Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We’ll Discuss it in Hell

Kurt WestergaardKurt Westergaard is the Danish cartoonist who created the most famous Motoon, the caricature of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. Mr. Westergaard has been in the news a lot lately, giving interviews and having his opinions quoted. Living under police protection for so long seems to have made him more forthright, and has brought out his sardonic sense of humor.

One of my Danish contacts was prompted by our Kurt Westergaard posts to email us with his reminiscences of a conversation with the old man at a Trykkefrihedsselskabet (Free Press Society) meeting:

A funny story about Kurt Westergaard…

Last time I went to Trykkefrihedsselskabet I asked Mr. Westergaard how he was coping. He said that he was all right, but that sometimes Muslims shouted at him in the street. In particular there was one story that made me laugh my head off:

One day Kurt Westergaard was walking to his work (Jyllands-Posten). From the other side of the street a Muslim shouted at him that he was destined to go to hell for his blasphemy.
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Kurt Westergaard simply turned around and replied to him, “Is it something you would like to discuss here — or should we wait until we meet in hell?!?”

I can’t help loving this old man. Even though I think he is off-base sometimes in his arguments. Luckily we are free to have the opinions we like.

Thank God. And I am not talking about Allah here.

Speaking of Trykkefrihedsselskabet — most readers will be familiar with the recent decision by Random House not to publish The Jewel of Medina, Sherry Jones’ romance about Mohammed’s marriage to his child bride Aisha. It seems the would-be publishers were afraid of a possible negative response by the “Muslim street”.

The Danes have already shown the world that they are not overly-fastidious about offending the world’s 4.93 trillion Muslims, so it’s no surprise that Trykkefrihedsselskabet has volunteered to publish the book for Ms. Jones. Steen has the story, but it’s in Danish — sorry, no time to translate.

The funny thing is, based on the plot outline, the book is not something that most anti-jihad people would be interested in reading. The descriptions make it sound like a traditional bodice-ripper, with a celebration of romantic child-molestation thrown in just to liven it up.

Still, it’s satisfying to think that a plucky little Danish publishing group is willing to go out on a limb that a giant American conglomerate is too cowardly even to approach.

You gotta love those Vikings.

Photo ©2008 Snaphanen.


Papa Whiskey said...

Westergaard's fortitude brings to mind a statement by Charles II of England:

"Men usually grow timid with age; with me it is the opposite."

(Quoted in Winston Churchill's biography of the Duke of Marlborough.)