13 July 2007

A Good Day For Free Speech

Which is the greater insult to Islam? [Credit: USA Today]The politically correct would maintain that nobody should be permitted to offend Muslims. A Danish court has today judged in favour of common sense:

Muslim group loses cartoons libel case in Denmark

A Muslim group lost a libel case on Friday against the leader of a Danish anti-immigrant party who had accused its members of treason for publicizing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

A court ruled that Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party (DPP), did not libel the Islamic Faith Community when she accused some of its members of treason for traveling to the Middle East to publicize a Danish newspaper's publication of the drawings, which caused a worldwide uproar in 2006.

The court said the term "treason" was not libelous because it was used extensively in public debate. It ordered the plaintiffs, a loose network of Danish Muslim organizations which says it represents 50,000 members, to pay Kjaersgaard 40,000 Danish crowns ($7,400) in costs.
The court's decision is in line with a similar verdict reached in France earlier in the year (see Islamophobic or Anti-fundamentalist?) However, a disappointed spokesman for the Muslim group threatened to issue a fatwa, or religious edict, against Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that first published twelve cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in September 2005 that provoked outrage among Muslims, if it did not receive an apology from the paper.