Danish Cartoons Row

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London, UK - 8 February 2006, 08:53 GMT - The Honourable Al McDonald; The Digital Ummah - Preatoni; Ben-Dak; Bjergstrom; Howell; Pickering; Bogni; Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; Rockefeller; Sheshabalaya; Guptara; Ormerod; Clothier

Dear ATCA Colleagues

We are grateful to The Honourable Alonzo McDonald from Michigan, USA, for his personal views in regard to the ongoing Danish cartoons row. The independent views expressed are the personal views of the author and not necessarily those of ATCA.

The Honourable Alonzo McDonald is a former: US Ambassador, Chief US trade negotiator, acting member of Cabinet, Assistant to the US President and White House Staff Director. Alonzo McDonald has enjoyed a distinguished career in business, government, and academia including being the Chief Executive of McKinsey and Company worldwide. He is the Founding Chairman of The Trinity Forum. Mr McDonald joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1981, and from 1983 until 1987 he served as a Senior Counsellor to the Dean, developing and co-moderating their quarterly seminar for CEOs. He is also the First Becton Fellow of The Yale School of Management. He is presently the Chairman and CEO of Avenir Group, which is involved in development banking, investing and acting as counsellors. Former directorships include The American Stock Exchange; Bendix Corporation (Vice Chairman); CAE (Canada); Chicago Pacific Corporation; Dannon Company (US); Diamond Bathurst; General Biscuits Company; Group Danone (France) International Advisory Board; IBJ Schroder Bank and Trust Company; Lafarge Corporation; McKinsey & Company (Chairman - Worldwide); and Scientific Atlanta. He writes:

Dear DK

This is to commend you and the Intelligence Unit for the superb forum you have created that permitted this extensive exchange of views on the impact of the Danish cartoons published some five months ago and the current widespread violent and destructive actions of organized mobs in multiple Moslem nations. The commentaries by our ATCA Colleagues and your group’s factual and research inputs have been more enlightening than anything I have encountered in the media world. Since so many valid points have been covered, I was reluctant to write but the continuation and even spread of violence and extremist statements prompts me to believe that this is a highly complex subject for which there is no near-term resolution. Instead, in its broader context it will be one that will haunt Western civilization and moderate, thoughtful individuals of all stripes possibly for decades if not generations to come.

The moderate tone of all of our commentaries on ATCA reminds me that our colleagues are all students of and partisan to the values and closely held tenets of Western democratic civilization. Even the differences of opinion expressed are apparently more varied in tone and emphasis than true substantive disagreements. Our immediate tendency is to reduce the difficulty to a conflict between freedom of expression (including the press) and violence as an expression of opposition. This is an important issue but is probably only symptomatic of several larger problems.

We should be aware that these cartoons were only one other provocation by the West in what is a fundamental and highly sensitive struggle inside Islam that has been underway now for decades if not for centuries. The extremists, whom we often now refer to as Islamo-fascists, are in a death fight with the moderates over how Islam will evolve to meet the challenges of modernization which they must do. The Danish incident reminds me somewhat of the plight of a well-meaning policeman who tries to break up a family fight and finds he is now being attacked by both the husband and the wife.

The ultimate outcome of this internal battle will not be decided by the West. It must be resolved within Islam itself by determining the kind of society it will allow and promote for its adherents. We see and hear too little from what is generally assumed to be a silent majority of Islamic moderates seeking reform and progress, leaving the public impression that the extremists are winning since they get the sensational headlines and media attention. Let us fervently hope this superficial impression is false.

The present violence appears, in various Islamic countries, appears to be government and extremist organized and promoted. The media shows pictures that could mislead one to believe these outbreaks are spontaneous but clearly they are effectively organized with specific not general targets in view. Although they may continue for some days and perhaps longer, such events are very hard to sustain since even mobs soon become weary after venting much of their initial venom and finding little satisfaction and even less personal benefit arising from the ruins. We should appreciate that the Moslem extremists need very much such events to keep their movements vital. Such conflicts help them to recruit additional followers, generate fear in their publics and cower moderates to take cover, leaving their opponents to appear weak with their soft calls for peaceful expressions of resentment and opposition.

My gratitude to Professor Guptara for helping us to recall some relevant historical perspectives. These are highly important for us to analyze and appreciate the present situation and prospects. Professor Guptara credits correctly much of our advancement, politically and economically, to the classical theory of the dynamism of the Protestant ethic as advanced by Max Weber at the beginning of the twentieth century. As a Protestant, I have always adhered to that position but have now seen a broader view in a new book by Professor Rodney Stark entitled “The Victory of Reason”. He concludes these principles really predated the Reformation. Stark contends that Christianity itself, whether Catholic or Protestant or whether for true believers or not, was open to and often encouraged continued interpretation and individual inquiry that led to free societies, capitalism and scientific advancements. Although it has many facets, this basic sense of openness and evolving interpretation is not characteristic of Islam.

These Christian attitudes led to favourable conditions in several Medieval Italian city states that offered considerable personal liberty. When then matched with low taxes, few government restraints or fees and weak guilds, the early days of capitalism began with widespread rises in standards of living for the populace at large. In turn these conditions led to competitive innovations and the beginning of what we call today the scientific approach. Making this desirable end result possible were three essentials for widespread economic advancement. These were relatively free markets, capital and labour. These conditions were emulated soon in Northern Europe and England and then advanced dramatically in relatively free societies following the Reformation.

As a result of these movements Western civilization bolted ahead of other areas of the world subject to closed political and religious environments and were naturally transported with great success to North America. When despotism returned to Italy in the 1500s with the reign of Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire in collaboration with oppressive popes, the early Italian prosperity and budding capitalism was choked off, essentially ending the initial financial control across Europe even in the 1200s by extensive branch operations of Italian merchants and banks.

If Stark’s conclusions are correct, our Islamic brothers face a formidable challenge in seeking reform and moderation. As our colleagues have noted, one cannot really divorce the collective impact of religion, politics and economics. The major elements of reasonable individual freedom of thought and expression matched with a higher degree of free markets, free capital and free labour, are only dreams in most of the affected Moslem nations. It is therefore not surprising that the combined GDP of the 22 Arab states only equals that of Spain alone [depending on the price of oil]. At some point an opening of their political systems to greater individual liberty is not only a politically attractive alternative for individuals and nations but an essential foundation step toward greater economic prosperity.

The Chinese example currently is also highly instructive in this regard. Although holding to tight, overall political control by a single party, China has been surprisingly open to individual initiatives and directly encouraged entrepreneurship. China has moved rapidly toward freer markets (with foreign companies entering in droves), freer capital (with foreign capital welcome and now massive) and freer labour (with again amazing mobility of personnel from the hinterlands to rapidly developing regions in contrast to earlier prohibition of worker migrations under Mao).

Also intriguing is the rapid growth of Christianity in China, particularly among intellectuals. From only about one million (widely viewed as only “rice” Christians for the doles handed out rather than true believers) at the time missionaries were expelled, the estimated Christian population has now exploded to some 200 million and growing (see David Aikman’s book “Jesus in Beijing, How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power”). One leading Chinese scholar paraphrased Stark’s view cited earlier. He was quoted by Aikman, “In the past 20 years we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.” Perhaps we in our increasingly secular West might give this idea more thought.

Although much of the world opposes President Bush’s blunt approach and tactics, the ideals advocated by the President for the spread of democracy may be near the mark and more critical for today’s world than generally conceded. Although having served a Democratic President in the White House, I admire Bush’s continued commitment and pressure to advocate democracy in hitherto despotic regimes. Since his aims are idealistic and will achieve only modest realization even in the long term, they are demeaned as always by the so-called pragmatists valuing only immediate results as well as naturally by his political opponents. Importantly, I believe the President is pushing for greater expressions of individual freedom even if the early forms it takes may not qualify for our precise Western definitions of democracy. His appeals are not falling on deaf ears in today’s age of expanding communications over satellites and internet even in media-controlled nations. Such movements are stirring, and although tentative and feeble still, they may well be gaining a slow momentum. Our future as a peace-loving group of moderates committed to the values of Western civilization may well depend heavily on how well they take root over time and how committed our Western political leaders remain to the Bush "democracy" ideals.

As a final comment on this complex question, we must recognize that the Islamo-fascists might in fact win out in the Moslem world. In that case we will truly face a violent and explosive future. Negotiations will be impossible since their commitment will be one of worldwide conquest and subjugation of the West as well as their own people. That will mean a time of continuing war that will make the current war on terror seem like child’s play. Events like those experienced in recent years in Madrid, London, Amsterdam and now Copenhagen could become daily threats unless the West is heavily on the offensive.

One is reminded with this conclusion of the brilliant work of Professor William Ker Muir, Jr, (of Berkeley, CA) entitled “An Understanding of Democracy.” In his chapter on tyranny, Professor Muir concludes, “To halt anarchy, it is essential to check abusive coercion with counter coercion. The only effective way to break through the vicious cycle of intimidation and revenge is to intimidate the intimidators until they mend their ways.” He leaves us with this further unpleasant thought that will not be welcome to most of our European friends and many Americans as well, “The key to a just peace – real peace, not the peace of the graveyard – is to create a stand-off of coercive power.”

