Danish journalist Jakob Illeborg writes:
Around 11am today a bomb exploded in a solarium in Copenhagen. The suntan shop was situated just by the national football stadium in Oesterbro, a peaceful and affluent part of the Danish capital. The explosion completely destroyed the shop and the surrounding flats were also damaged. The police are putting the fact that no one was hurt down to sheer luck; two other bags were found in the area and have been destroyed. Two young men between the ages of 15 and 25 were seen running away from the crime scene; they were described as "foreign-looking" and are now wanted by the police.
The explosion is a drastic escalation of the week-long riots on the streets Denmark where young Muslim men have vented their anger and frustration towards Danish society by setting fire to cars and burning bonfires in the streets. The rioters claim that their action is a protest against the reprinting of the prophet cartoons, which took place last Wednesday when a unified Danish press decided to print/reprint the cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. The decision to reprint was taken when the Danish security service (PET) notified the public that three men had been arrested on suspicion of plotting the murder of the cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard.
However, it is debatable whether the reprinting of the cartoons was the real reason behind the rioting. The night before they were published the air on Oesterbro was thick with the smoke of bonfires and burning rubber, carried by the wind from neighbouring Noerrebro, where much of the rioting has taken place. The cartoons no doubt had an explosive effect on matters, but the fire was already burning....
Illeborg writes more — the entire post is much worth reading — but the conclusion strikes me as very troubling:
[I]t is naive to believe that we can arrest or deport our way out of the problem. The Danes will have to adopt a political culture that is more accepting of people who don't think and behave like us. Of course there must be limits to what we will accept, but so far neither our society nor our way of life is under threat. Maybe the lesson is to keep our powder dry for when it really matters. The prophet cartoon crisis was not worth it first time around and we could certainly do without an encore.
I would think that standing up for the right to speak — even when the speech offends other religions — is something that does "really matter."
See also Abe Greenwald's comments in Commentary, which take the same view that I do. Thanks to Michael Totten (guest-blogging at InstaPundit) for the pointer. For more on the cartoons, see my post from two years ago.