“Sorry you were offended” Danish paper concedes to Saudi lawyers

In a move condemned as “crazy” and “disgraceful” by politicians and journalists, the Danish newspaper Politiken has issued an apology to a team of Saudi lawyers acting on behalf of “94,923 of the Prophet mohammed’s descendants”.

Last August, the Jeddah based law firm AZ Yamani approached the eleven Danish newspapers which republished the Turbomb cartoon after an attempt on Westergaard’s life.

What they demanded was that apologies be printed in Danish, English, Arabic and French, that the newspapers undertake never to publish the cartoon again, and – most amusingly – that the cartoons be removed from the internet in perpetuity.

What they got from Politiken was a “sorry you were offended” apology. The newspaper did not apologise for printing the cartoon, nor did it give up its right to publish the cartoon again.

However, judging from the reactions of other editors, it is highly unlikely that the complainers will get that much from any other newspaper. Berlingske Tidende, Jyllands-Posten and Kristeligt Dagblad have all said they have no interest in a settlement which includes an apology. Jørn Mikkelsen, Editor-in-Chief the Jyllands-Posten, says:

Politiken has betrayed the battle for freedom of speech. They’ve given up and bowed to threats. That is, of course, disgraceful.

Danish politicians are also angry. Social Democratic Leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt:

It’s crazy. The media carries offensive material every day. That is what freedom of speech is about.

Socialist People’s Party Leader Villy Søvndal:

freedom of speech is not up for negotiation

The Danish People’s Party Leader Pia Kjærsgaard:

It is deeply, deeply embarrassing that Tøger Seidenfaden has sold out of Denmark’s and the West’s freedom of speech. I cannot distance myself enough from this total sell-out to this doctrine.

It is good to see such widespread condemnation, even if the Politiken apology is such a non-event. It shows they care.

(Hat tip Islam in Europe)


3 Responses to ““Sorry you were offended” Danish paper concedes to Saudi lawyers”

  1. barriejohn says:

    This is ridiculous beyond belief! But as they say in Private Eye: “I wonder whether you might have a photograph of…” well, you know the rest!!

  2. Stuart says:

    Everyone is terrified in case Gaddafi calls for jihad against them :)

  3. Terri says:

    But I don’t have a problem with them saying “sorry you were offended”.
    If they are not saying “sorry for printing it” then that’s different!
    One could add “sorry you were offended because of your narrow minded and bigotted view of free speech based on your superstitious mythology”.
    I’d like to express pity for people who base their lives on the nonsense of religions, therefore I am sorry they are religious. That doesn’t mean I am responsible for their religiousity any more than the Danish paper is responsible for their “offence”.
    I am sorry that people are offended by a couple of silly cartoons, but it would not stop me wanting to publish them.