These views are counter to the repeated appeasement efforts by the US since the 1980 Iranian hostage crisis that have prevailed prior to the 9/11 tragedy. Some extremists concluded from those weak responses that the West was a passive, apathetic responder who would crumble and not fight if continually attacked. Much to the concern of many, the Bush Administration has changed that posture dramatically. Although opposition to Bush’s position is rampant at home and abroad, Muir’s theory would demand that the West stay firm, strong and defend our values and way of life with force on the offensive rather than on the momentarily attractive defensive, or else we may face the tragic fate of following the slow but sure road to tyranny.

That should give us enough to think and pray about for the moment as we continue to witness the irrational violence that seems to be exploding in too many parts of this wonderful but troubled world.


Al McDonald


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 07 February 2006 17:12
To: ATCA Members

Dear ATCA Colleagues

. In North-western Afghanistan, more than 200 people protesting against the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammad have attacked a camp manned by Norwegian and Finnish soldiers in Maymana. The soldiers are part of the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force;

. Iran's best-selling newspaper -- Hamshari -- has launched a competition to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust in retaliation for the publication in many European countries of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. The Brussels-based Conference of European Rabbis (CER) denounced the idea and urged the Muslim world to do likewise;

. In Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, in a speech to members of the military, said that the publication of the controversial drawings and the angry reaction from Muslims around the world that it has triggered are all parts of "a conspiracy planned by the Zionists to provoke a confrontation between Muslims and Christians;

. Denmark protested to Iran about a second day of attacks on its Tehran embassy on Tuesday and demanded protection for its diplomats. Danes fear the row has heightened the risk of a terrorist attack in Denmark, which has 530 troops in Iraq. Iran's commerce minister announced that all trade with Denmark has been immediately suspended in retaliation for the
publication there of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed; and

. The Indian police lobbed teargas shells and used water cannon to disperse students, mostly from the Jamia Millia Islamia, who on Monday tried to force their way towards the Danish Embassy in New Delhi to protest against the publication of cartoons of Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper.

We are grateful to Roberto Preatoni from Italy for his submission to ATCA in regard to the Digital Fallout of the Cartoons.

Roberto Preatoni (39) is Chief Executive of an international group of security companies: Domina Privacy & Security AS - Estonia and Russia, PITconsulting SPA - Italy & Securitylab SA - Switzerland. He is the author of a book on digital asymmetric warfare "Asymmetric Shadows" (Ombre Asimmetriche); and international Lecturer in IT security, property protection and digital warfare conferences. He also teaches in regard to "Internet Abuses" at the Applied Computer Science faculty of the University of Urbino, Italy. He is the founder of the independent cybercrime observatory of server side attacks "Zone-H" and key teacher in Zone-H worldwide security classes. He provides consultancy to several governments and institutions in matters related to Cyber-crime. He lives between Italy, Estonia, Russia and Japan. He writes:

Dear DK

Re: The Digital Ummah

The latest events relating to the worldwide Islamic protest for the publication of the satirical cartoons portraying prophet Mohammed, have reached the "digital ground". Islamic cyber-protesters have addressed attacks toward a wide selection of Danish web-servers -- nearly 600 -- as well as Israeli web-servers and more generally Western servers, totalling nearly 1,000 such attacks.

The concept of Ummah (Islamic nation) has never been digitally so clear as it is shaping up today; it in fact represents a trans-national Islamic union historically borderless and far from governmental ties. Such a "Moslem brotherhood" has been expressed in several circumstances in the recent past in somewhat related areas such as the Palestine-Israel issue, the Kashmir territories dispute, Afghanistan, Iraq invasion and several other episodes similarly connected to the recent political on-goings.

Zone-H, the cybercrime independent observatory of Internet server side intrusions has attentively observed, in recent days, the activity of the Islamic hacker communities and tried to profile their involvement in online activities linked to the Prophet Mohammed/Denmark issue. We have procured reports directly from the enraged community in regard to their intrusions.

What came out from the survey is what we very much expected: the use of the Internet as an instrument to spread out cyber protests correlates with what happens in the worldwide context. Several hacker groups from different Muslim nations united their forces in order to produce the much-larger-than-normal amount of damage to Danish and Western web-servers. During the attacks they promoted both moderate and extremist manifestos through the defacement of the homepages, also promoting a boycott campaign throughout the digital Ummah against Danish products.

For example, in one of the highlighted attacks the hacker going by the handle DarkblooD clearly incited the Ummah community to avoid Danish products by quoting the website www.no4denmark.com. But Zone-H noted many other, and more threatening examples: warning for suicide bombing attacks were posted on Danish forums by the "IIB - Internet Islamic Brigades", and threats for a coming Jihad have been used to crack many other web-servers from all over the western and non-western world.

In regard to the moderate comments posted on defaced web pages, Zone-H noted the one by the same DarkblooD, a cracker who quit defacing activity a year ago and resumed it just on this occasion by quoting a message to the Danish Prime Minister:

“HIS (Sic) EXCELLENCY, Dr. Per Stig Møller the minister of the foreign affairs of the Denmark Peace be upon those who follow the true guidance: I have reviewed what some of the news agencies dealt with concerning the Danish news agency Jyllands-Posten had published, which I believe it to be a heinous mistake and dreadful deviation from the path of justice, reverence and equality. The said agency published 12 cartoon caricatures on the 30th of September, 2005, ridiculing Mohammed, the messenger of Islam. One of these cartoons pictures Allah's Messenger PBUH, wearing a turban that resembles a bomb wrapped around his head. What a pathetic projection! I was extremely saddened to read such news. I personally visited the site of the agency on the net. I examined the size of the blundering scandal it was. On Sept 29th, 2005 issue of, Jyllands-Posten, I saw and read dreadful news and cartoons. The news and the cartoons were horrifying and extremely disturbing to me. I believe al (sic) Muslims who read, viewed or learned about this news were equally saddened, disappointed and disturbed. All criticized such work and felt awful and dismayed about it. Similarly, I do believe that all sane and wise people, I believe, would feel the same about it.”

Once more the digital environment has been used in support of political/religious campaigns, a growing trend that was well profiled by Zone-H digital attacks archive and shows how the Internet can also be used in an asymmetric warfare environment.

While writing this report Zone-H is still receiving news of digital attacks of Islamic connotation.


Roberto Preatoni


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 06 February 2006 23:56
To: ATCA Members
Subject: Response: Prof Ben-Dak; Downing Street; Dr Niels Bjergstrom; Scandinavian Embassies burn; Howell; Pickering; Bogni; Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; Rockefeller; Sheshabalaya; Guptara; Ormerod; Clothier

Dear ATCA Colleagues

We are grateful to Prof Joseph Ben-Dak from New York, USA, for his thought provoking response to the Danish cartoon issue. It is interesting to note that there was a different mood seen in ATCA contributions prior to the burning of the Scandinavian embassies in Syria and then Lebanon. Post those unwelcome events, the mood is more sanguine.

Professor Joseph Ben-Dak is Chairman of Knowledge Planning Corporation in New York, a strategic Think Tank and coordinating enterprise advising banks, insurance houses, corporations and governments. Prof Ben-Dak has formerly served as the Principal Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for Science & Technology and Public Management. As Founder and Chief of the United Nations Global Technology Group, Prof Ben-Dak initiated and established successful technology and science businesses in numerous countries. He has recently completed work as Chairman of an international task force evaluating several areas of "critical" technology in countering terror and cognate cooperation infrastructure in several Mediterranean countries. Prof Ben-Dak has also served as the Academic Director of Israel's Air Force School for Senior Officers. He has held senior academic appointments in several countries including the University of Haifa, Israel; the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Papua New Guinea's Institute for National Planning; and Seoul National University, South Korea. He was instrumental in the development of Korea's KAIST/KIST, the centre of public and private industrial planning and the introduction of the formative evaluation regime and concern for sustainable environment to Japan's METI. He writes:

Dear DK

I was quite fascinated by the extensive responses by ATCA colleagues to the series of events following the Jyllands Posten publishing the series of cartoons. The fact that most of the cartoons in that series were not equally offensive is of course very significant as well. It shows that the paper wanted to bring out in September 2005, different views of the Prophet Muhammad, not a single defaming one, a choice which is the essence of democratic, open expression. Avenging the paper and anything Danish started in Islamic countries long before the reprinting of the particular cartoons in question elsewhere. To me, the call to equate cartoon publishing with the violent reaction to anything Western, like inhibiting purchases of Danish butter, is to miss the importance of Cartoons and cartoonists in the evolution of man's communication of political ideas. The debate is not between those who want free expression and those who want to have major religious values of others to be beyond approach. The actual debate is about the special value that Muslim radicals put on their values as being superior and humanly incomparable to anyone else's beliefs and principles.

