In case you’re living under a rock, a Danish newspaper ran a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhummad. Images of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam, and Muslims around the world complained and demonstrated. Then, to prove that the Europeans are better at being sanctimonious pricks than even Americans are, several European newspapers ran it again just to show they could. Then the riots began.
Yes, they have a right to run the cartoon. But running it a second time it was about the most culturally insensitive thing they could do. It was like a big ‘fuck you’ to the Muslims of the world.
This jibes pretty well, since Muslims are the new Jews in Europe. What Jews went through in terms of oppression in pre-Holocaust Europe, Muslims are feeling today. I mean really, tell me Turkey’s entry into the EU wouldn’t be such a big deal if it wasn’t full of Muslims.
And now, with fires and riots burning across the globe, what did the Danish Prime Minister say?
"Now it has become an international political matter, I urge calm and steadiness."
Given an outbreak of Muslim violence around the world, with people being killed in riots and embassies being set on fire, PM Rasmussen has actually made himself temporarily look worse than George Bush.
What should Rasmussen have said? Try any of the following. While I am a communications professional, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out:
"Our countries have the right for it’s citizens to exercise their free speech, even when it’s culturally insensitive. We apologize to the Muslims offended by this and urge them to ignore the offensive publishers who insist on antagonizing them."
"We apologize to Muslims for the great offense this has been caused to them. We urge them to consider that in a free country, violence is not the answer to offensive speech. To our colleagues in the media, we remind you to consider the audience you are alienating happens to buy your newspapers. And by the way, exercising your rights doesn’t get you off the hook for being jerks."
Honestly, is diplomacy in this instance so fucking hard? Apologize and move on, for god’s sake.
When Iran starts publishing Holocaust cartoons, this whole thing is going to reach a new low.