COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- During the cartoon crisis of 2006, an association with European xenophobia and Islamophobia had grave consequences for Denmark's international diplomacy and its exposure to international terrorism. Now, its new migrant law threatens to do the same.
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and Danish-Muslim Ahmed Akkari are an
unlikely pair to teach us a New Year's lesson. On opposite sides of a vicious and deadly international crisis in 2006, both men are now reconciled with a wiser and more judicious perspective.
It is an illusion, albeit a powerful one, to believe that a free exchange of ideas exists in any pure form in the West. Racial, ethnic, and religious minorities rarely have possessed the same opportunities to shape public opinion as those with political power or cultural capital.
What we say, do, and eat has global implications, and on these three major security frontiers we must do better: religious, food and climate security. Each of us has a role to play, and each of us is capable of making a difference.
The bad news is that, unlike China or even Iran, countries like Syria are tightening their grip and getting away with it, or rather receiving world praise for a presumed effort to achieve peace with Israel.
A book entitled The Cartoons That Shook The World is being published without any of the cartoons in the book. It's the latest in a long series of Western reactions to violent threats to freedom of expression.