Thursday, February 23, 2006

Muslim Diplomats' Letter to Danish PM in Oct. Set the Punishment Agenda

Last October a number of diplomats from Muslim countries to Denmark signed a letter to the Danish Prime Minister to draw his attention to the insulting cartoons by Jyllands-Posten of Prophet Muhammed, asking for an urgent meeting with him. Here are some parts of the letter in blue as well my comments in red.

The letter at the very beginning assumes that there is “an on-going smearing campaign in Danish public circles and media against Muslims and Islam." The letter cites some Danish officials as part of the campaign and that the Danish Cartoons by the Jyllands-Posten published on the cultural page is just part of the campaign. I did not know that the cartoons were published in the cultural page.

I do not know whether there is a real campaign against Islam and Muslims, my Danish friends must have more information about these smearing activities. There is no doubt that the accusation is voiding the Danish society from its core values that is based of freedom and tolerance.

The letter says: “In your speech at the opening of the Danish Parliament, Your Excellency rightly underlined that terrorists should not be allowed to abuse Islam for their crimes. In the same token, Danish press and public representatives should not be allowed to abuse Islam in the name of democracy, freedom of expression and human rights, the values that we all share.” Why do Muslim Leaders in Muslim countries allow extremists and terrorists to hijack Islam to bomb innocent civilians and behead captured persons in the name of Allah and Prophet Muhammed? Terrorists have an agenda of ruling and taking over some people, how about the Danish press and public representatives?

The letter says: “We deplore these statements and publications and urge your Excellency’s government to take all those responsible to task under law of the land in the interest of inter-faith harmony, better integration and Denmark overall relations with the Muslim world. We rest assured that you will take all necessary steps.” The letter is dated October 12, 2005, however it was one of the early calls for punishing all those responsible for the cartoons. The letter had an agenda for the violent protests that asked for the punishment, not only of the cartoonists, but for an entire country, Denmark. Apparently, Muslim diplomats worked hand in hand of radical muslim sheikhs or at least inspired them what should be the reply to the cartoons. PUNISHMENT! which has started with the boycott.

It was great to learn that not all Muslim countries signed this letter as it was circulated and claimed in the mass media that ALL Muslim and Arab Muslim countries signed the letter. They are only ten Muslim countries and the Palestinian territories head of delegation. It is important to mention here that there are 50 Muslim countries around the world. It is highly noticeable that none of the Gulf Arab countries were included except for Saudi Arabia in which we all know why? Syria of course did not sign, because it is a country that manipulates behind the scenes or under the table as usual. All Muslim African countries did not sign.

To read the whole letter from the original visit Roger Bach's site here.


At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Esben said...

Freedom For Egyptians "do not know whether there is a real campaign against Islam and Muslims, my Danish friends must have more information about these smearing activities."

If you count out the neo-nazis et al... To the best of my knowledge there has never been a "campaign" against Muslims.

Of course, immigration rules have been toughened in the last years, and some may have felt that discriminating. Danish Muslims are the ones to ask.

You gotta understand: Denmark has always had "consensus-democracy" ...muslim immigrants and refugees have only been here for one generation, and it takes time to adapt for both natives and immigrants.

The Danish People's Party has been using "Islamophobia" to get votes. (Nothing like Front Nationale in France or anything.)Jyllands-Posten , which is slightly conservative but independent, started off on their own accord.

To the best of my understanding, before the "shit hit the fan" the vast majority of native Danes had no idea about the taboo on depicting the Prophet (pbuh)....we are learning .

We don't have to agree, but we need to understand each other. Then, we can treat each other respectfully.

Salaam from a Dane, who refuses to hate

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was, and there is, no campaign against muslims - its utter nonsense! (I think the arab world is a bit paranoid here - and some of the imams in denmark as well; try ask the everyday muslim in denmark, and I think they will say that the tone on immigrationproblems have been a little tough from a few radical idiots, but the normal danes are treating them with respect...theres idiots everywhere, as you know!)

But if you compare the two danish newspapers; Jyllandsposten (to the right), and Politiken (to the left), then I would think that Politiken wouldn't have asked for the cartoons in the first place. They will however, as they have stated afterwards, print the cartoons if necessary if freedom of speech is in danger!

