Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sweden Apologizes Again… Or Not

While people were being beaten and arrested in Brussels, the Modoggie crisis continued unabated in Sweden and the Islamic world.

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.

A ModoggieDuring 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.

A ModoggieOut 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
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A ModoggieSweden 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.

A ModoggieOK, 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.


X said...

It's the old saw. "I regret that you feel that way." This is actually a common way of talking in Sweden.

One of the reasons I feel so at home there even though I still barely speak the language is because it reminds me of here in a lot of ways. People are polite to each other. It's not the sort of polite a southern belle might get from a southern gentleman, more like the formal correctness that can seem quite abrupt in some ways, which produces certain ways of talking that don't necessarily cross over in to a language like arabic, where constant debasement and self-deprecation are the norm. A swede saying "I regret" as a polite gesture might be interpreted by an arab as actually admitting culpability and apologising when he isn't, because regret means very different things to a swede and an arab.

X said...

"Here" being home, not GoV, I should add...

Not that you aren't polite. :)

the doctor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the doctor said...

The term " to express regret " is the diplomats way of saying.. get stuffed.

Papa Whiskey said...

The real question is, for precisely what sort of "concrete outcome" did Ihsonaoglu press? Was it the same wish list of measures trumpeted by Egyptian ambassador Mohamed Sotouhi on the eve of the Muslim diplomats' meeting with PM Reinfeldt -- to wit, a legal ban on any "desecration" of Muhammad, sensitivity indoctrination in schools and newsrooms, and a standing parliamentary panel of PC enforcers?

Oh, by the way -- he isn't just "Mr. Ihsanoglu," according to his Wikipedia entry. He's "His Exalted Majestic Eminence al-Imam Amir ul Mumineen Shaykh Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu."

Queen_of_Bohemia said...

This is not a defeat, not a defeat at all. Rome was not built in a day. The protesters have accomplished the following:

1.) Forced the establishment to show the fanged beast behind its pontificating, morally superior exterior. The pictures make the establishment look very, very bad, and will be broadcast via the Internet to millions. That is very, very good. If there had been no demonstration, there would have been no pictures.

2.) Showed the world, and especially the indigenous Europeans, the hypocrisy and double standards of those who wrap themselves in Kumbayaa-singing and "anti-racist" sanctimony. Indigenous Europeans are not going to forget the sight of those who look just like them, harmless blue-eyed middle-aged men in business suits, being beaten and sexually molested by other indigenous Europeans -- all for the sake of generally violent, thuggish, welfare-sucking aliens that no one in Europe really likes anyways.

3.) Created ample fodder for some kind of legal action which, even if it loses, will only serve to further point up the hypocrisy of the snarling, hateful Kumbayaa-singers even more.

As Churchill said, this is not the end. This is not even the beginning. This is the beginning of the beginning. Godspeed,my fellow Westerners. We have faced worse than this, in the 3,000 years of our civilization's existence.