For years, I have been following a most refreshing self-examination through cartoons in the Arab and Asian-Muslim media. The seminal work of Adil Hamda in the oldest Egyptian mass circulation weekly Roz Al-Yusuf [eg August 19, 1992] when he most sarcastically elucidated issues of women's roles vis-a-vis men's in Muslim society as well as class hypocrisies, or Al-Ithnayn's lengthy [eg August 6, 1934 - July 9, 1945] fighting through cartoons with wrong doing by higher ups in Egyptian society highlighting objectionable war time correlations of misbehaviour, especially corpulent profiteering that was consistently and boldly attacked. Imaging pertinent to our subject in these and other Arab magazines often included carnivalesque digs at religious and patriarchal authorities, right down to depicting a ridiculously robed and turbaned sheikh striding on the beach amid throngs of teenagers in revealing swimsuits. In fact, a growing number of cartoons showing unorthodox positioning of religious figures and norms had been appearing in Islam up to circa 1997. In the words of Oxford's Walter Armbrust, who studied popular culture in the Middle East, "The recognition of such continuities protects analyses of new media from anachronism".

The range of critical views about hypocrisy within these depictions had not received particular attention by radical Muslims as long as it was relatively mild and confined to print. However, these days, in the Internet age when images can reach millions in much less than a day, the reaction of orthodox religious fundamentalists to unorthodox depictions of Islam in cartoons is much more stultifying and instantly picked up by Islamic radicals and their crowds, who are always on the lookout for a good reason to galvanize the masses, spread militancy, and reinforce hatred wherever an embryonic chance to do so surfaces anywhere in the world. However, our most significant concern should be that many of these radicals simply consider every non-Muslim to be less than human, "an ape or monkey", which follows from their unenlightened reading of certain Qur'anic scriptures. In their view of the world, no range of ideas or opinions, other than their own extreme (and from our perspective misguided) view of Islamic fundamentalism, is allowed, let alone accepted as legitimate, especially when such expressions come from non-Muslims. This brings us to the real context within which we should view the present furore over the Danish cartoons. Every protest in Syria, Iran, etc during the past week has been orchestrated by governments, for their own political purposes. In some cases, like Lebanon, the radicals utilize this grave situation to topple the newly elected and moderate government, with similar campaigns already underway in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt. Every militant Internet network publishes calls to revenge, including outright calls for the killing of all cartoonists involved in any of the cartoon reprinting in Europe as well as Denmark. With only a cursory search of the internet this afternoon, I have found at least ten such calls for murder already, and the cartoons are destined to be perpetuated and recalled long after the present furore has subsided.

When Rudi Bogni, amongst other ATCA contributors, encourages editors to leave the Prophets in Peace for a while, he inadvertently, in essence, allows radicals control of our intellectual world, which is only a tiny step from giving them control of our physical world as well. Does such an attitude contribute "to better understanding between billions of people"? I think not. The very example that Dr Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni cited, illustrates the possible limitation of a possible affirmation of such an attitude. I am referring to the quickly dispatched Danish Imams' mission, sent by the Muslim Faith Society to the Middle East to instigate a boycott against Denmark. For radical Islam to be talking about the need for reconciliation requires a bit of humility in these times of increasing cultural conflict. However, none exists. Within the democracies of the world, the very necessity for a certain minimal norm of tolerance of difference of opinion or belief is taken for granted, and seen to be needed universally. Such tolerance presently is missing in most of Islam, and the prospects for finding it in the very near future there are growing increasingly dim. However, tolerance is a necessary precondition for communication and any hope of cooperation in this day and age of intertwined cultural and political complexity and disagreement. If the free speech expression of opinion is to be tolerated only within our own Western societies, the lack of it in other parts of the world, most notably in Islamic ones, will become increasingly costly to us -- and we will feel the stinging impact of these costs sooner than some of our ATCA commentators suppose. The lack of a global effort to define free expression as a necessity will only result in more of the same disasters we have seen in the recent Dutch, Danish and French situations, where intense violence has erupted in Europe because of the de-facto interconnectedness of societies where we allow norms of intolerance to flourish among ignorant and uncivil populations in what seem to be distant countries. In fact they have a terror / militant extension in our midst in each Western country. Cartoons do matter and their quick messaging can influence reorientation either way.

When you compare political cartoons in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya etc to the types published in Europe you cannot but appreciate how rich and cleverly polemical so many of them are. Thinking, educating, and probing the Middle East and Islamic Asia between 1945 and 2006, leads to several realizations concerning the importance of cartoons. Given that in strict Islamic early traditions, any graphic depicting of humans, let alone the prophet Muhammad, was actually forbidden, it must sooner or later come to mind that many major changes have already taken place in Islam which indicate magnificent progress toward free expression. For example, these days you can see a number of very large images of the Prophet Muhammad in virtually any Pakistani and Iranian city. In Iraq and in Iran, historical path setters of the Shi'a faith have often been depicted in rich, colourful, and artistically creative ways, allowing quite a bit of individual taste.

However, unflattering representations of hated stereotyped enemies, including all other religions, churches, and religious personalities outside Islam has also grown, and such images are regularly propagated by both published cartoons and in the electronic media that are now very effective in reaching the less educated masses.

When you consider Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's, recurrent speeches against UK, USA and Europe, let alone Israel, we should not be amazed at the bumper crop of venomous propaganda cartoons that are being produced in Iran and reproduced in other parts of the non-Shi'a Islamic world. His calls for Israel to be wiped off the map; his claims that the Holocaust never happened; his view that the six million Jews exterminated by the Nazis is a fabrication; his position that USA is controlled by Jews; his political program based on the view that Israel has no place in the heart of the Islamic world [and by implication that there is no place in the Islamic world for non-Muslims], and his proposal that Jews should be moved to a place of their own in Alaska or Europe, at the expense of the USA, who he claims actually fabricated the Jewish Holocaust -- have all been themes of numerous cartoons depicting and perpetuating stereotypes of Jews, the roots of which go back a long time. While, most people in the West, and hardly any in Middle Eastern Islamic countries have ever taken the time or trouble to check the true origins of these horrific stereotypical images of Jews, or to debunk the foundation of lies on which they are based, each and every one of these depictions is a fact to this radical Moslem politician, as it has been to people far more educated, such as Dr Muhammad Mahatir, a former head of state in Malaysia, and as it is still believed to be true by many of the world's Moslems, a portion of the poor and uneducated people in the USA, Europe, South America, Africa, and millions of people who have never seen a Jew or read a book by a Jewish author and who have never even heard of the good Jewish people may have brought to the world [eg that nearly one fifth of the Nobel Laureates in all fields have been Jewish persons]. Each of these cartoons, so easily found on almost any wall and in newspapers and books, and on web sites in Iran and elsewhere in the Moslem world, is not only the communication of a lie, it is also very insulting, and easily invalidated by anybody wanting to know the truth. The expression of these lies in cartoons should remind thinking and informed observers about the uses found for cartoons in the propaganda machine that developed in the pre-Nazi era. Then, the prevalent position in the USA and in most of Europe was to dismiss such Nazi propaganda cartoons against the Jews, until WW-II happened. Other "misfits" or destructive elements, who did not fit the "right profile" according to Arian theories, were similarly depicted, castigated, and eventually rounded up and sent to the death camps along with the Jews. Also on the list of undesirable "bad influences" was music such as Jazz, "inferior" culture, and morality which supported open debate, polemical writings that raised any questions about the increasingly repressive policies and tactics of the Nazis, and any efforts to accept those who were different from the selected faith or race -- all of these similar policies exist, prevail, and flourish today in radical Islam.

What I find most disturbing in the pictorial history of these cartoons is that too many outside "impartial" commentators and politicians still dismiss the impact of this venom as only a Jewish/Zionist-Islamic problem of polemics. They assume, at best, that it is well known that the aforementioned venomous statements and stereotypical images are an obvious bluff or simply untrue. The recklessness and stupidity of this assumption cannot be ignored by anybody in 2006 who has ever talked to a street gang in Los Angeles, USA; to an Islamic gathering in Chicago's or London's Hyde Park; to a group of rioting youth in Marseilles, France; to an average barber in Belgium; to a leading Indonesian University President; to a beloved world leader of the South African ANC or to American convicts either in prisons or after their incarceration, Moslem or not. When you hear, read or look at video footage of interviews of any of these people, and note they are not only in Islamic countries, the image of the evil Jews is taken as an established fact. Contrary opinion or rejection of these dogmatic images is not to be confused with facts as far as these groups or individuals are concerned. Any attempt to refute the stereotyping or to point out the injustice done to Jewish people is taken to be nothing but a prescribed manipulation.

When people can stick to this type of stereotyping about Western people as a scapegoat, and as a way for them to rationalize and escape from truly viewing the roots of their grim circumstances and their material and intellectual poverty, they are being consumed by envy and hatred for the West. And, they can be consumed by hatred and envy towards anybody else that is different or expresses different views. We need to realize that all different or weak people, particularly minorities are next in line or are already in line, for gross misunderstanding -- to put it mildly – and for denial of their rights, including the right to exist. This very fact makes them extremely receptive to the message of those who would mobilize this envy to provoke hatred and manipulate these people to achieve their own ends.