You should stop the mythmaking in arab countries, and look for the facts... within yourself!


At 6:38 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

Thanks Esben for your explanation.

My understanding is that Muslims have a long way to understand how the Danish values work in general.

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for a very interesting blog

The letter mentions the private radio station Radio Holger. This station was closed last summer (the transmission permit was withdrawn) and the owner has subsequently been punished after section 266B in the Danish criminal code.

This section of the code, together with other sections relevant for the case are mentioned on the site run by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Several complaints have been lodged over the drawings and the accompanying article. They are presently being considered by the district and state prosecutors.

To me the whole thing illustrates that none of the offended parts, neither the various muslim groups in Denmark nor the ambassadors, wished to use the Danish judicial system.

The drawings was rather seen as a way to score political/religious points. Locally by the Touring Imams and internationally by the ambassadors and their governments.

The whole thing went awry when the Danish primeminister didn't accept his role in the play.

Interestingly, nobody has even bothered with a complaint to the Press Complaints Commitee - an independent body run by the Danish press. In view of the following debate in the Danish press, the chances for getting support appears to have been far from negligible. But it would of course have hampered the use of the drawings in a subsequent smear campaign.

Just one fact to illustrate how ludicrous it is to speak about a real campaign against islam and Muslims: Maybe 30 % of the pupils in the schools in Copenhagen are Muslims, but all the food they serve
is "halal".


At 2:14 AM, Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

It's not that I want to be unduly negative. But there is some truth to big parts of the ambassadors' letter. Take one example. They mention the minister of culture Mikkelsen.

At the Congress of his political party, the Conservatives, in September 2005, he started a new phase of his "cultural campaign" for "Danish values" saying (my translation from Danish source):

"In the middle of our country - our own country - a parallel community is developing, where minorities are practising medieval norms and undemocratic ways of thinking. This we cannot accept. Here we have the new front in the cultural battle".

Perhaps you also consider muslim practices medieval. I don't know. To me it tastes of "hate speech" against a minority - and a weak minority at that. Unemployment is much higher among immigrants than among ethnic Danes. When the name behind a job application is Ali or Mohammed, many Danish employers shy away from giving them a job.

There is a slight exaggeration in the ambassadors' letter when they say "war" about Brian Mikkelsen's culture campaign. He uses the Danish word kamp, which is not war among nations, but rather a "battle". But he uses the word "front", which does have warlike connotations.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Anne Kirstine said...

Maybe I can explain a bit about The member of parliament Louise Frevert.

She had published a number of "unprinted" articles on her website that had a lot of racist and derogatory remarks of muslims and Islam. After a journalist found them and launched a series of articles in the press about her, she first said, that she had written the articles, then recalled them and said that her webmaster had written them and that she hadn't actually read them herself (!). She said she didn't have time to look at her own website. The party then decided to give her leave of absence from the parliament, so she could have time to run for mayor of Copenhagen - an election where she lost a lot of votes for her party. *lol*

She was investigated by the police, they couldn't press charges, but her webmaster is (I think) still charged under the paragraf concerning racism.

Louise Frevert is a former porn star and belly dancer. I don't take her seriosly, but some people do. *lol*
It just shows that in a democracy all kinds of people can be elected to represent people in parliament.
Because she lost that election in Copenhagen and the party lost a lot of votes on her, she is no longer one of the leading members of "Danish People's party". She lost a lot of her posts in parliament commitees as well.

Btw: the name of the party confuses foreigners. They call themselves so because they would like to be all the Danish people's party, but they are not. It is a right wing party, that takes about 20% of the votes - more or less. In the last election the party got 13,3% of the votes, which makes it the third largest party.
Their website is in Danish.
It is the youngest party in Denmark - started in 1995.

