Various arguments came forth from the cartoons such as freedom of speech vs. censorship; the depiction of religious figures in unflattering manners (many Muslims asked why similar cartoons of Jesus were not displayed); among others.
The Danish government stood firm and said that freedom of speech is guaranteed in Denmark, regardless of the content of material. Worldwide, Denmark became a bastion for freedom of speech. Many people applauded the attitude that came from Denmark, even those who may not have found the Mohammed cartoons to carry an astute message. Hooray for Denmark.
It seems that Denmark, instead of being the pinnacle for the concept of free speech, has fallen a few notches backward and now considers freedom of speech to be a matter only for those who agree with a message, not the totality of the philosophy.
On September 18, 2008, Aljazeera News ran a piece called, "Danish T-Shirt 'Terror’ Convictions." According to the article:A Danish appeals court has convicted six people who sold T-shirts bearing the logos of Colombian and Palestinian resistance groups of supporting banned "terrorist" organizations.
About 300 T-shirts were sold for $33 each, with 75 cents from each sale going towards a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) radio station and a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) graphics studio.
The six were connected to the Danish activist group Fighters and Lovers, which sold shirts printed with FARC and PFLP logos.These actions of the Danish justice system are lame. In addition, there are many quandaries raised.
The two groups mentioned are considered terrorist groups by the U.S. and the E.U., but their designation came only because the U.S. affixed the name "terrorist" to them. Millions of people worldwide consider FARC and PFLP to be legitimate resistance movements. Their actions fall along these lines.
In the case of FARC, the Colombian government has taken many more actions than the resistance group that would be construed as terrorist. Only a few months ago, the Colombian government sent military assassins into Ecuador, a sovereign nation, to kill some FARC leaders. The diplomatic fallout of Colombia’s intrusion are still visible today.
Possibly the biggest contradiction of this entire mess is that the government of Denmark joined the U.S. in the "coalition of the willing" and sent troops to Iraq to participate in one of the largest terrorist activities of modern times:the destruction of Iraq caused by an illegal invasion in March 2003.
Freedom of speech is a grand concept, but it can not be diluted. The Danish government should hold its head in shame after convicting a few committed and peaceful human beings who were only trying to serve justice. Instead of buckling, the government should have proudly stated that freedom of speech is alive and well in Denmark and that no one will alter the Danish commitment. Instead, it took the cowardly route.
There is one question I will pose and maybe someone will investigate and find an answer: How much did the Danes receive from the U.S. government for pulling such a stunt?