by B Kampmark · Cited by 4 — be ultimately overcome by “the movement from Dar al-Harb (abode of war amongst them the Grand Mufti and Arab League officials. They were armed with a mobilized political actors outside the State Department, the White House, and UN.

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The Whitehead Journal ofDiplomacy and International RelationsThe Cartoon Riots:A New Cultural Diplomacy by Binoy Kampmark In September 2005,riots erupted,diplomatic relations with much ofthe Muslim world were ruptured,two embassies were destroyed,and several lives were lost.In Syria,the Danish and Norwegian embassies were burned.In Gaza,Danish flags were set alight.In Yemen,100,000 women marched in protest.This mayhem was the result ofa Danish newspaper™s publication ofcaricatures (commissioned illustrations for a children™s book) depicting the Prophet Muhammad.The images were not flattering.One pictured Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban.Another mocked Islam™s purported ambivalence towards women™s rights:heaven was apparently running short ofvirgins for suicide bombers.They were hardly humorous and the Danish Government,led by a stubborn Anders Fogh Rasmussen, defended the publication ofthe cartoons on the grounds offree speech. 1How should these reactions be interpreted? Was the Muslim world entitled to take such measures?The purpose ofthis article is to analyze the global reaction to the cartoons, within the broader context ofdiplomatic precedent,a task that has been neglected in favor ofpurely cultural critiques. 2 The study seeks out comparisons with previousevents in order to posit how Islam and the West come to grips with the role of religion in their diplomatic relations and how the mechanics ofthose relations have developed.The paper also suggests that religion has been an important part of diplomatic history.As such,this current secular-religious clash requires another mode ofanalysis.What is needed is the realization that a new diplomacyŠone that acknowledges the resurgent role religion and cultural considerations play in state relationsŠhas developed.The nature ofsuch diplomacy,it is suggested,undermines sovereignty and cultural independence by requiring nation-states,notably those of the West,to appraise ethnicity and statehood in a seemingly radical way,altering the current view ofinternational statecraft as a secular practice. Binoy Kampmark is a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College,University ofCambridge.He has published on terrorism,international refugee policy,and genocide.He most recently wrote about the trial ofSaddam Hussein for the Contemporary Review 69

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KAMPMARKThe Whitehead Journal ofDiplomacy and International Relations RELIGIONAND DIPLOMACY It is an incontrovertible fact that religion has been the subject ofdiplomacy for centuries.While religion has ceased to be a putative feature ofdiplomatic engagement between most power blocs in the world (Europe,the Americas,Asia), religion as a feature ofinternational relations has not entirely disappeared.Islam,as a case in point,acknowledges no such exclusion ofreligion from diplomatic practice, despite the acceptance by most Muslim states ofa fisecular approach to the conduct ofinternational relations.fl 3Historically,European states often employed the use of religion and culture in foreign affairs.Even after the Protestant-Catholic confrontation ofthe devastating Thirty Years War (1618Œ1648),when a nominally secular idea ofthe nation-state came into being after the Treaty ofWestphalia,the existence ofclauses protecting religious minorities were still part and parcel oftreaty law.The secularization ofdiplomacy in the West has not precluded the use of religion for the sake ofpolitical gain or the use ofreligion in forcing a respect of cultural values in another state.The presence ofreligious and cultural values in interstate relations,in short,is a historically consistent process. A new diplomacyŠone that acknowledges the resurgent role religion and cultural considerations play in state relationsŠhas developed. In the age ofimperialism,it was not unheard ofto legislate protective clauses for religious minorities.New scholarship has furnished a previously unexamined example from the 1860s.England and Italy sought a commercial agreement that would go on to become one ofmany marking the first push for a ficommon marketfl in Europe. 4The particular agreement is notable because British representatives inserted a religious clause protecting the rights ofProtestants in Italy in an otherwise commercial treaty.5To retain such a clause was perceived as potentially insulting by the Italians.The religious liberties ofProtestants,so claimed Italian officials,were sufficiently protected under the Italian constitution.But,it was not inconsistent with London™s desire to import Protestant values into a militant doctrine offree trade. 6Islam acknowledges no official separation between diplomacy and religion,just as it recognizes no official division between governance and faith.As has been pointed out in some scholarship on the subject,classical Muslims saw Islam as the fione,true,final and universal religionfland central to their concept ofthe international system.The division between the Islamic and non-Islamic world would be ultimately overcome by fithe movement from Dar al-Harb(abode ofwar encompassing unbelievers;Land ofWar) to Dar al-Islam(the abode ofpeace, encompassing all Muslims).fl7The former encompasses non-believers,those outside the domain ofIslam;the latter comprises the faithful,the submissive,the believers under the rule ofIslamic law and governance. Such views are inherently antithetical to territorial considerations reflected by conventional doctrines ofinternational engagement,such as the recognition of 70

