Scandinavian secularism vs. Islamic sensibilities
The publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad has sparked outrage and protests by Muslims around the world. The caricatures first appeared in a Danish newspaper in September. They’ve since been published by media in other European countries on the grounds of freedom of expression. The Koran, however, strictly forbids all visual depictions of the Prophet. On Friday, the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met foreign ambassadors from predominantly Islamic countries to discuss the dispute. Last year he’d declined to do so, saying his government has no influence over Danish media. The row has sparked protests, threats, consumer boycotts and flag burnings.
France remembers the victims of Slavery
This week, French president Jacques Chirac announced that May 10 will become a national day of remembrance for the victims of slavery. This chosen day corresponds to France’s adoption of a law on May 10, 2001 which recognized slavery as a crime against humanity. President Chirac asked the French to share historical memories of slavery that were, he said, ” repressed for so long.”
Romanian Health gets a shot in the arm
If all goes to plan, Romania could be joining the European Union in just 12 months time. Not surprisingly, perhaps, the buzzword there is reform. Brussels is keeping a close tab on efforts to stamp out corruption and the reform of the judiciary. But Romania’s healthcare system is also in tatters.
Immigrants targeted by sectarian violence
Well, we head next to the city of Derry in Northern Ireland where 33-year old Robert Kordula runs the Polish Welfare Association from his living room. He and his wife provide 24 hour assistance to migrants from Eastern Europe who come to Northern Ireland and are confronted with the often harsh reality of life there. Poles are generally perceived as Catholics, which has put them on the receiving end of sectarian violence.
The roots of girl power
Women have come a long way over the past hundred years or so. Take the working place. In Britain, women started working in offices in the 19th century. But they had to be single, and they worked in women-only areas, with separate entrances to ensure nothing untoward would happen between them and male staff. By the end of the Second World War, though, women had firmly established themselves as part of the office. Radio Netherlands’ Louise Williams went along to The Women’s Library in central London to visit an exhibition – called, what else: Office Politics.
Music: “Dieser Weg” (This way), Xavier Naidoo