UN: Denmark acted irresponsibly in cartoon crisis

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, which prepared a report about the cartoon crisis, breaking out after the publication of insulting images of Prophet Muhammad, accused the Danish government of acting irresponsibly during the crisis period. UN Higher Commissioner Louis Arbour’s special reporter Doudou Diene made harsh criticisms in his report about the Danish government and intellectuals along with the Danish daily Jyllands Posten, which published the blasphemous images first. The report stressed that “beliefs should not be humiliated under the veil of freedom of expression” as it dwelled on the importance of fighting against Islamophobia.

Diene remarked that xenophobia and taking sides before Islam reached an “alarming” level in Denmark with the publication of the insulting images admitting that, “When political leaders do not fulfill their responsibility about xenophobia and insult to religion, Europe has entered a path, which will confirm the thesis of “clash of civilizations”. The reporter emphasized that Jyllands Posten daily attacked Muslim believers by “showing Islam equal to terrorism”, which is an old prejudice and it acted under the veil of auto-censorship and freedom of expression. “The cartoons are absolutely insulting” said the reporter as he directed his criticisms towards the Anders Fogh Rasmussen government, which did not fulfill its responsibility. Diene’s report highlighted the violation of international agreements by the Danish government guaranteeing freedom of expression and respect to thoughts and beliefs.

Zaman, 19 March 2006