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CARTOON RIOTS Summer/Fall 2006 states and governments:Islam has no boundaries and its kingdom is borderless. Some writers have gone so far as to see Dar al-Islamas a grim world,where non- Muslims incorporated into the boundaries ofMuslim empires were given the rather limited choices ofdeath,conversion,or the status of dhimmiŠa second-class caste ofcitizens,deprived ofthe rights and status assured to Muslims. 8 Perhaps it should come as no surprise that the objections ofMuslim governments to attacks on Islam should transcend the conventional limits ofthe State.Islam has been affronted and requires defense;it faces a world ofconflict beyond its borders,which constantly presents challenges that are difficult to overcome.Scholars argue that Western nations have been insensitive.Such humor masks old ethnocentric insensitivities,eschewing cultural difference and tolerance. Muslim delegations have been sent to Denmark and they have complained ofbeing fihurt.flIslam is affronted;the Prophet is inviolable,beyond representation,beyond parody. The charge ofbeing fihurtflshould be taken seriously.Cultural hurt is the inevitable outcome ofhumor and parody.Parody is a weapon,recognized in cultures across the globe.Humor liberates.It attacks conventions and dogmas,subverting oppressive social structures. 9But the question to ask here is not whether the global village is humorless,but whether new international conventions have arisen, modifying cultural behavior within and beyond nation-states.Religion has again entered the equation ofinternational relations,challenging the way states,notably those with Muslim immigrants,deal with their culturally diverse citizenry.Such citizens have affinities not merely with their adopted homeland,but with the countries oftheir faith.The protests caused by the cartoons must themselves be rationalized as part ofthis evolution.After all,there are representations of Muhammad in other parts ofthe Western world,too numerous to enumerate here. The US Supreme Court embosses the Prophet in its façade and still stands without a murmur ofprotest.An understanding ofthe cultural diplomacy that has developed is useful to such ends.How,for instance,were these protests instigated? A NEWDIPLOMACY There is a fundamentally new strain ofinternational engagement that has arisen from the globalization ofcultural debates.We think ofthe sensitivities posed by the question ofthe Holocaust,and the sensitivities associated with its commemoration or denial.10As common citizens gradually break out ofthe cage ofsovereignty,the individual is far more significant,not merely from the viewpoint ofrights,but from the viewpoint ofexpression.The field ofreligious expression is one feature ofthis revolution. The closest parallel to the current crisis is the controversy that surrounded the publication ofThe Satanic Versesby the British author Salman Rushdie. 11With therelease ofthe book in 1988,global tremors were felt.In October 1988,Islamic diplomacy (or rather,belligerent statesmanship) entered the fray,with Saudi Arabia taking up the cause in protesting against the book.As happened in the Danish case,

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KAMPMARKThe Whitehead Journal ofDiplomacy and International Relations local Muslim representatives organized protests.Muslim representatives in Britain drummed up support for their cause by emphasizing the blasphemous quality ofthe work.Faiyazuddin Ahmad,ofthe Islamic Foundation in Leicester,England,was invited to Jidda,Saudi Arabia to consult officials about mobilizing support against the book.In February 1989,Iran™s Ayatollah Khomenei decreed that a bounty be put on Rushdie™s head for having written a work he considered blasphemous. The historical parallels between the Rushdie case and the Danish cartoons incident are striking.There were first protests in India,rather than the country of Rushdie™s residence,Great Britain.Muslim members ofthe Indian parliament campaigned to have the book banned after excerpts and reviews in India Today andSundaycame to their attention. 12 Book burnings took place and there was a violent protest in Islamabad on February 12,outside the American Cultural Center.There were six casualties in all. 13The agitation ofthe Muslim diaspora against the Danish caricatures demonstrates the remarkable mobilization of its members.The reaction toward the cartoons in the Danish case was similar.The difference, ifanything,was the effectiveness ofthe agitation and the speed with which the message against their publication was disseminated.The Muslim community in Denmark spread the word by telephone and the blogopshere was filled with discussion.Boycotts ofDanish goods took place,first in Saudi Arabia,where text messaging spread the word with incredible speed.Arla Foods,a Danish diary company with a highly profitable cheese business in the Middle East,suffered losses amounting to •1.5 million per day. 14But the key factor,the effective mobilization of low-level organizations and activists,managed to convince member states ofthe Organization ofthe Islamic Conference,a group offifty-seven Islamic countries,to boycott a Danish exhibition to be held in Denmark that summer.Flushed with indignation,a group ofDanish Imams led by such figures as the truculent spokesman Ahmed Akkari and Sheikh Raed Hlayhel,journeyed to the Al-Azhar University in Cairo with the express purpose ofconsulting prominent Muslims, amongst them the Grand Mufti and Arab League officials.They were armed with a dossier ofinflammatory publications highlighting the plight ofMuslims as a minority in Denmark.The forty-three page document in their possession placed less emphasis on the original cartoons ofthe prophet than other newly acquired material Šamongst them clippings from the Weekend Avisen and samples ofhate mail. 15Ittook time to take hold,but in January,when the photos were rerun,the seeds of anger flourished. The agitation ofthe Muslim diaspora against the Danish caricatures demonstrates the remarkable mobilization ofits members in combating a style of behavior,common within secular societies,but regarded in Islamic societies,as 72

