This time the Danes are more united and more determined to defend their own freedoms. This time the Danish press acted as one. 23 newspapers reprinted the cartoons on the same day. The message of defiance was clear and inhibited the ability of politicians to kow tow to Muslim "sensitivities."
Iranian failure to take this into account led to its humiliating rebuff. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Danish parliament was about to visit their Iranian counterparts. The Iranian Parliamentarians notified their future guests that they will refuse to meet with them unless an apology for the republication of the cartoons precedes the Danish MPs. The Danes responded by canceling the visit. Cultural understanding, they insisted, is a two way street.
Judith's friend further reports that 'the committee unanimously refused to deliver an apology for what Danish free media prints, and has canceled the planed trip to Iran, and has on public TV said that the Iranians must be nuts (Yes, these were the words), to come up with such demands, and that there's no way Danish politicians are going to visit the country under such conditions.' Arutz Sheva reports similarly blunt language from the Danes: 'Ten members of Denmark’s Parliament have cancelled a trip to Iran following Iran’s insistence that they apologize for the publication in Danish newspapers of cartoons depicting the founder of Islam, Mohammed. A member of the Danish Foreign Policy Committee explained Saturday that the lawmakers had been asked to condemn the cartoons. “They can’t and they won’t,” she said.' Meanwhile, dozens of Danish newspapers have reprinted the cartoons in a show of support for free speech.
Progress in Iraq. And even the New York Times admits it. Sunni extremism is now in retreat.
France may boycott Durban over anti-semitic, anti-Israel propaganda. JTA: 'Nicolas Sarkozy said France would not participate in the Durban II racism conference if it repeated the 2001 anti-Semitic debacle. "France will not allow a repetition of the excesses and abuses of 2001," the French president told CRIF, the umbrella body of French Jewish groups, in an address this week.'
European book fairs to honor Israel. The good news from France doesn't stop with Durban. Turning back to A7, we learn that the largest book fairs in France and Italy are honoring Israel: 'In recognition of its 60th year of independence, the State of Israel will be the "guest of honor" at two of Europe's largest book fairs this year. Dozens of Israeli authors have been invited to France and Italy for the events. The two fairs, each of which regularly draws upwards of 200,000 people, will feature displays and activities about Hebrew literature and the culture of the Jewish State. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert are expected to open the five-day Paris Book Fair on March 14 ...' And in Italy, the Turin International Book Fair will open on May 8 - the Hebrew anniversary date of Israel's independence - and will feature Israeli books and films.
Patriots demonstrate at Silver Spring. Tom the Redhunter reports on counter-demos against the leftists at the Silver Spring, Maryland recruiting station.
At US-Islamic World Forum, keynote speakers sound a new tone. The Belmont Club:
Tamara Cofman, who's attending the annual 5th Annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum notices that anti-US rhetoric is way down this year. Instead of fire-breathing anti-American keynote speakers, "the opening keynote was instead delivered by President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who argued that Muslims in Afghanistan and Bosnia were right to expect and accept American military intervention to relieve their suffering, and America was just in coming to their aid."
The reason for the change in tone has been a grudging respect for successes in American foreign policy and Washington's new focus on Iran.
Read the post to find out where a certain well-known American fits in the picture.