A Danish daily credited with starting a debate over criticism of Islam has said it will not print cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a political advertizing campaign, due to alleged safety concerns.
Jacob Nybroe, editor-in-chief of Jyllands-Posten, said his newspaper will not participate in an ad campaign launched by a Danish political party, the New Right, which will feature caricatures of the founder of Islam as a way to “show support for the victims of Islamic violence” and make it clear that Denmark won’t “bend when we are threatened with violence, murder, and terror.”
The adverts, run in collaboration with the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, will include cartoons used by French schoolteacher Samuel Paty in a lesson about freedom of speech. A radicalized Chechen refugee beheaded Paty earlier this month in retaliation for the lesson.
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Nybroe told Danish media he sympathized with the “declaration of solidarity” from the right-wing party, but his paper would not be able to print the ads, after the authorities foiled four separate attacks planned against the news organization.
The paper’s staff have also been targeted in the past. Contributing cartoonist Kurt Westergaard survived a 2010 assault when an armed man broke into his home.
“Security for us is unfortunately not a theoretical, moral, or political consideration,” Nybroe said in an email to Denmark’s Journalisten.
He argued that his newspaper had to operate in the open and therefore could not afford to take unnecessary risks that would put its staff in direct danger.
I wish it was different, that we could express ourselves freely, as we do in all other matters. But violence works.
“Only in one circumstance do we show caution – that is, in fact, a censorship inflicted on us by threats: we do not show drawings of the Prophet Muhammad [sic],” Nybroe said. (RT)
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