Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Freedom of Speech Over Politics

Sweden’s prime minister met with Muslim leaders at a mosque yesterday. Here’s the story from Jyllands-Posten, translated by CG:

Reinfeldt: Freedom of speech over politics

A ModoggieThe prime minister of Sweden says he regrets that Muslims feel insulted by the drawings of Muhammed. He stresses that freedom of speech is “unalienable”

The prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeld, was sorry if Muslims feel that they have been insulted by the drawing, which depicts Muhammed as a dog. But Reinfeld at the same time stressed that freedom of speech is an “unalienable” right in Sweden.

“I regret if prople feel have been insulted or feel hurt. Personally I would never on purpose act in a way which other religions could see as provocative or insulting,” Reinfeld said in a statement.

His statement came after he had met with Muslim organizations in Sweden because of a drawing by the Swedish artist Lars Vilks in the paper Nerikes Allehanda August 18.

Vilks depicted Mohammed’s head on the body of a dog in the newspaper.

Further information from The Local:
- - - - - - - - -
Reinfeldt also stressed the “mutual respect and understanding” in Swedish society.

“Sweden is a country where people of different faiths can live together side by side,” he said, adding: “The willingness to provoke should not overtake the willingness for dialogue.”

Tuesday’s meeting, which lasted more than an hour at Stockholm mosque, was called by Reinfeldt, his spokesman Oscar Hållén told AFP.

The details of the meeting were not disclosed but Hållén said the tone was “constructive”. Among those attending the talks were representatives of the umbrella organization Swedish Muslim Council.

Mahmoud AldebeKeep in mind that the Swedish Muslim Council (Sveriges Muslimska Förbund) is led by Mahmoud Aldebe, who has sued to have Nerikes Allehanda charged with hets mot folkgrupp. As Carpenter reported last week:

He is notorious for justifying honor-killings of Kurdish girls and proposing Shari’a via an open letter to the Swedish government in April 2006.

If this is the man that the prime minister has chosen to sup with, Mr. Reinfeldt would be well advised to use a long spoon.

Correction: Carpenter tells me that the “Swedish Muslim Council”, led by Helena Benaouda, is separate and distinct from the “Swedish Muslim Association” (Sveriges Muslimska Förbund), which is led by Mahmoud Aldebe.

I admit to profound confusion, and a notable ignorance of the Swedish language.

Hat tips: For the story in The Local, Paul; for the Aldebe photo, LN.

For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.


carpenter said...

Well, almost

He's the leader of Sveriges Muslimska Förbund, that's right, but a proper translation would be Sweden's Muslim Association.
council = råd.
There is a "Sweden's Muslim Council" as well, whose chairman is Helena Benaouda.

Unknown said...

“Sweden is a country where people of different faiths can live together side by side,”
There is no country on Earth where muslims can live side by side with other faiths 8or lack of faith).
Take a look at this video

R. Hartman said...

Not so much related to Sweden, but very much to the heading of this article, is a media offensive launched by Dutch MSM newspaper NRC Handelsblad against non-PC websites, under the heading of an Investigation of right and right-extremist websites.

Thing is: it backfired. I wrote about it on my blog.

Profitsbeard said...

r. hartman-

How is daring to defend the country (that gave you freedom) against intolerant invaders, who would take it away, considered "right and right-extremist"?

Isn't this simple self-preservation, if not admirably patriotic?

Subvet said...

Nice to see the Swedes are growing a set.

Ideally he'd have told the followers of the pedophile prophet to place their outrage where the sun never shines, but this is still fairly good. Apologizing for hurt feelings without backing off the principle of free speech is a start.

R. Hartman said...

Yes, it is.

NRC can be considered extreme left, and a danger to the country, as some 'intellectuals' still consider it to be a 'liberal' newspaper (in the classic sense).

Yesterday it published an article by two 'progressive ex-muslims' that reject the efforts of another ex-muslim that has been under attack for his opinions lately and now needs bodyguards.

The 'progressive ex-muslims' are presented by NRC as a political scientist and a 'competence philosopher' (whatever that may be) but in reality they are extreme-left activists with the International Socialists, for whom even Dutch far-left environment group Milieudefensie (from which Volkert van der Graaf, killer of Pim Fortuyn, was a front man) warns as being dangerous.

So that should tell you a bit about NRC Handelsblad. The Dutch blogosphere is already attacking the article and its presentation again.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

r. hartman,

profitsbeard meant the bloggers were patriotic in defending the country.

i got the impression (i could be wrong) you misread his post...

R. Hartman said...

@the Kuffar
I acknowledged that (very briefly) by my first line.

Thanks for checking.