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2006-05-03

From the "Man bites dog" Department: Danish newspaper sues lawyer representing Muslims

A Danish newspaper said today it had filed a defamation lawsuit against a lawyer representing a group of Muslim organisations which sued the daily for publishing the contentious Prophet Muhammad cartoons that sparked riots across the world.

The Jyllands-Posten sued Michael Christiani Havemann for saying its top editors ordered a cartoonists to deliberately make a "gross" drawing of the Prophet Muhammad because those solicited by freelance artists were not good enough.

Jyllands-Posten’s editor in chief Carsten Juste said Havemann’s accusations “are simply so gross and insulting that he has crossed the line for what we will accept”.
[ . . . ]


Apparently Havemann has repeated some of the old imam-lies.

According to Jyllands-Posten today (Danish text, my translation), Havemann has said, "According to what I've been told, the worst of the drawings - the one with the bomb - was produced by one of the paper's own artists, seemingly ordered by the management, because the cartoons coming from the outside apparently weren't bad enough. If this is correct it further supports one of our fundamental claims: That the purpose of the paper's action was that a religious minority in Denmark by all means had to be ridiculed."

The first lie is that Jyllands-Posten has stated that they meant to Insult, Mock and Ridicule Muslims. We have looked at this lie before.

We have also touched on the second lie before, namely that Jyllands-Posten specifically asked the cartoonists to make insulting drawings. See the page with Lars Refn's cartoon.

The actual truth is that Flemming Rose (culture editor of Jyllands-Posten) has repeatedly stated the opposite: (Why I published those cartoons): "I wrote to members of the association of Danish cartoonists asking them "to draw Muhammad as you see him." We certainly did not ask them to make fun of the prophet."

So who's lying? The imams or Rose? Fortunately the original letter from Flemming Rose to the 40 cartoonists can be found on Journalisten (Danish text) and goes, "We are writing to you in connection with last week's public debate about depicting the Prophet Mohammed and free speech in relation to a children's book by Kåre Bluitgen, where several cartoonists allegedly have said "no thanks" to drawing Mohammed out of fear of the consequences. Jyllands-Posten is on the side of free speech. We would therefore like to invite you to draw Mohammed, as you see him. The result will be published in the paper next weekend."

"draw Mohammed, as you see him" - those were the words. I hope Jyllands-Posten will get the lying imams and their lawyer.

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