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CARTOON RIOTS Summer/Fall 2006 offensive.But,there is a transnational dimension as well,one that defies territorial constraints associated with traditional diplomacy.An efficient group ofclerics and intellectuals have facilitated an effective Muslim voice in the international community.They have developed philosophies that meld into local environments. The logical connection between national (the cleric preaching in a Copenhagen mosque) and international actions (the same cleric protesting to representatives of the Arab League) reveals a common strategy:individuals within the diaspora campaign for the rights ofMuslims within non-Muslim societies while making their positions known in the Muslim world through such remarkable networks as Al- Jazeera.While doing so,they pacify their non-Muslim hosts with promises of integration and tolerance.The cleric,Ahmed Abu Laban,a leading figure in the NGO,Islamic Faith CommunityŠa body comprising the membership of approximately twenty-seven Muslim organizationsŠis a case in point.While professing to be conciliatory,he still co-authored,along with Akkari,the vengeful dossier illustrating acts ofanti-Muslim fervor committed by Danes. 16But there are others.Figures such as Dyab Abu Jahjah ofAntwerp or Tariq Ramadan ofSwitzerland,grandson ofHassan al-Banna,founder ofthe Muslim Brotherhood,have insisted that Islam™s identity trumps Western norms within the non-Muslim setting.Abdurhahman Alamoudi,now serving a twenty-three-year prison sentence for breaching anti-terrorist laws in the US,was feted by the Clinton and Bush administrations as a voice oftolerance and fimainstreamflAmerican Islam. Yet,in 1996,at an address to the Islamic Association for Palestine,he was quoted as saying,fiI think ifwe are outside this country,we can say ‚Oh,Allah,destroy America.™flAt other stages,after his arrest in 2003,he shifted his focus from the US to targets in Europe and Latin America. 17Cultural diplomacy is,by nature,a breach ofsovereignty. There is,in short,an entire dimension ofinternational diplomacy that is happening outside official channels.A twenty-first-century global village has now mobilized political actors outside the State Department,the White House,and UN headquarters in New York City.On the one hand,human rights and environmental NGOs have diminished the conventional role ofnation-states as the exclusive actors ofinternational relations.But,there is a far more pressing modern phenomenon that has come on the heels ofsuch agencies:religion.Non-state actors,specifically religious figures with transborder connections,feed their faithful with messages that are duly adapted for the politics ofthe moment. The Muslim diaspora has become a potent force in this new diplomacy due to the highly effective way its religious representatives within non-Muslim societies have rallied support for Islamic causes.The danger posed by the actions ofsuch representatives is the powerful show ofsupport for their causes from States ofthe Dar al-Islam.Iran and Syria,who were keen to promote the demonization of Denmark and the West in the aftermath ofthe publications,come to mind as examples. 18Such a phenomenon has triggered worries that multiculturalism is not

