Flemming Rose, Danish Editor Of Jyllands-Posten, Visits CU-Boulder
Flemming Rose delivers his lecture at CU-Boulder
**Update--Flemming Rose's speech:
Flemming Rose offered a recap of the events prompting the publication of the cartoons in the Jyllands-Posten on September 30, 2005. In the second half, Rose put forth his views on Islam in Europe.
According to Rose the publication of the cartoons followed a proliferation of self-censorship cases in Western Europe, where publishers, museum directors and others had preemptively removed, scrapped, or halted publications and exhibitions, stifling creativity and threatening freedom of speech.
Rose noted that while attempting to impose their own religious taboos on Denmark and other Western liberal democracies, they had also taken to playing the victim, playing on their own minority status and Western guilt to win concessions in the political and cultural arena.
His question--will there be a European Islam, or an Islamized Europe? Will there be integration and assimilation, acceptance of core Western liberal values like equality of opportunity, equality before the law, equal treatment for men and women, and freedoms of speech and religion? Or will multiculturalism and guilt force Europeans to cave-in to Islamic demands?
For Rose the conflict is a battle of ideas, a battle to build a coherent narrative of where Europe is going. The battle of ideas can be boiled down to the difference between the liberal values of Western Europe and Sharia law. The question of European and national identity has been forced upon a continent that until recently was homogenous in political and religious terms, and had built identities around ethnicities, viewing fellow countrymen as part of an extended family. Europe lacked the political identity that binds Americans together. Rose offered his Russian wife as an example. Though she married a Dane and has raised two children to speak Danish and view themselves as essentially Danish, she still identifies herself as Russian. In contrast, Rose noted that after an immigrant receives U.S. citizenship, they will identify themselves as American, or Americans of such-and-such extraction. American identity is built around adherence not to a central ethnicity or religion, but the observance of common fundamental values embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. This difference between American and European identities also demonstrated the reason why Europe has a much bigger problem of assimilation than the United States. Multiculturalism and guilt only add to the barriers of integration.
Rose prefers conflict--debate on identity and freedoms--to "peaceful coexistence", the doctrine espoused by Nikita Khruschev that acknowledged the power and dominance of Western liberal democracies and capitalism, while biding time until Communism could overtake and crush their erstwhile rivals. Likewise, Islamists seek to overtake Europeans through slow, piecemeal concessions while building a demographic advantage that the West simply can't match (bottom line, birthrates).
Rose concluded that it was important to simply say no to Islamists' demands. Caving to their demands crushes the nascent European secular Muslim community by empowering radicals who in turn intimidate the moderate Muslims in their community. This accelerates the development of parallel societies and undermines the fundamental principle of equal treatment that forms the bedrock of Western society. Concessions only embolden the tiny but vocal minority of Islamists.
For Rose, the freedom of religion includes the freedom to say no to religion. Enlightenment thought viewed the ability to opt-out of religious obligations as essential to religious freedom. Saying yes to religious demands by making accomodation of another's religious beliefs and taboos implicitly means that you have accepted their views as your own. Saying no to religion by saying no to the Islamists' call for Sharia might be the last line of defense for Europe.
Flemming Rose Q & A at CU-Boulder
850 KOA's Mike Rosen interviewed Flemming Rose Dec. 4(audio)
In his own words--
Why I Published Those Cartoons
Europe's Politics of Victimology
Raymond Ibrahim agrees--Islam gets concessions; infidels get conquered
Channel 9 had a brief interview with Rose (video):
The editor of the Danish newspaper who angered the Muslim world last year with cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed visited the metro area Monday.Earlier--
. . .
In September of 2005, the newspaper published about a dozen of the caricatures. The cartoons stirred up Muslim riots, demonstrations, the burning of Danish embassies in Beirut and Damascus, and led to the deaths of 150 people.
"I was stunned, I mean I have no words for it," said Flemming. "I was shocked and I couldn't believe what I saw, you know, cut the throats of those who offend the Prophet."
Flemming noted that the Muslim riots actually happened five months after publication of the cartoons. He says he believes the riots had little to do with his cartoons.
Muslims have said, though, that any depiction of Mohammed is a sacrilege to members of their faith.
Flemming sees much darker implications.
"This is the first time ever that Muslims have insisted on applying Islamic law to what non-Muslims are doing in non-Muslim countries. It never happened before so this is a unique case. Nobody could have foreseen these implications," he said.
From a department email at CU-Boulder:
What: Lecture by Flemming Rose on "Why Publish the Danish Cartoons?"
Flemming Rose is the Cultural Editor for the Danish newspaper,
Jyllands-Posten, the person who commissioned and then published the
cartoons of Mohammed that became known as the Danish Cartoons. First
published September 30, 2005, they created a furor around the world last
spring. These dramatic events were caused by one man and one newspaper,
with the able assistance of 12 political cartoonists.
Flemming Rose tells his story: why he commissioned the cartoons, the
reasons for their publication, and puts the cartoons in a larger context
of the battle of ideas in today's Europe. This battle is about freedom of
speech, respect for and by religion, the integration of Muslims into
European culture and wider immigration issues.
Flemming Rose And The European Politics Of Victimology
Furor Over Cartoons Not Funny
technorati: Denmark Jyllands-Posten Flemming Rose cartoon intifada Mohammed Islam muslims Europe multiculturalism diversity religion free speech