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Danish Cartoons, 10 Years On: Editor Who Enraged Muslims Speaks Out

Flemming Rose was the man who commissioned caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad for the Jyllands Posten newspaper. He reflects on Islam, free speech and silent fear.

Flemming Rose has no regrets.
Flemming Rose has no regrets.
Henryk M. Broder

BERLIN — Ten years ago, the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten published 12 caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. Back then, Flemming Rose, was the editor in charge of the daily's culture section, and oversaw the series that appeared in the Sep. 30, 2005 edition, sparking violent protests around the Muslim world and set off a debate about free speech and religious pluralism that continues to this day.

Rose, 57, who now is the Jyllands Posten foreign editor, spoke with Die Welt about fear, self-censorship, violence and a borderless Europe.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Inside Russia’s Revival Of Stalinist “Filtration Camps”

Though different than concentration camps constructed by Nazis, the “filtration” facilities nevertheless are a return to another brutal history, reopened under Putin, and ramped up since the invasion of Ukraine.

Civilians leaving Mariupol on foot

Anna Akage

"It was like a true concentration camp."

This is how Oleksandr, a 49-year-old man from Mariupol, described where he and his wife Olena were taken in by Russian security officers. Speaking to a reporter for the BBC, the couple was fingerprinted, photographed and interrogated for hours, and their phones searched for material that could somehow identify them as “Nazis.”

But there is another name given to that these locations, and the process, that have been set up to handle Ukrainians taken into custody in areas occupied by pro-Russian separatists: They’re called: “filtration camps.”

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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