Journal Article — Fundamentally Danish?: The Muhammad Cartoon Crisis as Transitional Drama — by Heiko Henkel




A closer look at the Muhammad cartoon crisis illuminates some of the key issues that were, and continue to be, at stake for the various actors in the public contestations over the legitimate place of Muslims (and the Islamic tradition) in Danish society. Using a conceptual framework developed by Axel Honneth, I suggest in this article that the cartoon crisis is part of an ongoing struggle for recognition in Denmark, through which the terms by which Muslims residing in Denmark are recognized as legitimate citizens/residents of Danish society are negotiated—and on which Muslims may recognize the demands of Danish majority society as legitimate. As much as the cartoon affair was an event that, as Palle Weis (2006) writes, “suddenly” ruptured Danish society in 2005, it was therefore also part of a process that continues to shape social actors and their relationships.

Recommended Citation

Henkel, Heiko. 2010. “Fundamentally Danish?: The Muhammad Cartoon Crisis as Transitional Drama.” Pp. 67-81 in Islam: From Phobia to Understanding (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VIII, Issue 2, 2010.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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