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KAMPMARKThe Whitehead Journal ofDiplomacy and International Relations merely weak but fatal,protecting the very agents that seek to undermine it. 19Butsuch concerns are extreme.Turkish Muslims in Denmark have proven remarkably resilient in adapting to existing conditions.Most do not seek to convert the western state into an abode ofthe Islamic faithful.Given Islam™s enormously diverse pool of immigrants in the West,the problems and aspirations ofvarious Muslim groups vary. SOVEREIGNTYMATTERS The implications ofconducting cultural diplomacy through non-state actors are significant.First,cultural diplomacy is,by nature,a breach ofsovereignty.Second, when such diplomacy is backed by states (Iran,Syria) it becomes a danger to territorial integrity.Cultural diplomacy is anathema to sovereignty:it requires one nation to alter its domestic approach to cultural values to make it acceptable to a concert ofother nations.Islam only knows its own sovereignty.Here is the impasse. The prophet may be inviolable,but so is Danish sovereignty. Sovereignty is enshrined in Article 2(7) ofthe UN Charter,a legacy ofpost-war security agreements.True,these agreements have been challenged.The current global order undermines state borders at short notice:international disease,refugee flows,and terrorism know no specific boundaries.There is,additionally,a debate about global citizenship,the idea ofa universal morality,and a common basis for politics and governance that transcends the limits ofthe individual state. 20But thenotion that a state must increase its control on the press or impose penalties for alleged infractions ofcultural sensitivities poses a challenge to the internal order of nations.Is there a solution to this problem? APPROACHESANDSOLUTIONS It is apposite to see the cartoon riots as fundamental to a broader problem between Islam and the West.But such problems are solvable through a historical approach,which finds its solution in diplomatic precedent.Islamic and non-Islamic states have engaged in remarkably enlightened discussions in the past,exempt from the warring features and hostility that often characterize these culture wars that have become the stock and staple ofhistory.One ofthe most remarkable treaties ever signed between a Muslim and non-Muslim state is the 1535 Treaty ofAlliance between Sultan Sulayman the Magnificent and the then King ofSpain,Francis I.Its framework guaranteed peace between the powers.The treaty granted reciprocal rights between subjects,allowing freedom ofworship for French subjects within Ottoman territories and exempting them from the poll tax.It allowed the French to send a bailiffto Ottoman territories to assess disputes that might arise between Ottoman subjects and French merchants. 21Given the rather parochial standing of the prominent jurists ofinternational law at that timeŠAlbericus Gentilis and Hugo Grotious favored discrimination against non-Christian statesŠthe agreement seems somewhat miraculous.The current sea ofhostilities,the language ofrogue states, and the accusations ofIslam™s backward orientation can give way to rapprochement. 74

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KAMPMARKThe Whitehead Journal ofDiplomacy and International Relations the developed and developing world and that is not merely economic,but cultural. Civil servants have lamented the decline offipublic diplomacyflŠthe promotion of cultural values through global institutions such as the Goethe Institute,BBC services, the Voice ofAmerica,and Radio Free Europe. 26Islam has been increasingly effective in garnering its forces within non-Muslim domains and facilitating sophisticated channels ofcommunication through twenty-four hour exposure and establishing audiences in both European and Islamic societies.This comes on the heels ofthe establishment ofMuslim schools and educational institutions in the Dar al-Harb.It seems logical that for the West to improve the accessibility ofits messages,whether they be on the war on terror (that is,reiterating that the conflict is not one against Islam per se but its aberrant followers) or an amelioration ofpoverty in the third world,funding to its flagship broadcasters must be increased and its diplomatic exchanges improved.More effective communication channels might have countered militant reactions in the Islamic world at shorter notice.At the most basic level,the Danish Prime Minister,whilst holding to the view that Denmark™s press was entitled to express its views on the subject ofdepicting the Prophet,might have still engaged his Muslim counterparts with empathy.He might have at least met with the eleven Islamic ambassadors seeking his audience in October 2005.Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit made it clear that punishment ofthe Jylland-Posten was not sought,merely a statement acknowledging fithe need for and obligation of respecting all religions and desisting from offending their devoteesflto quell prospects ofan fiescalationflin the crisis. 27We have,in the final analysis,a departure from the norms ofdiplomatic engagement in the way Muslims in their non-Muslim settings reacted to the cartoons ofthe Prophet.International diplomacy is no longer exclusively fueled by conflicts ofsecular ideology (a free-market versus a command economy;liberalism versus communism).Religion,with its complex cultural,cross-border considerations,has become a paramount consideration in making policy.This requires that states realize how thehighly mobile nature ofthe modern Muslim activist,operating from their adopted homes within the Dar al-Harb,may voice their grievances in the Dar al-Islam.A new diplomacy,aware ofthe cultural pitfalls brought on by this change of circumstances,is required.The twenty-first century,as the Gaullist Minister for Culture André Malraux posed,may indeed be an age ofreligion. Notes1 fiDanish Cartoons Raises Few Smiles in Arab World,fl Middle East Economic Digest50,no.5 (February 3, 2006):3.2fiProphetic Insults:Free Speech Clashes with Religious Sensitivity,fl Economist378,no.8459 (January 7, 2006):44.3Majid Khadduri,fiIslam and the Modern Law ofNations,fl American Journal ofInternational Law 50,2 (April, 1956):358-372. 4P.T.Marsh, Bargaining on Europe: Britain and the First Common Market ,1860-1892 (New Haven,Connecticut: Yale University Press,2000). 5Article 16 ofthe agreement is notable for this:Draft treaty attached to the letter Edmund Hammond (Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs) to Sir J.Emerson Tennent,April 24,1862,F.O.881/1276 (Foreign Office Records),Public Records Office (PRO),Kew,England. 76