But, we still find the worst examples of hatred in the consistently anti-Semitic and anti-Western cartoons and movies produced by radical Islamic "creators of art". These works have only recently begun to enter Europe and the USA in a massive way. They are usually directed toward every stratum of audience, and particularly a campus audience. While they are relatively new to the USA, they have been perpetuating European and Middle Eastern ignorance for the past 70 years. The venom contained in such works as the fabricated "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" was initially created by the Russian Tsarist police circa 1900 and perpetuated by the Nazis. This piece of fiction, wearing the clothes of fact, first entered public awareness in the Middle East and Islamic world in Egypt and in Syria, where it was reported as fact by both press and electronic media. Its message catapulted to the "top of the charts" and captured a record number of TV viewers in Egypt in 2004-2005. It has tainted any and all factual review of Israel and Zionism in the Arab and Islamic world. Its Iranian version is celebrated in that country and has been a foundation piece in the indoctrination and "value" education of "Madrassa" elementary schooling in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Africa. Iranian TV programming in 2005 for children includes "classical" images of anti-Semite and anti-Western stereotypes as a pivotal aspect of "learning about evil". The cumulative effect and impact of this constant stream of disinformation and hatred by the Islamic World media's reproduction of venomous images and negative depiction of non-Muslims should be very difficult to reconcile with the demand that Muslims make about the right of Islam not to be offended by images printed in Europe and the USA, but of course fair play and an equal application of the rules is not the way the game is played in the world of radical Islam.

We may want to adopt a few principles:

First, in the West it is individuals who exercise their free speech and what they say under the exercise of their right to free speech is not necessarily a government position or an established church preference; the opposite situation is almost always the case in most of Islam. Individuals seldom make public statements that are not approved by the government. If they do, it is usually at their peril.

Second, the right to respond to defamation and blasphemy does obviously exist in democracies like India or the West and is exercised in each of the locations where the Muhammad cartoon was republished; but such a right does not exist in Islam.

Third, the few people who stand up to the medieval value systems promoted by radical Islam's unchanging doctrines stand in risk of being punished swiftly and severely by radical Islam's guardians of the "true faith". And, as it is becoming obvious by the Theo van Gogh case in the Netherlands and many French incidents in Europe, prior to Denmark as well -- punishing territoriality is not confined to the Islamic World. A simple review of Islamic demographics in Europe should suggest the acuteness of this trend, and the devastating results that are likely if not checked.

Fourth, "Muhammad" cartooning, while insulting to any Muslim and any open minded person caring for the beliefs and symbols of faith of others cannot be dismissed merely as a simplistic form of defamation. In fact, it is a message provoked by and highlighting homicide and militancy backed by radical Islam that hurts the Muslim world while it destroy others. The message is that militant murderers are ignoring the Prophet's message of compassion and love. This message should have meaning for moderate Muslims. It should be a call for them to be more vocal and get organized or face the consequences of the reality toward which their world is racing at an increasingly accelerating pace and those consequences are likely to be dire indeed. It is also a message to humanity at large that we better take this not as a polite, intellectual situation that requires us only to share polite and well reasoned and measured views and advice. In fact, the "Muhammad cartoon" and the Moslem reaction to it should be a wake up call to all of us that history, and here I refer to the history of the Nazis, can and is repeating itself in today's world, where the technological capacity for destruction on a global scale can mean the end of us all.

What we need to face collectively is that part of the Islamic world is populated not by the type of devout Muslim who gently steered Rudi Bogni towards non-alcoholic restaurants in Syria and could accept a difference of opinion. However, it is not yet too late. We should be encouraged by the Tamil Nadu state example reported to ATCA by Ashutosh Sheshabalaya, except it need not be treated as an India only Islamic incident.

There is much good will in Islam today. Many want radical perverts to be checked and believe this can be done. I am reminded by the March 1997 cognate critical episode in the history of Middle Eastern if not universal cartooning. Then, Ranan Lurie, the distinguished American-Israeli political cartoonist was invited to publish his daily creative work in Egypt's main paper, Al-Ahram, as part of the editorial page. This lasted a month or so before Roz Al-Yusuf published a photograph of Ranan on the cover of the magazine with a semi naked belly dancer and printed a full page cartoon showing Ranan, as an Israeli major, descending with his parachute and submachine gun on the pyramids, presumably beating them to dust. Local cartoonists and hot head Islamists pushed for the demise of this great experiment, and it lasted only briefly. Alas, the case was made for listening to a very different voice of others within that Moslem country. Still, many Egyptian thinkers and artists have confided to me, and also in a few published interviews, how refreshing this episode of cross-cultural exposure had been. We may need to move from experimental episodes like this to more encompassing and survivable human interfaces, and such links between the West and Islam through cartoons and other media should be no exception. It is something that was also tried in the Communist-West interface during the cold war. "From here we begin," as Muhammad Abdu, a most profound reform thinker in Egypt entitled his personal journey. There are many more ways to start in the mental space of reconciliation, but we cannot just preach being polite and civilized in order to cope with a constraining urgent reality.

Warm Regards


J D Ben-Dak


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 06 February 2006 15:55
To: ATCA Members
Subject: Response: Downing Street; Dr Niels Bjergstrom; Scandinavian Embassies burn; Howell; Pickering; Bogni; Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; Rockefeller; Sheshabalaya; Guptara; Ormerod; Clothier

Dear ATCA Colleagues

10 Downing Street today condemned the behaviour of some Muslim demonstrators in London over the weekend in regard to the Danish cartoons of Prophet Muhammad as "completely unacceptable". Here is the full text of the statement released on behalf of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair: "We understand the offence caused by the cartoons depicting the Prophet and of course regret that this has happened. Such things help no one. It is always sensible for freedom of expression to be exercised with respect for religious belief. But nothing can justify the violence aimed at European embassies or at the country of Denmark. We and our EU partners stand in full solidarity with them in resisting this violence and believe the Danish Government has done everything it reasonably can to handle a very difficult situation. The attacks on the citizens of Denmark and the people of other European countries are completely unacceptable as is the behaviour of some of the demonstrators in London over the last few days. The police should have our full support in any actions they may wish to take in respect of any breaches of the law, though again we understand the difficult situation they had to manage. We also strongly welcome the statements of Muslim leaders here who are themselves tackling the extremists who abuse their community's good name."

We are grateful to Dr Niels Bjergstrom, originally from Denmark, for his personal views in regard to the evolving situation across the world post the publication of the Danish cartoons. The independent views expressed are the personal views of the author and not necessarily those of ATCA.

Dr Niels Bjergstrom is a Danish physicist with a PhD in mathematical modelling of solid state phenomena. He has been involved professionally in computing since 1964 and in information security since 1987. He has been resident in the UK since 1990. He is a prolific writer with hundreds of articles as well as textbooks in the fields of mathematics, applied science and engineering to his credit. He founded Information Security Bulletin in 1996 and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, which has readers in more than 90 countries. Previously, he has worked in The Hague for four years as an information security advisor and consultant to Dutch ministries and large Dutch corporates. He is the organiser of, and a speaker at, a number of international conferences. He writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues,

The ongoing ATCA debate about current events ostensibly triggered by the publication of 12 illustrations in a Danish newspaper seems to be getting somewhat confusing. Some participants mention freedom of expression, others civility, politeness and restraint. There area calls for action as well as for passive observation and patience.

I would like to try to analyse the situation and see if some sense can be made out of the chaos and the debate channelled into constructive paths.

Perhaps I should briefly give you some background information about myself, so that you can see where I come from. I was thrilled by existential problems from an early age, in particular by religious people, saved people, who could sing and give testimony with bright eyes and certainty. An old aunt of mine, who was a devout Christian, told me there was nothing to it - no need to do anything. Belief was enough. Hence I set about chasing belief when I was around ten.

This quest led me to a long-term serious study of human belief systems and philosophy. When I was around 14 or 15 I trained myself to need only four hours of sleep every day (inspired by Aristotle I think it was, who had done the same a few years earlier), so I had 20 hours to study, meditate and play music. A consequence was that at times I followed up to three different university studies in parallel, for twenty years I read on average a book every day, so I have had the opportunity to read and study the Vedic scriptures, the Bhagavad-Gita, Buddhist and Taoist scriptures, the Koran, the Bible and many other texts used in religious contexts, as well as philosophers from Confucius over Epictetus to Rousseau, Engels, Nietzsche, Russell and Henri-Bernard Lévy.

Alas, I never did manage to take that elusive ultimate leap of self-delusion. Accursed intelligence! Sancta simplicitas - being but a sheep in the righteous flock of a mother church, wouldn't it be bliss? I'm afraid that I'd rather not have an answer to a question than not questioning an answer, so science became my lot.

One of the confusing factors in the current debate is the word 'Islam' itself. If you look at it you see a whole basket of different fruits: apples, pears, oranges, not a few of them rotten. So, when you measure against 'Islam', what is it you measure and compare? 'Islam' is not a well defined concept, and it needs to be broken down into component parts in order for it to be useful. The same is true for other beliefs of course.

First there is the text of the Koran and surrounding scriptures. This collection of literature forms the body of a religious philosophy or theory. Like the Old Testament it contains great beauty and practical moral rules commensurate with the social conditions a couple of thousand years ago. It also contains ideas of lasting relevance. When trying to put such teachings into practice it is vital to be able to distinguish between what should be taken metaphorically and what literally.

This leads to the discussion of religious practice. Religious practices result from different interpretations of the fundamental literature, often helped along by political expediency over the centuries, and can result in churches, faiths and other more or less political movements. These can be based on different interpretations ranging from fairly holistic and modern representations to very literary and limited interpretations of the original material, often intermingled with other influences. In the Western world, think of the differences between Catholics, Northern Protestants, Mormons, Baptists, Anglicans and Scientologists (though the latter probably don't call themselves Christians).

