Blegging for Danes,

or at least Danish-speakers: Might anyone be kind to translate the key passages from today's Danish court decision rejecting a libel lawsuit against the Jyllands-Posten newspaper over the newspaper's publication of the Mohammed cartoons? Short excerpts are quoted in this BBC story, but I was hoping someone might be kind enough to provide a more detailed translation of the important parts. Many thanks in advance. In the meantime, here are some excerpts from the BBC account:

[The opinion stated that the cartoons were] "not offensive ... even if the text accompanying the pictures could be read as being derogatory and mocking .... Of course it cannot be excluded that the drawings offended some Muslims .... But there is no sufficient reason to assume that the cartoons are or were intended to be insulting ... or put forward ideas that could hurt the standing of Muslims in society."

[Earlier in the story:] "It is not up to the court to decide if Muslims will have hard feelings or not," Ameer ul-Azeem, spokesman for Jamaat-e-Islami, told the Associated Press news agency. His group belongs to an Islamic alliance that organised mass protests across Pakistan earlier this year.

In Syria, where a mob attacked and set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in February, legislator Mohammed Habash said ... "[w]hat the newspaper did represents a true insult to millions of Muslims who do not follow Danish laws." ... Even if the text accompanying the pictures could be read as being derogatory and mocking, the cartoons are not offensive ....

[Plaintiffs] accused the paper of publishing text and cartoons which were "offensive and insulting" to Muhammad[, arguing that the cartoons] "attacked the honour of believers because they portrayed the Prophet as war-like and criminal and made a clear link between Muhammad, war and terrorism."

Rasmus Faber (www):
The most interesting part is probably the section beginning on the bottom of page 22: "Foreligger der strafbare krænkelser?"/"Have criminal offences occurred?". Here is a rough translation:

"Drawings no. 3,5 and 11 connects the prophet Muhammad and through him Islam with terrorism and oppression of women and thus has an obvious aim of criticizing society. They would hardly have caused offense if they had been publized independently. Even though Flemmin Rose's text can be read as an invitation to insults, mockery and ridicule, which in the opinion of the author can be necessary to point out and treat the problem og self-censorship, the drawings does not have this character. It can obviously not be ruled out that the drawings have offended the honor of some muslims, but there is no basis for assuming that the drawings are or have been meant as insulting or that the purpose of the drawings has been to put forward expressions of opinions, that can reduce muslims in the esteem of their fellow citizens, cf. § 267 of the penal code. Neither have the drawings been suitable for this.

After the stated there will thus in this case no blame can be assigned to the defendant occasioned by the publication of the 12 drawings in Jyllands-Posten.

To cover the defendant expenses for legal counsel all the original plaintiffs must jointly pay the defendant an by estimation fixed amount of 10,000 kr. and the plaintiffs mentioned in the beginning of the verdict must additionally and in the same way pay 20,000 kr."

Let me know if you are interested in other parts of the decision. If you want a translation of the relevant section of the Danish penal code, it is here.
10.27.2006 2:54am
I was about to type in a version of translation of this same part of the text when an actual Dane beat me to it!

I can only add that the main claim of the plaintiffs (#3 on p.2), besides other items calling for highest possible punishment and compensation, reads approximately as follows:

The drawings contain offensive to honor [libelous?] charges that Islam, Prophet Mohammed and muslims are proponents and supporters of war, oppression of women, crime, and terror, as covered by penal code article 272, section 1

The phrase about "insults, mockery and ridicule" is taken from the article by the defendant Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the newspaper. This article accompanied the publication of the drawings and is included in the document in its entirety.
10.27.2006 3:50am
Incidentally, I just noticed that this quote by BBC does distort the meaning of the original

[The opinion stated that the cartoons were] "not offensive ... even if the text accompanying the pictures could be read as being derogatory and mocking ....

See the actual translation by Mr.Faber.
10.27.2006 3:55am