Mark Steyns foredrag i Christiansborg, København, fra Trykkefrihedsselskabets 10-årsmarkering av karikaturstriden lørdag 26. september, er nå å finne på Youtube. Vi venter fremdeles på at videoer av de øvrige talene skal komme på nett.
Douglas Murray, som også deltok på konferansen, har dessuten lagt ut en artikkel om anledningen på sin blogg i den britiske avisen The Spectator. Et utdrag fra denne:
Saturday’s event was an important milestone and an important demonstration of force. As Mark Steyn – who was one of the other speakers at the conference – said, there aren’t many speakers still around from the 5th anniversary event. So it became even more important to ensure Saturday went well.
The conference was supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture and was hosted in the country’s parliament because this is the only building in Denmark which it is possible to protect from the now traditional arrival of the advance brigade of the Islamic blasphemy police. The Danish MP who opened the event took care to tell the audience that the parliament’s walls are very thick and strong. The presence of what seemed to me most of the Danish army seemed to help. Slightly more disconcertingly, Mark Steyn pointed out that on the day the British Foreign Office was recommending British tourists stay away from the environs of the Danish parliament because of fears that there would be a terrorist attack on our event. Needless to say the UK Foreign Office didn’t deign to pass this advice on to either Mark (a Commonwealth citizen) or me, but it’s good to know that they alerted British tourists to keep away from us. Personally I thought we both spoke rather well.
Anyway, it wouldn’t have made a difference, and it was a great thing to see the audience for Saturday’s event sold out many times over. Audience members I spoke to who defied the Foreign Office’s advice included Spectator readers from Yorkshire, London and Wales, and it was a great sight to see them join the huge contingents from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. I’ve never felt more proud of any readers. They gathered first to hear the great German journalist Henryk Broder, who got things off to a slightly gloomy start by predicting that the migration crisis spells the end of Europe. Then there was Vebjørn Selbekk, one of six Norwegian newspaper editors to publish the Danish cartoon in solidarity who told the less-well known story – and scandal – of the Norwegian cartoon crisis. I then tried to pick things up a bit by describing what we had learned, or not, over the last ten years. Mark Steyn rounded things off with a talk appositely titled ‘Last laughs’. I think we all left a bit more heartened, as well as informed, than when we went in.
I will post the videos of the occasion once they’re available. My main message for the audience was to keep in mind that freedom has never been particularly popular. Most people prefer their security and comforts to freedom and although history shows that everyone benefits from being free, it has always been a small minority who actually pursue and protect the cause. I suppose one has to wrestle whatever comfort one can from that. It was a terrible thing to see the security now needed in Denmark, as elsewhere, for people who are simply asserting their right to write and draw what they want, even – shock horror – things that might be mildly critical of the founder of one religion. That a journalist or historian should need bodyguards in 21st century Europe is an indictment on our continent. But still, surveying the room on Saturday I think we’ve got enough people. A few Danes, a few Swedes and Norwegians. A few Americans and a couple of Brits might be all that is needed. Perhaps by the 15th anniversary things will be better.
Or perhaps not. One of the stand-out points of the day came from an audience member who was worried about the flow of Muslim migrants into Denmark. Whichever way you look at it, he pointed out, and however many thousands of migrants Denmark takes in, these will be thousands more people who do not believe Danes have a right to write, draw and publish what they want. Still, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, import a new generation with Islamic ideas into an old continent with Christian secular ideas, and what could possibly go wrong?