Islam, like Christianity, contains a myriad of different sects and subgroups, ranging from large, tolerant, thinking, mainstream Muslims, to groupings of mindless thugs controlled by fascist regimes and belligerent movements. Hence, it is important to specify what and who we mean when we say 'Islam' or 'Muslim'. More than that, it is important that this distinction is communicated throughout populations everywhere. This voice must be strong for two reasons: (1) to stem general, and largely unjustified, anti-Muslim sentiments, and (2) to entice, and make it safe for, moderate Muslims to come out in support of European governments and show solidarity in opposition to the dangerous fascist forces that are invading our societies.

This leads to a different issue, an old one at that, but more pertinent than ever: when is a faith a religious/philosophical movement, and when is it a political movement? This issue needs to be re-examined urgently. Of course churches will oppose this, and with good reason, because the fact is that churches or faiths have no justifiable political role in a democracy. In a true parliamentary democracy there can be nothing above, and nothing next to, Parliament. It can be argued that earlier, faiths had a role to play in balancing out more totalitarian types of regimes. This argument no longer holds. The unspeakable atrocities that can results from church and state amalgamating have been amply demonstrated both in Christianity earlier, and in Islam today.

Now to the Danish illustrations. Throughout history there have been many depictions of Mohammed, both reverential and satirical, many of them in the Muslim world. These have rarely caused any uproar. So, it is safe to conclude that it is not the illustrations per se that have caused this current havoc. They are just tools in the hands of those who are promoting war against the West - if it hadn't been the Danish illustrations it would have been something else. It took four months between the publication of the illustrations and the commotion to take off. I put it to you that this latency was caused by the need for time to organise the reaction and the violence. Denmark has been a major financial contributor to the Palestinians for many years - something I warned against 25 or 30 years ago, though considering the extent of US backing of Israel it was hard to see an alternative - and there is a considerable Palestinian presence in the country, so people from Hamas and other similar movements will have known about the illustrations from their date of publication. The fact that it took about four months for the protests to reach boiling point can only be explained by it having taken some time for the extremists to realise what a fantastic tool had been served them on a silver platter, and then to organise the exploitation. The demonstrations and violence is of course for 'internal' Islamic consumption. Those behind the violence need an external 'prügelknabe' to whip up a sentiment and recruit more thugs - a technique identical to that used by the Nazis in the 1930s. Don't forget that 'fifth column' Nazi movements existed in all the countries occupied by the Nazis before they went in militarily!

When we look for the backers of this new fascist movement using Islam as its mantel the fingers point clearly at Iran and Syria and their lackeys in other areas. The Syrian regime seems to be weakening and needs external enemies for interior political purposes. The idea that demonstrators can burn off an embassy in Damascus without government complicity is absurd. The Syrian regime has plenty of soldiers and have shown no compunction before when it comes to using them. The current Iranian regime under Mr Ahmedinejab (or 'Mr Armydinnerjacket' as we call him locally) is obviously sociopathic and extremely dangerous.

This leads to the discussion about freedom of expression, self-censorship, sensitivity, etc. This part of the discussion has to a large extent been derailed, something which cannot be allowed to happen. Please think back to September 1938, when after landing at Heston Airport, the then UK prime minister, Neville Chamberlain said: "My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time."

Back then the world was facing a potent fascist movement and failed to realise it. Hitler was duly elected in a democratic process, and nobody dared face up to him until it was too late. The world is again facing a serious fascist threat - this time we must face up to it rather than politely letting it develop in our countries, mostly paid for by our own money. The best way to do this is through free and liberal debate. There cannot be holy cows in a democracy. A prerequisite for democracy is a free debate enabling an informed population to consider and cast their votes. Anything else plays into the hands of the anti-democratic forces so ripe in our midst. If the social structure is not capable of surviving inquisitive and brutal debate it is not worth conserving and deserves to be toppled. Hence: no limit to the freedom of expression beyond civil measures defined by slander and libel legislation! No kowtowing to fascism in the guise of religious sensitivity or politeness. That is not the right way to dampen the flames. As pointed out by Rowan Atkinson and others, being prevented from poking fun at religion is too high a price to pay for accommodation!

Finally, a word about how the Danes see this: although I haven't visited Denmark for several years I grew up in the country and think I understand the bemusement with which this whole affair was initially received in the country. You see, most Danes regard religious people as being a bit off their rockers (and the events of the last few days have certainly done nothing to change that perception). Deep down they see no reason to respect or protect superstition or dogmatic non-democratic political movements. If anything, Danes pity religious folk a little and offer them education and tolerance - rarely true acceptance. So, I'm sure the Danish cartoonists and Jyllands-Posten meant no offence. That their innocent pictures could be used this way was simply beyond their imagination.

Best Regards




-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 05 February 2006 00:33
To: ATCA Members
Subject: ATCA: Scandinavian Embassies burn in cartoon protest; Response: Lord Howell; Pickering; Shesh.; Bogni; Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; Rockefeller; Sheshabalaya; Guptara; Ormerod; Clothier

Dear ATCA Colleagues

In the most violent day so far of the escalating row, The Norwegian and Danish embassies in Damascus, Syria, have been set on fire by thousands of Syrians on Saturday to protest at the publication of newspaper cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Thick, black smoke rose from one of the buildings as fire-fighters struggled to put out the flames. After setting fire to the Scandinavian embassies, thousands of angry Syrians also tried to make their way towards the French embassy but were stopped by barricades. Hundreds of riot police are standing guard outside the US Embassy in Syria. But so far, protesters haven't tried to approach it.

Usually when protesters burn an embassy, the host government has given its blessing. When it happens in a brutal police state like Syria, there may be little room for doubt. Devout followers of any religion generally take offence at the ridiculing of their religion. However, while the publication of the cartoons in question reflected an insensitivity to followers of Islam in Denmark, the reaction of Arab governments and violent protesters, has been either an over-reaction or may be deemed opportunistic. The publications have prompted diplomatic sanctions, boycotts and death threats from Islamic nations in the Middle East and Asia.

In other developments:

. The Danish and Norwegian governments have called on their nationals to leave Syria at once whilst other Western embassies in that country remain on high alert;
. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who has criticised European media for reprinting the caricatures, said there was no justification for the violence in Damascus;
. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said she understands Muslims are hurt, but she said it doesn't justify violence;
. Iranian President Ahmadinejad has instructed his trade minister to look into the possibility of annulling contracts signed with European countries that published the cartoons;
. Top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar has said they should have killed all those who defiled the Prophet Muhammad, but instead they were protesting in peace;
. Iraqis rallied by the hundreds to demand an apology from the European Union;
. The leaders of Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan have denounced the publication of the caricatures;
. Pakistan has summoned envoys from nine Western countries in protest;
. The Jordanian editor sacked after publishing the cartoons has been arrested; and
. The Vatican says the right to freedom of expression does not imply the right to offend religious beliefs.

Cartoon Row Timeline

03 Feb: Danish PM makes a new bid to calm anger, by explaining his position over the publication to Muslim ambassadors
01 Feb: Papers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain reprint cartoons
31 Jan: Danish paper Jyllands-Posten apologises
30 Jan: Gunmen raid EU's Gaza office demanding apology
26 Jan: Saudi Arabia recalls its ambassador
10 Jan: Norwegian publication reprints cartoons
20 Oct: Muslim ambassadors complain to Danish PM
30 Sep: Danish paper publishes cartoons

We are grateful to The Lord Howell for his submission prior to the burning of the Scandinavian Embassies in Syria.

The Right Honourable Lord (David) Howell of Guildford, President of the British Institute of Energy Economics, is a former Secretary of State for Energy and for Transport in the UK Government and an economist and journalist. Lord Howell is Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords and Conservative Spokesman on Foreign Affairs. Until 2002 he was Chairman of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group, (the high level bilateral forum between leading UK and Japanese politicians, industrialists and academics), which was first set up by Margaret Thatcher and Yasuhiro Nakasone in 1984. In addition he writes a fortnightly column for The JAPAN TIMES in Tokyo, and has done so since 1985. David Howell was the Chairman of the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, 1987-97. He was Chairman of the House of Lords European Sub-Committee on Common Foreign and Security Policy from 1999-2000. In 2001 he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Japan). He writes:

Dear DK

Could I add to Mr Pickering’s very wise words two more things to keep in mind – courtesy and good manners. There are a great many things in life which may or may not be true, may or may not be fundamental matters of principle, may or may not be justified by the behaviour of others. But they are nevertheless best unsaid out of civilised good manners. And we are supposed to be civilised, are we not?


David Howell


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 04 February 2006 00:28
To: ATCA Members
Subject: Response: Pickering; Sheshabalaya; Bogni; Dr Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; JD Rockefeller,Jr; Sheshabalaya; Prof Guptara; Ormerod; Clothier; Threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Dear ATCA Colleagues

We are grateful to John Pickering and Ashutosh Sheshabalaya for their personal views in regard to "Danish embassy and newspaper receive bomb threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad".

