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Danish cartoons: the tyranny of moderation

An important new book on the Danish cartoons affair has been censored by the continuing threat of violence. It is another defeat for free speech

By Oliver Kamm   January 2010

The Cartoons that Shook the World By Jytte Klausen (Yale University Press, £20)

Populist parties of the European right have gained prominence in recent years. Much of their message derives from hostility to the supposedly alien influence of Muslim populations. Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who in October 2009 successfully appealed against a home office decision to bar him from Britain, denounces the “Islamification” of Europe. The Danish People’s party calls for the defence of the country’s Christian identity against Muslim immigration. The British National party, with two seats in the European parliament, declares that Islam is a cancer. In…

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