Sunday, April 5, 2009

Copenhagen -- Is Free Speech Threathened by Fear?

The Copenhagen Post exposes the dilemma of defending core freedoms in a climate of timidity.

The Danish Free Press Society will soon be selling signed reprints of the infamous Mohammed cartoons to raise money for its daughter organisation, the International Free Press Society.

The controversial cartoon originally appeared in Jyllands-Posten newspaper on 30 September 2005 causing a national and international debate on the freedom of speech and the press.

The 1000 reprints, signed by cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, are of the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb in his turban. They will be available for sale on the society’s website at $250.

However, the project to promote the freedom of speech and the press faced an unexpected hurdle when the society was unable to find a Danish printing company willing to reprint the drawings for them.

The society contacted six different printers, all of whom turned the job down. In the end, a foreign printer was contracted to print the 1000 signed samples.

President of the Free Press Society, Lars Hedegaard, said that one of the printers told them that they would not be successful finding a Danish printer, because rumours of the controversial printing order had spread.

Hedegaard told Jyllands-Posten newspaper that, despite the freedom of speech being protected in the constitution, he feared that one day printers would avoid printing certain books out of fear of reprisals.

‘I’d like to ask the Danish politicians what they plan to do to ensure that constitutionally-protected freedom of speech does actually exist. A right that people do not dare use has no value.’ [Emphasis mine]

So, the challenge for Denmark (before it's too late) is to locate and isolate the compatible 'ideological stem cells' with which to generate new national spine tissue. Perhaps they might consider taking a 'thought-cell' graft from the ideological root system of the Granite State of New Hampshire -- Live free or Die!

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