John Pickering is the Vice-Chairman of the Labour Finance and Industry Group (LFIG) as well as being an industrialist. LFIG is a UK Labour loyal think tank that draws on the experience of senior managers, providing a practical filter for legislation. He is a graduate of Cambridge University in physics and engineering, Cranfield Business School as well a being a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. He has gained worldwide experience in general management in the power field and spent a number of years managing power construction projects in Nigeria, Sudan and Iran financed by the World Bank. Since then he has been in telecommunications joining BT plc at privatisation to become their first head of commercial management. In more recent times he has been a director investor in a number of global enterprises. He writes:

Dear DK

It is good to see Prof Guptara doing a bit of church history by reminding us that religion always has been an important but recently much neglected element in statecraft. Why have interfaith relations been omitted from the diplomatic picture for so long? Having said that I have just returned from a ceremony in which the retiring head of the UK Diplomatic Corps was presented with a medal for his interfaith work by the Bishop of London!

The choice between one world or no world seems to be before us, at least partly because of that neglect. But what are the ground rules for developing our interfaith or indeed any other dialogue - surely not, surely not, just guns and bombs whenever we get upset by our often ill informed neighbour.

The West complains that Muslims reply to criticism - including cartoons - with guns and bombs and whilst at the same time Muslims make much the same complaint about the West. I have two immediate suggestions to make to all serious minded people.

1. To non-Muslims - Kindly buy yourself a copy of and read the Koran. The Penguin Classics English version is very readable. One cannot but be impressed by the Muslims' sense of the unseen world, the holiness of God and the Prophet Muhammad. These features should never be ridiculed.

2. To Muslims - Kindly read the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament. This is perhaps the most wonderful antidote to violence one could ever find. It would make a fine appendix to any holy book.

Then to everyone conducting any dialogue on religion or human rights:

Try to keep a balance between scripture [one's own and others], tradition [one's own and others], reason, and experience - ie dreams, mystical insight, etc. This is an important quadrilateral. It takes a great deal of humility to do so. It is so tempting to focus unduly on anyone of these to the exclusion of the others. Violence is an ever present potential consequence from failing to keep that balance.

It might restrain both those who prefer power to virtue, and those religions who seek secular power to further their religious cause. Lets all put our guns away and get talking.


John Pickering

Ashutosh Sheshabalaya is the author of "Rising Elephant" [Common Courage Press, 2004]. Rising Elephant is a heavily-researched book about India's rise and long-term opportunity and challenge to the West. The book, reprinted shortly afterwards by Macmillan, quickly became a bestseller, and in late 2005 it was still in the Top 10 on Amazon.com's India listings and among the Top 25 books on Globalisation, both at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Described as a "tour de force" by the Director of UBS Bank’s Wolfsberg think-tank and as "provocative" by former Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Rising Elephant has been reviewed worldwide.

Mr Sheshabalaya is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars in Europe, India and the US. He continues to write for Yale University’s Center for Globalisation and Washington’s Globalist think-tank. A winner of the all-India National Science Talent Scholarship, he studied at the leading Indian engineering institution, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. He went on to win the highly competitive Wien International Scholarship. Mr Sheshabalaya is married to a Belgian and is part of both New and Old India. Well before other analysts had set their sights upon this powerful and (to some) disruptive "India Phenomenon" on the world stage, he published a series of Indian market reports in the US, spotting and analysing opportunities. In total, he has led research projects for over 60 studies covering a wide range of industries. Clients include The Japanese Government, The European Commission, and Invest in Sweden Agency as well as Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Reliance Industries, Rhone Poulenc and St Jude Medical. He writes:

Dear DK

It is common sense that there are limits to all freedoms (this evolutionary aspect was what I had discussed previously) [See below]. But as much as freedom is not absolute, neither are the limits, which (as Mr Bogni points out) need to be tested from time to time - but by no means frivolously. Otherwise, they debase the very freedom they seek (or claim) to uphold.

These are explosive times. This is principally because of the rapid and extensive new connectivity between peoples; in other words, the growing impact of unseen, faraway forces is accompanied by the increasingly visible presence of the "Other" in one's everyday life. Meanwhile (largely due to widespread "information" access), there is a relentless destruction of even a small sense of wonder about the "Other".

Karl Kraus would have laughed. This is not about freedom of speech. Such a media exercise skirts the nether edges of David Berreby's tribal behaviour. In other words, very irresponsible, but no more than CNN taking over one day to realize that they mixed up nuclear weapons and nuclear energy in their interpretation of that [in]famous speech by the Iranian President.



Ashutosh Sheshabalaya


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 03 February 2006 11:33
To: ATCA Members
Subject: Response: R Bogni; Dr M Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; excerpts JD Rockefeller,Jr; A Sheshabalaya; Prof P Guptara; J Ormerod; S Clothier; Threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Dear ATCA Colleagues

We are grateful to Rudi Bogni based in London and Basel, Switzerland, for his personal views in regard to "Danish embassy and newspaper receive bomb threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad".

Rudi Bogni is the Chairman of Medinvest and lives between London and Basel. He is the former CEO, Private Banking and Member of the Group Executive Board of UBS AG, the largest bank in Switzerland. At present, he is a non-executive director of Old Mutual plc; trustee of the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation; Accomandataire of Bertarelli & Cie; Director of America Cup Management and Kedge Capital; Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Oxford Analytica; Director of the International Council for Capital Formation and of Prospect Publishing; Member of the Governing Council of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; and of the Development Council of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. He writes:

Dear DK

I am a firm believer in the freedom of speech and the need to test liberties from time to time, so that we do not lose them. However, I also believe that sensitivity to other people's sentiments is just as much a part of our modern culture as is the freedom of speech.

So, if I want to joke about Jewish grandmothers, I do it privately with my Jewish friends, and if I want to joke about Ramadan fasting, I do it privately with my Muslim friends, I just do not do it with the first Jew or Muslim that I meet at a dinner and whose sensitivities I do not know.

Particularly at this moment when terrorism and internal problems in the West as well as in the Arab world make everyone self-conscious and defensive the better part of valour ought to be common sense.

I share however the frustration of both the press and the people in Europe: governments increasingly try and dominate what we think and what we say in the pursuit (unfortunately both from the right and from the left) of the ideal nanny state, where everybody is politically correct, does not smoke, does not eat fatty foods and does not criticise incompetent administrations.

So I encourage editors to leave the Prophets in peace for a while. After all they are all long dead. Better if they concentrated on caricatures of some of the politicians who want to run our lives in our own countries. The downside for those editors is that they might not get invited to lunch any more at the Palais de l'Elysee, Downing Street or Palazzo Chigi. A small price to pay however for better understanding between billions of people.

I shall leave you with a story of tolerance. When I toured Syria in 1995, our driver was a devout Muslim. Every time at lunch or dinner he tried to steer us towards a restaurant where no alcohol would be served, but - if we insisted - he would oblige with a smile.

Freedom and tolerance are what make people brothers, freedom and hubris serve only the ego of the few.




-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 02 February 2006 20:20
To: ATCA Members
Subject: Response: Dr Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni; excerpts John D Rockefeller,Jr; Ashutosh Sheshabalaya; Prof Prabhu Guptara; James Ormerod; Stephen Clothier; Threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Dear ATCA Colleagues

We are grateful to Dr Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni, from the Jean Monnet Centre of European Excellence at Cambridge University, and Ashutosh Sheshabalaya from Belgium, for their personal views in regard to "Danish embassy and newspaper receive bomb threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad".

The comments of Dr Eilstrup-Sangiovanni are reminiscent of the speech of John D Rockefeller, Jr, (1874-1960) delivered in 1941. The excerpts of the speech are presented to ATCA members because the universal values espoused are worth noting and with which, we as an eclectic global group at ATCA -- comprising over 100 nationalities -- may be able to identify:

"Not long since I sought to formulate in my own mind the things that make life most worth living, without which it would have little meaning. Some of these things have been relegated to bygone days; some are regarded as long since outgrown. Nevertheless I believe they are every one of them fundamental and eternal. They are the principles on which my wife and I have tried to bring up our family; they are the principles in which my father believed and by which he governed his life. They are the principles, many of them, which I learned at my mother's knee. They point the way to usefulness and happiness in life, to courage and peace in death. If they mean to you what they mean to me they may perhaps be helpful also to our sons and daughters for their guidance and inspiration. Let me state them:

. I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;
. I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty;
. I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master;
. I believe in the dignity of labour, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living;
. I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs;
. I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order;
. I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character – not wealth or power or position – is of supreme worth;
. I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free;
. I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfilment, greatest happiness and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will;
. I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.

These are the principles, however formulated, for which all good men and women throughout the world, irrespective of race or creed, education, social position or occupation are standing, and for which many of them are suffering and dying."

Dr Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni is the founder and co-director of the Cambridge Jean Monnet Centre of European Excellence and heads a research programme which studies the external relations of the European Union and its member states. She is a Lecturer in International Politics at the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge, England, and a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. Her work includes publications on European integration, European foreign policy, and transatlantic relations. She writes:

Dear DK

On 30th September last year the Danish newspaper, Jyllands Posten, published a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. The way in which the case has since then been politicized and has led to widespread boycotting of Danish products and breaking off of diplomatic relations with Denmark throughout the Middle East, is a testament to the antagonistic and estranged relations that currently exist between Muslim and non-Muslim communities throughout Europe and shows serious errors of judgment on both sides of the conflict.

