The Danes have had a glorious record defending free speech for centuries, so it was no surprise that they closed ranks and got behind Jyllands-Posten, the distinguished Danish newspaper, when, in 2005, it published 12 caricatures of the world’s best known pedophile after Roman Polanski. Everybody knows what happened then: partisans of the religion of peace got busy torching Danish embassies, threatening the cartoonists, and killing as many infidels as they could get their hands on, including a Somali nun. At the end of the day, they stacked up a body count of some 200. For publishing some caricatures of the medieval founder of a primitive, modernity-hating religion.
In 2008, about 20 Danish papers reproduced the cartoons. More wailing and gnashing of teeth by adherents of the religion of peace. And this time there was legal action, too. Last year, a Saudi lawyer called Faisal Ahmed Zaki Yamani demanded an apology. Yesterday, the editor of one Danish paper, Politiken, took his tail, placed it firmly between his legs, and caved in to the forces of darkness. His name, by the way, is Toeger Seindenfaden. Not the sort of chap you want in a fox hole with you. The decision has been roundly condemned. Joern Mikkelsen , the editor of Jyllands-Posten, correctly noted that “It’s a sad day for Danish media, it’s sad for freedom of expression and it’s sad for Politiken.”