This introductory chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to analyze the political controversy generated by the publication of twelve cartoons, some satirizing the prophet Mohammed, by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005. The reactions of some Middle Eastern governments and religious leaders outside Denmark, not to mention those of some Danish politicians, could not have been better calculated to provoke a backlash against Muslims in Denmark. But there was no backlash, which is, by orders of magnitude, the most important finding. The chapter then explains the present study offers that its many predecessors have not and explains underlying concepts, including the role of categorization in political judgments, the notion of opposing forces, and the paradoxical ethos of liberal democracy.
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