What a sad day…

From Arab News:

The Danish imam [Faith Alev] said that Muslims there have expressed their dissatisfaction by participating in the Danish media and holding public debates.

Muslims who make up three percent of the Danish population of 5.2 million, are now better heard and known than before, he said.

“Now, every one knows for sure that there is no unlimited freedom of expression,” he said.

Abdul Wahid Pedersen, vice chairman of the Islamic Christian Study Center, said that Muslims did not face any discrimination from the Danish government or its people during this controversy.

“Denmark appreciates the freedom of religion,�? he said, adding that in rare cases from time to time they encounter some criticism by individuals and hear some rude talks about Islam.

There were no boycott reactions by Muslims in Denmark, because most of the market’s product is made locally.

“Though we could not have an actual reaction, we appreciate the steps taken by our brother Muslims all over the world,�? he said.”

From a linguistic-political perspective this is a series of immensely interesting utterances. From my perspective it is just about the most hypocritical statement I have ever laid my eyes upon.

Please explain to me how, on the one hand, one is pleased about having accomplished limitations on freedom of speech and, on the other, one claims to be against discrimination?

I wonder what “steps” and “an actual reaction” refer to here. What is my fellow Dane talking about: would it be the death threats, the bombscares, the protest marches, the flag-burnings, the diplomatic rows, the condemnations and demands for apologies from the world’s Islamic and Arab bodies, the calls for a U.N. resolution carrying a sanctions threat, the fatwa issued against Danish troops in Iraq, the widening Mideast boycott of Danish goods, or would it be the UK-based Jihadists now declaring holy war against Denmark

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  1. Chrisitan, honestly, do you think “Ynetnews.com” is the ultimate, unbiased source of information when it comes to a debate such as this one? it is as biased as Aljazeera.

    Anyway that’s not the issue. I just wanted to point out that one could look at things differently. Can’t you see that, behind this whole story, there is a very serious problem with Denmark’s immigration policy? Don’t you think that there is a total absence of cultural and human exchange amongst ethnic groups constituting the Danish society?

    I can assure you that, had the minorities felt they were fully part of the Danish scene, this problem would have never occured. Because, mind you, the protests started in Denmark first, before they spread out to Saudi Arabia and co.

    just a thought

  2. Please let me know when you find “the ultimate, unbiased source of information” on this debate. I know said newspaper is extreme in its views, however, I chose it because I could not find any other English links at that time. Reports have also been published in Danish media, which I normally consider trustworthy sources of information. This news article may satisfy your requirements.

    Yes, there is a problem with the Danish immigration policy, the specificities of which would require a separate discussion. The same thing can be said about most other Western countries.

    I do not think there is a total absence of cultural and human exchange amongst ethnic groups in Denmark. Perhaps you should go there once and have a look for yourself.

    I am glad you are in a position to issue assurances about the current state of affairs of “the Danish scene”. It is a great metaphor, I think, though I wonder how it speaks your ‘case’. It begs the question whether and how you can share a stage with someone who does a very bad job in hiding their intention of imposing their own rigid system of right and wrong with no cultural space for others, who already considers me an inferior human being because I do not adhere to their religious beliefs, who argues from a viewpoint which is beyond questioning?

    Take an organisation like Hisbut-Tahrir, illegal in Germany where it is considered a terrorist grouping, which, in the streets of Copenhagen, handed out flyers encouraging the killing of jews (although a spokesman claimed it was to be understood metaphorically), which restricts certain parts of the press access to their meetings, which does not allow women to enter through the main door at their gatherings. How can the Danish society accommodate the beliefs and practices of such a movement or, to put in your words, a ‘minority’? Can we share the stage? Should we share the stage?

    At this time I and perhaps others would ask myself the question; but surely all muslims are not like that? Of course, not, however, to a great degree, these radical elements are setting the agenda in a Danish context; they lay claim to speak on behalf of muslims as a whole, whereas more modest, more nuanced voices are silenced, admittedly because it is not sensational stuff for the press and, more worrying, because they are conceived of and treated as ‘traitors’ or ‘infidels’ by the ‘true’ believers.

    Mind you, Tarek, the cartoon issue did not cause global outrage and suffering before a group of ‘Danish’ Islamists decided to go on ‘tour’ to mobilise the wrath of their ‘true’ brothers in the Arab world. It is beyond dispute that they deliberately chose to spice things up a bit by showing even more insulting cartoons, which were never published and had no link whatsoever to Jyllands-Posten (JP), along with insinuations that the Danish government and JP were somehow venturing in this ‘crusade against Islam’.

    One way to interpret this is that the extreme elements of the Danish muslims were trying to assert, I am using a very mild expression here, their power domestically, by bypassing the mechanisms with which a democratic society normally works. Also, whereas the leader of said ‘expedition’ made a public statement that he was against the boycott of Danish goods, he went on Aljazeera some hours later and declared his support for the measures taken by his muslim brothers.

    I am saddened by the fact that so few muslims voices are distancing themselves from the threatening and violent response spawned by these cartoons (again, first, I fully recognise that this may be due to how the media prioritise their stories as well as fear of the consequences and, secondly, I think the depictions were somewhat out of order). The utter importance of the modest vs. extremist distinction(s) is something I have commented upon earlier.

    You, Tarek, are in a key position here; to put in overly simple terms, you can legitimately speak to both ‘sides’ in the blogosphere. This is what Alper, my dear friend from Denmark (of Turkish origins), chose to do in the comments to my previous post. Although I may not agree with him, I am full of admiration for someone daring to take a stance, a stance which may be considered an act of betrayal among ‘true’ believers.

    As I am concluding this post, listening to BBC, I hear that the Danish embassy in Damaskus has been set on fire.

    What a sad day indeed.

  3. it does not only make me sad, but also very afraid… where does all this hatred come from? and why are so many influential people so stupid? this applies to everyone adding to the escalation with the sole aim to gard and increase his own power, be it a weak western president or a islamic fundamentalist. how can they not see that this will not work in the end? if only whatever god we believe in had made us a bit more contented and wise…