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CARTOON RIOTS Summer/Fall 2006 6Hudson to Lord Russell,August 1,1863,F.O.45/42,PRO,Kew.I am indebted to Danilo Raponi™s fine fiReligion and Trade:the Anglo-Italian Commercial Treaty of1863,flas yet unpublished,for this point. 7Shanti Nair, Islam in Malaysian Foreign Policy (London:Routledge,1997),1. 8David Pryce-Jones,fiMuslims:Integration or Separatism?fl New Criterion24,no.6 (February 2006):4-9. 9For an analysis ofthis function,see Mikhail M.Bakhtin,fiFolk Humour and Carnival Laughter,flin Rabelais and his World ,trans.Helene Iswolsky (Cambridge,MA:MIT Press,1968). 10Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider,fiMemory Unbound:The Holocaust and the Formation of Cosmopolitan Memory,fl European Journal ofSocial Theory 5,no.1 (February 2002):87-106. 11Salman Rushdie, Satanic Verses (New York:Viking,1989). 12 Daniel Pipes, The Rushdie Affair: The Novel, the Ayatollah, and the West (New York:Birch Lane Press,1990), 19.13Pipes, The Rushdie Affair ,24. 14Kristina Bergmann,fiThe Comic Jihad:Throwing Oil on the Fire,fl Spiegel Online ,February 4,2006. Available at,1518,398984,00.html (Accessed August 28,2006). 15fiAlienated Danish Muslims Sought Help from Arabs,fl Spiegel Online ,February 1,2006.Available at http:/,1518,398624,00.html (Accessed August 28,2006). 16Karl Ritter,fiDanish Imam accused offuelling Cartoon Conflict says West must learn to Respect Islam,fl Associated Press Newswires ,Feb.11,2006,Factiva Electronic Resource (Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive),accessed Feb.28,2006. 17Joseph Braude,fiMisled:Moderate Muslims and their Radical Leaders,fl New Republic 234,no.7 (February 27,2006):19. 18APS Diplomat Recorder,fiSyria and Iran Accused Over Cartoon Riots Strife,fl64,8 (Feb.11,2006), Expanded Academic,Infotrac,Aug.28,2006. 19See Daniel Johnson,fiTerror and Denial,fl Commentary 122 (Jul-Aug.,2006),83-5. 20Rainer Bauböck, Transnational Citizenship (Aldershot,Hants,England/Brookfield,Vermont:E.Elgar,1994); Richard Falk,fiThe Making ofGlobal Citizenship,flin The Condition ofCitizenship ,ed.Bart van Steenbergen (London,England:SAGE,1994),127-140. 21Khadduri,fiIslam and the Modern Law ofNations,fl361. 22Khadduri,fiIslam and the Modern Law ofNations,fl370-1. 23Manoucher Parvin and Maurie Sommer,fi Dar al-Islam:The Evolution ofMuslim Territoriality and its Implications for Conflict Resolution in the Middle East,fl International Journal ofMiddle Eastern Studie s 11,no.1 (February 1980):1-2. 24Nair, Islam in Malaysian Foreign Policy ,167,fn 67. 25 Nair, Islam in Malaysian Foreign Policy ,146-147. 26 Mark Leonard,fiDiplomacy by Other Means,fl Foreign Policy 132 (September/October 2002):48. 27Statment in fiEgypten gav Fogh mulighed for forsonigfl[Egypt gives Fogh the possibility for reconciliation],Politiken ,February 22,2006.

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