Still no Motoon apology from NATO chief Rasmussen
When former Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen was nominated to be the new NATO Secretary General, Turkey threatened to use its veto to stop him, because Muslim feelings were still smarting from the Motoons. Only the diplomatic efforts of Obama persuaded the Turks to agree, by assuring them that one of Rasmussen’s deputies would be Turkish, and that the new chief would apologise to the Muslim world.
But the principled Mr Rasmussen again stopped short of an apology at a conference in Istanbul. Instead, he reiterated his original “sorry you were offended” stance.
I respect Islam as one of the world’s major religions as well as its religious symbols. […]
I was deeply distressed that the cartoons were seen by many Muslims as an attempt by Denmark to mark and insult or behave disrespectively toward Islam or the Prophet Mohammad. Nothing could be further from my mind.
He had earlier ruled out an apology, according to Politiken.dk.
Listen. In Denmark we do not apologise for having freedom of speech. […] You all know that a Danish Prime Minister cannot apologise on behalf of a newspaper
Meanwhile, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who created the iconic “turbomb” cartoon, has accused the BBC of “appeasement” because it has not broadcast a recent interview with him.
Westergaard told the Daily Mail,
I am disappointed on behalf of the freedom of speech. Every time you are afraid I think you make a step backwards. That is depressing me.
If you have an appeasement policy towards the radical Muslims then you are on a very wrong way and you have to start marching backwards.
A BBC spokesman said that no decision had yet been made regarding the broadcast.