A correspondent in Sweden draws our attention to a Swedish news dispatch from the large newspaper Dagens Nyheter which says (so I am told — I don't read Swedish) that the book Religion, published by a Swedish company, was returned to active status for selling again this Tuesday, thus reversing the initial decision to withdraw it. The book was withdrawn from sale because it contained depictions of the Prophet Muhammad from traditional Islamic sources, and in the wake of reactions to the 12 cartoons, it was withdrawn.
Here is a partial translation supplied by my Swedish informant:
Due to the inflamed debate surrounding the Muhammed cartoons published by Jyllands—Posten in Denmark, the pictures in the book were questioned. This monday the publishing company Liber decided to halt sales of the book, after several schools had brought the pictures to public attention.
The next day however, tuesday, the company abruptly turned after having consulted experts. In a press release Liber writes that it "assesses after examining the facts and consulting external experts, that medieval illustrations for history and religious history texts are not grounds for a stop of sale".
My emailer goes on to comment:
This event very well illustrates and summarizes the climate in Sweden these last days. Media were at first unsure how to behave and started out with careful criticism of the judgement behind the decision to publish [the 12 cartoons], being risk—averse. Several webpolls at Sweden's major newspapers all concluded however, that somewhere between 70—85% of the people who answered them feel the publishing of the Muhammed cartoons was the "right decision" and the official debate has slowly changed accordingly.
The first unsure media comments usually weighed heavily on the need to balance "respect" vs. "freedom". In light of circumstances though, [seeing] that most of the protests in Muslim countries are either the result of dictatorship governments looking to move focus from discontent over domestic issues, untrue rumors of the Koran being burnt by Danish people or lying Danish imam instigators, most people are now seeing that the cartoons themselves and if their nature is insulting or not, is no longer the issue.
Thomas Lifson 2 08 06