December 5, 2006
The Mohammed Cartoon Affair: One Year Later
Flemming Rose, the editor responsible for publishing the Danish Muhammed cartoons in 2005, reflected on the controversy and its implications. He was joined by Aiman Mazyek, General Secretary of the leading Muslim organization in Germany. Among the key issues discussed were the origins of the decision to publish in September 2005; the escalation of criticism and violence in early 2006; lessons learned from the controversy; and the place of Muslims in European society today. This event was co-sponsored by the BMW Center for German and European Studies.
Flemming Rose is the cultural editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. He made the decision in 2005 to publish the controversial Mohammed cartoons that enflamed anti-Danish opinion across the Muslim world. Rose commissioned the cartoons in response to what he saw as extreme self-censorship in the European press due to fear of violence from Muslim extremists; he expanded on that theme in his 2010 book The Tyranny of Silence. He later commented that by subjecting Islam to satirical depictions, he was treating Muslims in Europe as the equals of other Europeans. He also pushed Jyllands-Posten and other newspapers to reprint Holocaust cartoons originally published in an Iranian newspaper. In addition to his work as editor, Rose is a journalist and author. After studying Russian language and literature at the University of Copenhagen, he served as the Moscow correspondent for the newspaper Berlingske Tidende and later for Jyllands-Posten.