Saturday, June 07, 2008

Pakistan's Ambassador: «Mohammed Cartoon is Terrorism»

Terrorisme? Pakistan's ambassador to Norway Rab Nawaz Khan has formally submitted a complaint with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the publication of a Mohammed cartoon in the newspaper Adresseavisen earlier this week. «Terrorism is carrying out an act that draws strong reactions. Muslims across the world are insulted by this cartoon, and therefore it is an act of terrorism,» the ambassador said in an interview with the Norwegian commercial television station TV2.

It seems like some Muslims just don't want to understand that an insulting cartoon can't be more than just that: an insulting cartoon. Saying that a cartoon in a Norwegian newspaper is the same thing as blowing up the Danish embassy in the capital of Pakistan only shows the distorted world view some of them have.

In the interview with TV2 Pakistan's ambassador says he is «concerned», since the publication of a cartoon in Adresseavisen may put the lives of Norwegian citizens all over the world in danger. Furthermore, he points out that a number of Norwegian companies have offices and commercial interests in Pakistan. At the same time he rejects the explanation by the editors of Adresseavisen that the cartoon doesn't show Mohammed but someone who poses as Mohammed. According to Arne Blix, chief editor of the newspaper, the cartoonist wanted to demonstrate that someone who commits terror in religious clothes in the name of religion is totally unbelievable, but it seems Pakistan's ambassador isn't able to grasp that statement at all.

Erna Solberg, leader of the opposition's Conservative Party (Høyre), said in a reaction that the ambassador is completely overreacting. According to her diplomats in Norway should study the Norwegian situation and the Norwegian freedom of expression more carefully, and the Norwegian government should not apologize for the publication of the cartoon. Instead the government should try to explain that there is freedom of the press in Norway, and that it is not a terrorist act to use it. The ambassador may of course dislike the cartoon, but he's wrong to say it's terrorism.

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