What’s the climate today for freedom of speech, specifically on the topic of Islam, in Europe? What can we make of the response of European governments?
To understand the situation, I talked to Flemming Rose, a journalist and author of The Tyranny of Silence. In 2005, he was an editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten when it commissioned and later published cartoons on the subject of Islam to assess the seeming climate of self-censorship. That decision led to boycotts, deadly protests, and a global crisis. Al Qaeda put Mr. Rose on a hit list, and today when he leaves home, he must be accompanied by bodyguards.
We talked about the “cartoons crisis,” which has become shrouded in misconceptions, the worldwide protests and boycotts that ensued, and the massacre at Charlie Hebdo (it had republished the Danish cartoons in support of freedom of speech). Following that attack, millions flocked to the streets of Paris to show their solidarity with the murdered journalists, declaring on banners, “Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”). What became of that visceral outpouring of support in the years since?
This episode was recorded on November 11, 2020. Overview article
available on the New Ideal website.