The latest twist is yet another claim by Muslims that a Swedish official has apologized for Lars Vilks’ blasphemy against Mohammed. In this case it’s the Swedish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, apologizing to the OIC in Jeddah.
This is an OIC press release from today:
The Ambassador of Sweden to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mr. Jan Thesleff called on the OIC Secretary General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu yesterday (11 September 2007) at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah.
During the meeting the Swedish Ambassador offered his deepest apologies for the controversy created by the publishing of hurtful depiction of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a Swedish Newspaper. He informed the Secretary General that the Government of Sweden had taken careful and serious note of his statement in this regard and acted in a proactive manner at an early stage. He stated that Sweden feels that the best possible action to resolve the crisis is to choose the path of dialogue and explained that accordingly the Swedish Prime Minister instantly took initiative to engage into dialogue by offering his personal regrets to the Swedish Muslim community and explaining them the Swedish social norms and structures.
The Secretary General reiterated his condemnation of the publishing of insulting caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by Swedish artist Lars Vilks in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper and conveyed his concerns that this kind of irresponsible and provocative incitements in the name of defending freedom of expression, by intentionally offending the sentiments of 1.3 billion Muslims of the world, were leading the international community towards more confrontation and division and somehow providing extremist and deviant ideologies with valuable ammunition.
The Secretary General while praising the timely initiatives of the Swedish Prime Minister, called for continuation of these steps by Sweden and others in a way to contribute to the enhancement of a concrete international cooperation within the Homan [sic] Rights Council and General Assembly of the United Nations. He emphasized the importance of eliminating the sense of confrontation particularly between the OIC and EU groups in Geneva and New York. He suggested that revival of the OIC-EU Forum of 2002 would provide the parties with a suitable medium to take up the issue with all its aspects and with much needed political coverage for encouraging and boosting various intercivilizational and intercultural dialogue initiatives in a meaningful way.
The Secretary General, underscored that in the light of the past experiences, dialogue should not be merely for the sake of dialogue but must lead to a concrete outcome and creation of an atmosphere of mutual understanding so that such incidents will not be repeated.
Out of all this turgid prose I get that familiar feeling of Islamic menace, the veiled threat that comes from designated the drawings as “provocative incitements”. In other words: “If you Swedes don’t take action, and pronto, we can’t be responsible for the actions of all those provoked and incited Muslims, who are, after all, hot-blooded, excitable, and prone to shed infidel blood at the drop of a fez.”
Notice, however, that the number of offended Muslims has drifted back down to 1.3 billion. What happened? Have there been three hundred million cases of apostasy since last week?
Sweden, however, denies yet again that anybody has apologized. According to The Local:
Sweden denies apologizing over cartoon row- - - - - - - - -
Sweden has denied reports that a diplomat apologized to Muslim leaders for the publication in Sweden of a cartoon depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a dog.
The Swedish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jan Thesleff, met Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, head of the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC), on Tuesday in Jeddah and offered his “deepest apologies for the controversy created by the publishing of the hurtful depiction,” the 57-nation bloc said in a statement.
But the Swedish Foreign Ministry immediately denied that the ambassador had made any apology, saying he had only expressed regret.
“The ambassador repeated his regret at the controversy created by the publication, but not for the publication itself,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Anna Björkander told The Local.
She described the OIC’s interpretation of the meeting as a “misunderstanding.”
Björkander said Thesleff was dissatisfied that the OIC had said he had apologized, but did not plan to demand that the organization change its statement.
“He said he is not satisfied with the use of the word ‘apologize’,” Björkander said.
OK, so the ambassador didn’t “apologize”.
But what really happened? Did Ambassador Thesleff prostrate himself before Mr. Ihsanoglu and express his deepest regrets? Kiss the hem of the guy’s jalabiyah and promise never to do it again? Swear upon his mother’s grave that Lars Vilks would be beheaded for his heinous offense?
What made the OIC think that it had received an apology?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Hat tip: CG.
For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.