Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Reasons behind Muslim reaction to drawings in Denmark

Regarding the Nov. 10 article, "Danish editor tests right to violate Muslim taboos": I think you have misunderstood the root cause of why Danish Muslims, ambassadors from 11 Muslim-dominated countries, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference reacted against the Jylland-Posten drawings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Muslim prophet was depicted as a terrorist, a man of violence, and an oppressor of women in several of the illustrations. I believe in any society such degrading, misinformed depictions of important figures would be passionately denounced.

Since Danish society would censure any insulting depiction of their head of state or national founder, for example, I find it awkward that Muslims would be scorned for having the same degree of reactions when their religious sanctity is violated in such a gross manner.

Sadly, both the newspapers and the Danish government, with backing of the far-right Danish Peoples Party, have supported such gross depiction without any balanced understanding of the Muslim sensitivities. It is a shame that the far-right has been allowed largely to dominate Danish views of immigrants. Atilla A. IftikharStavanger, Norway

A couple of comments on the Nov. 10 article "Danish editor tests right to violate Muslim taboos": As one who has spent time in Denmark in the past few years, I was pleased to see this informative article on Denmark's uneasy relationship with its Muslim minority. What the article presents may, however, be just the tip of the iceberg.

Because Denmark has a state church (Lutheran), many Danes regard membership in the state church as a given for Danish identity - although few attend church regularly. This is an additional factor in the simmering debate over how to include a Muslim community in this country. Lucie Lehmann-BarclayBoston

Interpreting intelligence is a tough job

Regarding the Nov. 15 article, "Yellowcake to 'Plamegate' ": I've been following this story closely for many months and didn't think I would learn much from this story. …

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