Blueprint Magazine, 17.05, 2006 (USA)
Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten, the Danish daily which published the Muhammed cartoons last September, defends his decision as a stance against what he calls "the politics of victimology", a rhetoric concocted by the European left which he says has been cleverly exploited by Islamic radicals. "Equal treatment is the democratic way to overcome traditional barriers of blood and soil for newcomers. To me, that means treating immigrants just as I would any other Danes. And that's what I felt I was doing in publishing the 12 cartoons of Muhammad last year. Those images in no way exceeded the bounds of taste, satire, and humour to which I would subject any other Dane, whether the queen, the head of the Church, or the prime minister. By treating a Muslim figure the same way I would a Christian or Jewish icon, I was sending an important message: You are not strangers, you are here to stay, and we accept you as an integrated part of our life. And we will satirize you, too. It was an act of inclusion, not exclusion; an act of respect and recognition."
I realized a few years ago that middle-class liberal guilt has its roots in Christian charity, specifically New Testament virtues. More on that idea in my next post.