgrace to the West, an offense, and a missed opportunity.”
Frank Kaufmann in the Middle East Times, 18 February 2008