Sunday, February 12, 2006

Denmark's Islamists Running to Egypt Over Cartoons

The Egyptian State-owned daily Al Ahram reported (Arabic), in a complaining tone, about the pressure being exercised on Muslim Danes in Denmark caused by the Danish Cartoon crisis.

Al Ahram reports today that Muslims of Denmark asked grand Sheikh of Al Azhar Mohamed Sayed Tantawi to interfere to ask the Danish Foreign Minister during his expected visit to Cairo to acknowledge the religion of Islam equally as Christianity and Judaism as well as to ask for the issuance of a law to criminalize acts or statements considered insulting to messengers or religions.

The paper said Sheikh Ali Ismail, Emam of the Islamic Center in Denmark, who is currently on a visit to Cairo, is bringing an initiative to solve the Cartoons crisis

Dr. Mohamed Foad Al Bazawy, chairman of the Islamic Association in Denmark said in a telephone conversation with Al Ahram newspaper that Muslims in Denmark are being mistreated in response to the violent incidents and protests in the Muslim world, stressing the Danish people’s party’s request (if the name is correct) to the minister of integration to reconsider the citizenships of Muslims, being himself a holder of the Danish citizenship together with other two Emams/Sheiks, Ahmed Makary and Ab Bashar after being accused of flaring up protests among Muslims in the Middle East.

On the other hand in Denmark, Muslim Danish Member of Parliament Naser Khader declared the newly founded "Moderate Moslem"-Network. Khader lives constantly under police protection despite the peaceful atmosphere in Denmark for his reformatory progressive plans.

He has already been joined by 800 Danish Muslims and some 2000 other Danes in a support group, and they only started a few days ago. They have all ready received sufficient donations to place big newspaper adds in Middle East papers advocating their idea and message.

In a February 2002 speech, Khader voiced his revolutionary 10 commandments.

  1. We must all separate politics and religion, and we must never place religion above the laws of democracy.
  2. We must all respect that all people have equal rights regardless of sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
  3. No person must ever incite to hatred, and we must never allow hatred to enter our hearts.
  4. No person must ever use or encourage violence – no matter how frustrated or wronged we feel, or how just our cause.
  5. We must all make use of dialogue - always.
  6. We must all show respect for the freedom of expression, also of those with whom we disagree the most.
  7. No person can claim for themselves or assign to others a place apart, neither as superior persons, as inferior persons or as eternal victims.
  8. We must all treat other people’s national and religious symbols as we wish them to treat ours – flag-burning and graffiti on churches, mosques and synagogues are insults that hinder dialogue and increase the repression of the other party.
  9. We must all mind our manners in public. Public space is not a stage on which to vent one’s aggressions or to spread fear and hate, but should be a forum for visions and arguments, where the best must win support.
  10. We must all stand up for our opponent if he or she is subjected to spiteful treatment.

I do not know why a big well-known newspaper like Al Ahram is not interviewing a reformist like Khader (Danish).


At 12:21 AM, Anonymous rim said...

It is very exciting news. It is difficult to overestimate the meaning of that. This is how Islam will get respect of all rational people by voicing opinion of reason despite hysteria of extremist and hypocrites .That kind of feedback making a huge difference, at least for me and my friends. Good luck and thank you for your honesty and courage!

At 12:59 AM, Blogger Mike's America said...

How possible is it to express the moderate and majority Muslim view when those who do, like Khader, live under guard in fear for their safety?

You have probably already seen the web site: Sorry Norway and Denmark:

apparently posted by Palestinians. But they dare not do so publicly, even the identity of their web server is hidden.

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naser Khader is very well respected by ALL Danes not only the muslim society (were incidentially he recieves the most criticism, and all the death treaths) he has been a protecter of the democratic rigths since he began in politics 10-12 years ago, and I would say he is the sole reason, that danish people actually believes (51 procent, just recorded yesterday) that islam and democrati actually is possible to combine, and this is although his odds to maintain that belief is rather imposible, with the reaactions and behavior we see in so many muslim countries, so anyone who is a moderat muslim who believe in these values in any country would win so much by backing this guy up,

At 4:26 AM, Anonymous Odin lever said...

Anon 4:02 I thought Khader were considered to be an apostate by the muslims in Denmark?

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to odin
he got 800 muslim members within a week, so somebody must agree with them

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Flemming said...


Denmark has no formal procedure for recognising religions. Everyone is free to believe in their preferred religion.

Although the kingdom is defined as lutheran-evangelic in the Danish Constitution it is not required that a religion is recognised as a formal religion.

Only when a religion wants to perform marriages an official certification is required and Islam has this together with a lot of other religions like Baha´i, jewish, Buddhists, Catholic, Asa and Christianity.

And by the way, Islamic Association in Denmark only has a total of a 1000 members out of a total of approx. 200000 muslims in Denmark according to research by DR (Danish Broadcasting corp.) on february 1st ´06

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose that everyone here understands that Khader must be protected by the police against angrymuslims, not against Danes angry at muslims. That brings a certain irony to the imam's story of being mistreated in Denmark

At 2:19 PM, Blogger al said...

I DO NOT THINK that “Buy Danish” campaign can seriously change the equation in this situation. If you are buying Danish instead of buying somebody else’s products, therefore somebody else (Switzerland for example) will be hurt by this boycott anyway.

There are few things that could be done in this situation:
I think Danish companies must hold responsible those Danish Imams who started all this outrageous ideological war. How about to sue them? They are subject of Danish law and must be held responsible in this case.
Withhold EU and Danish financial aid to countries participating in the boycott. Compensate financial losses of companies damaged by the boycott from those money.
I am a US taxpayer and I would rather see taxpayer’s $$ will go to Denish companies than to support ideological blackmail of middle eastern countries.
Put on your websites free advertisements of Danish companies and promote them. For example I never herd before ARLA company, after that I not only know the brand but I will be willing to buy that brand.
And finally …. BOYCOTT all goods from all countries that are participating in the boycott. If in EU and USA nobody will buy Middle Eastern goods we will see who will get more damage.

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Charles N. Steele said...

Thanks for this interesting post (which I found mentioned on Tom Palmer's blog).

In response to the question from Mike's America: The more that sensible, rational voices are heard, the safer it becomes for others to join them. Every positive step by someone like Khader, or for that matter by any of us, is important.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Cate said...

Re another country suffering if people buy Danish..well, don't worry about Switzerland. The craven Nestle company wasted no time at all in loudly announcing to all in the middle east that they were Swiss, not Danish. They just couldn't distance themselves fast enough. Also the French supply company Carrefour (or some spelling like that). I will never buy another Nestle product in my life. A good site promoting Denmark with banners etc is

Thanks for the info here about Naser Khader. I'd seen his photo in the Danish papers and read a bit about him there but the links here are great. One of the good things to emerge from the cartoon mayhem is Khader's being known to the world outside Denmark.


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