There can be no doubt that Jyllands Posten has a 'right' to publish satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in accordance with the principle of freedom of speech and that the Danish government is right to insist that it cannot take responsibility for or act against publication of such cartoons by any Danish-based media outlet. Clearly, demands for apologies from the Danish Government and Queen ring ridiculous in the ears of citizens of a secular liberal country that does not censor its press.

Yet, the case raises some important issues about the practice of the principle of free speech. There is an important distinction to be made between the right to a liberty and the responsible exercise of it. The Danish case is less about the upholding of a principle than it is about a misuse of a liberty. The cartoons published by Jyllands Posten did not aim to inspire debate on the merits. The paper did not invite reasoned reflection on the role of Islam in contemporary Western societies. By violating the Islamic prohibition against depictions of the Prophet, they were unnecessarily provocative and insulting to Muslims. The main aim was to trigger a reaction that would prove that some sections of the Muslim community lack a commitment to freedom of expression. The re-publication of the cartoons by other European news media in an alleged effort to 'defend freedom of expression' shows a similar lack of understanding of what free speech is for.

Freedom of expression is an important foundational right and should be used responsibly to further debate rather than instigate conflict and hatred. Those who champion free speech as a core liberal value would do well to also remember other core values of liberal democracy: tolerance and respect for other people's convictions and faith. At a time when we experience the violent effects of intolerance and fanaticism, the role of the free press should be to invite serious dialogue rather than engage in gimmicks aimed to fuel hostility and anger.

The Danish government on its side has been extremely clumsy in its handling of the issue. It should have realized immediately that this was a highly explosive issue and made a proactive effort to calm sentiments. It should have been quick to stress that freedom of speech is an inviolable principle of Danish democracy but emphasized that the Danish political establishment in no way condones the practice of ridiculing other religions. Efforts at containment should have involved granting the request by several Middle Eastern Ambassadors in Denmark for a meeting with Danish politicians to discuss the issue before the Government was faced with demands for an apology, which clearly it cannot give.

Similarly, the Muslim Faith Society (Det Islamiske Trossamfund) in Denmark seems to have overplayed its hand. By sending a delegation of Imams to the Middle East to instigate a boycott against Denmark and Danish products, the society wanted to demonstrate its political strength and force the Danish government to issue an official apology. Clearly this is not going to happen, and the confrontational stance appears instead to be alienating moderate Muslims in Denmark who feel that the Islamic Faith Society has gone too far in its non-conciliatory stance. The case is a sad example of intolerance and narrow-mindedness being exploited for political gain. At a time of increasing cultural conflict, we ought to remember that political action is not only about the exercise of rights but also about virtue and the exercise of reasoned judgment about the consequences of our actions.

Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni
Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge

Ashutosh Sheshabalaya is the author of "Rising Elephant" [Common Courage Press, 2004]. Rising Elephant is a heavily-researched book about India's rise and long-term opportunity and challenge to the West. The book, reprinted shortly afterwards by Macmillan, quickly became a bestseller, and in late 2005 it was still in the Top 10 on Amazon.com's India listings and among the Top 25 books on Globalisation, both at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Described as a "tour de force" by the Director of UBS Bank’s Wolfsberg think-tank and as "provocative" by former Indian Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, Rising Elephant has been reviewed worldwide.

Mr Sheshabalaya is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars in Europe, India and the US. He continues to write for Yale University’s Center for Globalisation and Washington’s Globalist think-tank. A winner of the all-India National Science Talent Scholarship, he studied at the leading Indian engineering institution, the Birla Institute of Technology and Science. He went on to win the highly competitive Wien International Scholarship. Mr Sheshabalaya is married to a Belgian and is part of both New and Old India. Well before other analysts had set their sights upon this powerful and (to some) disruptive "India Phenomenon" on the world stage, he published a series of Indian market reports in the US, spotting and analysing opportunities. In total, he has led research projects for over 60 studies covering a wide range of industries. Clients include The Japanese Government, The European Commission, and Invest in Sweden Agency as well as Dow Chemical, DuPont, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Reliance Industries, Rhone Poulenc and St Jude Medical.

Dear DK,

Prof Guptara has provided an illuminating analysis of the relationship between blasphemy and the State. It is also interesting that changes in Western laws on blasphemy have closely reflected relationships between State and society, especially as the latter "modernized". In succession, both social stability and State authority were highlighted in the way the blasphemy law itself evolved (which may be useful in the light of the events in Denmark and their repercussions). It is also important to note the relatively recent abolition of blasphemy from the statute books in the UK.

When blasphemy first moved from being an ecclesiastical to a common law offence in the late 17th century the reason was a perceived need to preserve "social order" and the "bonds of civil society." However, in the next phase (in the late 18th century), blasphemy was conjoined with sedition (State). In the early 20th century, vilification and ridicule joined irreverence as part of the law of blasphemy (oriented again to social stability). Although there was no successful prosecutions for blasphemy from the end of World War I, as recently as 1979, after convictions in the Old Bailey and Court of Appeals, the House of Lords reconfirmed the existence of blasphemous libel - in (Mary) Whitehouse vs. Lemon (of Gay News) - "concerning the Christian religion, namely an obscene poem and illustration vilifying Christ in his life and in his crucifixion". In 1982, the European Commission of Human Rights declared the case inadmissible.

In other words, my view is that modernity itself is an evolving process, everywhere. There are no guarantees about either its permanence or contextual universality (re: the debate on creationism in school textbooks in the US).

With reference to Islam's own now-urgent internal debate on the subject, it may be interesting to note some developments in India. The reasons for these would be the subject of another comment (related to the fact that Hinduism, of course, does not/cannot have a definition of blasphemy), but ironically(?) the two reports I cite below were from the time the BJP was in power.

In January 2004, BBC News (Storm Over Indian Women's Mosque) described a 3,000-strong movement in Tamil Nadu state seeking to build a mosque for women. A few months previously, the Washington Post (In India, Rulings for Women, by Women) reported an all-women Muslim panel (a 'muftia') - possibly "the first of its kind" in the entire Sunni Muslim world. The panel rules on issues of modernity and religious tradition, replying to queries sent in by writing as well as email, and makes India a proving ground for "female Islamic jurisprudence". "You have to study Indian Muslims quite apart from the rest of the world," Anwar Moazzam, the retired head of the department of Islamic studies at India's Osmania University, told the newspaper.



Ashutosh Sheshabalaya


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 02 February 2006 11:54
To: ATCA Members
Subject: Response: Prof Prabhu Guptara; James Ormerod; Stephen Clothier; ATCA: Danish embassy and newspaper receive bomb threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Dear ATCA Colleagues

We are grateful to Prof Prabhu Guptara from Wolfsberg, Switzerland, James Ormerod from Berkshire, England, and Stephen Clothier from Zurich, Switzerland, for their personal views in regard to "Danish embassy and newspaper receive bomb threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad".

Professor Prabhu Guptara is Executive Director, Organisational Development, at the Switzerland based Wolfsberg -- The platform for Business and Executive Development, a subsidiary of UBS, one of the largest banks in the world -- where he organises and chairs the famed Wolfsberg Think Tanks and the Distinguished Speaker series of events. Prof Guptara has professional experience with a range of organisations around the world, including Barclays Bank, BP, Deutsche Bank, Kraft Jacob Suchard, Nokia, the Singapore Institute of Management and Groupe Bull. A jury member of numerous literary competitions in Britain and the Commonwealth, he has been a guest contributor to all the principal newspapers, radio and TV channels in the UK, as well as media in other parts of the world. Professor Guptara supervises PhD work at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland and is Visiting Professor at various other international universities and business schools. He is a Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists; and Fellow of the Institute of Directors. He writes:

Dear DK

It may be instructive to recollect the history of the relationship between blasphemy (lack of religious "correctness") and state power in the West, something that most Westerners forget, having been secularised for two or three generations.

Representations of God are forbidden in both the Jewish and Christian scriptures. However, the Christian West, from the time of the adoption of Christianity as the state religion by the Emperor Constantine in the 3rd/4th Century, started accepting representations of God and of Jesus, though various reformers tried to get the churches to go back to the original ban, with some success from the time of the Reformation (sixteenth century) onwards. One of the main differences between the Reformed (Protestant) churches and the Roman Catholic and Orthodox ones (with Anglican/Episcopal ones falling somewhere in the middle as they are not "completely Reformed" but only "half-Reformed") is that the Radically Reformed ones do not accept representations of God.

It is necessary to make a distinction between, on the one hand, the Magisterial Reformation of reformers such as Luther, which entered into collaboration with state power and do accept representations of God and, on the other hand, the Radical Reformation which does not accept representations of God, and moreover drew a sharp separation between religion and state eg in the USA.

Since the Catholics, Orthodox and Anglicans were integrally connected to state power, they were more interested in the concept of blasphemy, so that blasphemy laws were put in place more in such countries than in Protestant ones, which pioneered religious liberty, and were therefore more open to discussion of religion from all sorts of perspectives, including attitudes ranging from "merely negative" to that of scoffing and ridicule.

