A disturbing poll that is sure to delight dar al Islam and prove that jihad and Islamic terrorism – in all its forms – is working.
From Reports Without Borders interviewed target of Islamic jihad and Jyllands Posten’s arts and culture editor Fleming Rose, Are media, arts and culture really starting to censor themselves?
In a poll of 1,010 people carried out by Ramboell/Analyse from 11 to 14 January and published in Jyllands-Posten on 19 January, 84.2 per cent said they approved of the national media’s decision not to reprint the cartoons after the latest murder attempt on Westergaard on 1 January. Only 11.7 per cent thought the cartoons should have been reprinted and 4.1 per cent were undecided. Most of those polled (57.3 per cent) nonetheless continued to support Jyllands-Posten’s original decision to publish them in September 2005 on the grounds of the right to free expression, while 32.8 per cent disapproved and 9.9 per cent had no opinion.
The other poll was carried out from 3 to 12 December by Kaas & Mulvad of 654 members of Danish cultural organisations, of whom about half asked not to be identified. Published on 11 January on Ugebrevet A4, the website of the union federation LO, the poll showed that nearly half (47 per cent) of authors, artists and art gallery and museum directors think that freedom of expression is under threat in Denmark, 56 per cent say they fear offending people on the grounds of their ethnic origin and 53 per cent fear offending their religious feelings.
I know people who say they feel intimidated and who admit to censoring themselves. Why don’t they say it out loud? I think that the spokespeople of artists’ and writers’ associations are influenced by the political situation. They have a problem with admitting that self-censorship exists and that Jyllands Posten is right. It would be like associating with the devil! There is a political interest in distancing oneself from the problem. And then, artists who always want to be challenging the authorities, cannot admit to being intimidated by Islam or by anybody outside the traditional perception of political power. It would not be politically correct.
And my situation isn’t getting better. Kurt Westergaard made the mistake of showing where he lives on television. Few people know where I live. But such a situation is bearable only if it last for about six months. I am beginning to understand that the threats will not go away. This is disturbing. The people who decided to be offended by the cartoons are not going to forget it. It was a symbolic event around which it is easy to rally others. I have no regrets. I do not look back. If it had not been the cartoons, it would have been something else. But obviously, I could have done without it.
The percentage that won’t actually dare to offend Muslims is probably closer to 100%.