Not only were and are the Protestant areas of the world more economically successful, they were responsible for almost all the developments that broke the mould of the pre-modern world and created the modern world. These developments include, inter alia, universal literacy, freedom to debate and therefore free thought, the birth of modern science and technology, and economic progress and political liberty. It is no exaggeration to say that, in terms of the history of ideas, what we call globalisation is simply Protestant culture without any necessary allegiance to Protestantism (with a still unresolved battle between individualistic greed and communal/global responsibility). That is why the attitude of the Protestantism (lack of interest in the concept of blasphemy) has come to mark the modern world more than the attitude of the Orthodox/ Catholics/Anglicans (and Muslims).

Gradually, the Protestant attitude has come to erode, in this as in other areas, the attitudes of the Orthodox/Catholic/Anglicans, so that such countries have gradually relaxed their blasphemy laws till these are now a dead letter (though the space previously occupied by them is now sought to be filled by laws such as the recent Racial Hatred Bill passed last week in the UK).

India is a special case, where the ruling powers have only rarely (eg under the Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th century) attempted to use state power to enforce a particular religious line. That is, till recently, when the Hindu fascist parties, such as the BJP and its allies in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad) under the previous government of Mr Vajpayee tried to do so (and will no doubt do so again if they come back into power). A similar story could be told of Buddhist countries, where traditional tolerance has been replaced by militant Buddhism at the same time as the countries concerned have moved to modern tolerance or even indifference regarding such questions.

My own view is that one cannot have a progressive society, characterised by free markets in goods and services, without an equally free marketplace in religious ideas – because it is impossible to distinguish religious ideas from non-religious ones, or to distinguish ideologies from non-ideologies (the connection between "science" and state power has recently been documented by Philip Mirowski, The Effortless Economy of Science? Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004). Capitalism itself is an ideology after all and its religion-like qualities have been documented in a spate of books.

So what bearing does all this have on the matter in hand? Briefly, that in a free world, people have the right to express their opinions, including the right to make cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, of Jesus the Lord, of the Buddha, or of any other leader, religious or secular. Equally, individuals and groups (whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or owing allegiance to any other ideology/religion), have the right to be offended, to withdraw their custom/patronage and to express their outrage in any form – except violence.

Of course whenever one takes that view, one has to be aware that one is taking the view that was pioneered by the Radical Reformation and is what distinguishes the modern world from the Islamic world. Islam has to decide whether it belongs in the modern world pioneered by Protestantism, or whether it will continue to belong to the mental world of the pre-Protestant (that is, pre-modern) parts of the world.

Yours sincerely


Prabhu Guptara

James Ormerod has extensive experience of international marketing and business development with a 15-year track record gained from working at a senior level with high profile organisations in the IT sector including BMC Software, IBM, Versata Inc and recently through the development of Bastyan. With a strong emphasis on developing and implementing brand and integrated go-to-market strategies, James has worked at the forefront of the eBusiness and mobile business evolution responsible for helping large organisations to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by process automation and global communications. James holds a BA Hons in Business Studies from North Staffordshire University and a Masters Degree in Marketing Management from Manchester University. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing. He speaks fluent Italian and conversational French. He lives in Berkshire, UK with his family and maintains a keen interest in Italian culture and lifestyle and international affairs. Throughout his career, James has been appointed to devise and drive marketing-led business development strategies, frequently involving changes to operational processes, product design and development and the adoption of integrated communication techniques and methodologies. He writes:

Dear DK

I am sure the range of replies to these events will be wide and varied. However the most basic tenet I believe is one that democracy upholds the belief of freedom of speech. If this was an isolated incident against Muslims then the community would have the right to react accordingly as would any faith. It does show how polarised the thoughts and views of many have become apparently driven by Islamic Militants who seem to be eager to re-create a version of the Holy Wars. Some would say that these views are driven by the desires and teachings of people who believe that the Muslim faith should be omnipotent.

I note that the Jacques Lefranc was dismissed by the owner of France Soir, as his paper furthered the row between Muslims and European press. I suspect this was somewhat more to do with the French government asking for his removal in the wake of the recent tensions throughout France. If this is the case you have the Danish government effectively supporting democracy and France suppressing it. There are of course a whole raft of economic issues relating to France and its trade that would perhaps affect them substantially more than Denmark, where it is said their businesses are starting to feel economic repercussions.

The French paper did at least attempt satirically to demonstrate it was not intending to show dis-respect to the Muslim community by identifying that other faiths have for centuries been caricatured, laughed at, blasphemed against and generally derided since the beginning of time.

It is a sad reflection in what should be a prosperous multi-faith and multi-cultural society that we do not have the resilience to rise above these incidents and focus on the real issues that separate us rather than resorting to death threats and sanctions. I continue to believe that these tensions are fostered by the vocal minority not the sensible majority who probably feel more suppressed as a result.

Yours sincerely


James Ormerod

Stephen Clothier is Chief Executive of Accurity and several related Swiss companies in the emerging area of international technology outsourcing and enterprise content management, a position he has held for the past six years. He trained as a space physicist and a naval officer. His experience covers a mixture of international technical consulting and research in a wide variety of areas: from NASA and ESA to airlines, finance and defence. Until recently he was co-Chairman of the Technology Forum of the British Swiss Chamber of Commerce, and is a Chartered Engineer, Member of the British Computer Society and Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers. He writes:

Dear DK

I would not normally trouble you with my “private” opinion, but at the first read of your report, the pragmatist in me cannot help thinking that “offending so many people is not a clever way to uphold the very right to do so”. I feel it is vital the press uphold their freedom but to achieve this they need to measure their use of it - and save the fireworks for a real bonfire night. Or is there another agenda here?

Best wishes


Stephen Clothier


-----Original Message-----
From: Intelligence Unit
Sent: 02 February 2006 00:04
To: ATCA Members
Subject: ATCA: Danish embassy and newspaper receive bomb threats for cartoons of Prophet Muhammad

Dear ATCA Colleagues

The democratic international community is concerned to note two bomb threats in two days against the Copenhagen-based daily Jyllands-Posten in retaliation for publishing cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. It was reported that a caller speaking English told the paper's switchboard on Tuesday that a bomb would explode in 10 minutes, the first time. Police with dogs searched the newspaper's offices for several hours but found no bomb. Foreign correspondents and journalists working for the Danish news agency Ritzau in the same office block were also evacuated. A similar incident happened on Wednesday. Police also cleared and searched a Jyllands-Posten office in the northern Danish city of Aarhus. Also, the Danish embassy in Damascus was evacuated after a bomb threat which turned out to be a hoax.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said his government cannot act against the publication of satirical cartoons. Meanwhile, two large Danish companies have reported their sales falling in the Middle East after large scale protests against the cartoons in the Arab world and calls for boycotts. The Danish-Swedish dairy product maker Arla Foods, with annual Middle East sales of almost USD 500 million, said it might have to cut 140 jobs due to the boycott. "We are losing around 10 million Danish Crowns (USD 1.8 million) per day at the moment," a spokesperson said. The world's biggest maker of insulin, Denmark's Novo Nordisk said pharmacies and hospitals in Saudi Arabia had been avoiding its products since Saturday.

Jyllands-Posten said it was flooded with over 80,000 e-mails as hackers tried to shut down its Web site. The paper published 12 cartoons of Muhammad on 30th September 2005 sparking furore in the Muslim world where depictions of the Prophet are forbidden. One drawing showed Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse.

The cartoons gained increased attention after they were reprinted in the 10th January 2006 edition of Magazinet, a small Christian evangelical weekly based in Norway. Magazinet editor-in-chief Vebjoern Selbekk has said that the newspaper has received some 20 death threats in retaliation for republishing the cartoons.

Danish embassies have faced protests and flag burnings throughout the Middle East. Libya has closed its Copenhagen embassy and Saudi Arabia as well as Syria have recalled their ambassadors from Denmark. Iran and Iraq both formally protested to Denmark over the cartoons.

Some French, Spanish and German newspapers, rallying to defend freedom of expression in secular societies, republished the caricatures on Wednesday sparking fresh anger from Muslims. The French daily France Soir ran a front-page headline "Yes, We Have the Right to Caricature God" and a cartoon of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian gods floating on a cloud. Inside, the paper reprinted the Danish drawings.

In Germany, the dailies Die Welt and Berliner Zeitung ran some of the cartoons. Jyllands-Posten originally published the cartoons after asking artists to depict Muhammad to challenge what it said was self-censorship among artists dealing with Islamic issues.

"We deplore the bomb threat against this newspaper and its journalists," said the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Executive Director Ann Cooper. "Jyllands-Posten has the right to publish these cartoons and people who are offended by them have the right to express their anger. But no one has a right to threaten violence."


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic initiative founded in 2001 by mi2g to understand and to address complex global challenges. ATCA conducts collective dialogue on opportunities and threats arising from climate change, radical poverty, organised crime, extremism, informatics, nanotechnology, robotics, genetics, artificial intelligence and financial systems. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and includes members from the House of Lords, House of Commons, European Parliament, US Congress & Senate, G10's Senior Government officials and over 500 CEOs from banking, insurance, computing and defence. Please do not use ATCA material without permission and full attribution.

Intelligence Unit | mi2g | tel +44 (0) 20 7712 1782 fax +44 (0) 20 7712 1501 | internet www.mi2g.net
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