The answer to the question of a campaign against Islam and Muslims is a mixed one. There certainly is in some social groupings.
To explain that I have to explain that the Danish sociaty is becoming more polarized in recent years. There is a large number of ordinary (low-educated) (manual) workers that are worried about globalization. They feel that their jobs are threatened by being exported to low-income countries. At the same time they feel that the heavy taxation takes away their money and leave them with less and less. If they then see a muslim neighbour getting social aid and having four kids and a wife with a head scarf not being able to speak Danish....Do you get the picture?
The Danish People's party get votes from these social groups and most of all it is about fear - xenophobia.

Right now Islam is a the forefront in this xenophobia, but it could really be anybody: Germans, Vietnamese, Chinese, Swedes.... anybody that is different...

If it wasn't so tragic - it would be funny.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Cosmic Duck - you are a sorry little liar!
Shape up will ya, please?!
You're sounding like the rest om the ME, totally in space because of misinformation!

But I guess thats your real goal - isnt it?!

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Hi Anonymous.

No, I do not lie. I can give you another example of what a Danish politician has said.

The prominent politician Mogens Camre, member of the European parliament for the right wing Danish People's party (DPP), has given verbal expression to quite a few muslim stereotypes. At the congress of the Danish People's party in 2004 he spoke about Turkish application for membership of the EU:

"The Turkish government are a bunch of fundamentalists, who have dressed up in democratic attire..... The Turks do not intend to become Westerners. The Turks want to islamise Europe. And the Turkish government wants to cheat its way in. .... The muslims give birth to much too many children, and they do not have enough opportunities to feed them in their own backward countries, which produce next to nothing. Therefore they have decided to conquer Europe". (Mogens Camre's homepage). And about islam he said:

"The two big dictatorship ideologies, we have seen the last 100 years, lived in 12, respectively 70 years. Islam has survived for nearly 1400 years, and we're naïve, if we think we can change this ideology within a few decades. But we must do whatever we can do to stop the diffusion of the islamists' ideology, because it threatens the whole world. ....... Let me say it clearly, muslims must live in muslim country - and that is not here".

You can go to the source and see,if I lie.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous anne kirstine said...

To cosmic duck and other interested:
It is true that the unemployment rate among immigrants is higher than among "etnic Danes" (!), but lately the umemployment rate among young second generation immigrants has fallen rapidly to an almost "normal" rate.
Due to birth control etc the number of young people are at its lowest right now. We are talking about the "aging problem of Denmark" - that more people are leaving the work force on old age pension than coming into the work force.
It is actually a problem that is common among the "old" European Communty Countries: Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain.
And a problem that is connected to the "brain drain" problem of the third world countries.
So maybe once again it is gonna be the "capital" that saves our asses?
Every grocer knows that you don't offend the customer - that takes care of Islam being offended...
And the companies need the workers, that takes care of the umemployed dissatisfied youth here and abroad....
And then we can all go on consuming *lol*

At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would just like to point out my views as somebody who lives in Europe. An important aspect of integration and accpetance of different cultures is to learn and speak fluently the home country's language and to attend its schools. In Germany, I see some of the communities who do not have the skills and language to interact with the society they are in. What happens next is the ''blame'' factor and anti-Western. It is not an easy subject. I believe both sides should do more to further integration and the acceptance of world-wide human rights.
Egyptian in Germany

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous anne kirstine said...

to cosmic duck and anonymous
The campaign against Islam and Muslims is not a general thing in Denmark, it is something that only happens in certain neighbourhoods and groups.
The mistake that I and a lot of other Danes have been guilty of is probably that we have not taken Louise Frevert and Mogens Camre etc really seriously. Perhaps we thought that they would go away if we ignored them.
In that way this has been a wake-up call.
Look at the website:
they have put it rather well...

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Cosmic Duck said...

Anne Kirstine.

You're right. A lot of righteous Danes want to get a good relationship to the immigrants and are working on it. The site you mention is only one of several, where Danes want to correct the wrongs that have been done to the immigrant minority.

When you mention Frevert and Camre, you should also mention the leader of the Danish People's party, who has talked about "the enemy within".

The Danish People's Party suggests sending the imams and other immigrants working against the interests of Denmark out of the country. Even if they are Danish citizens!!! the DPP wants all possible legal means to abolish their citizenship examined and eventually carried out.

Then we must ask: What about freedom of expression? Does that not apply to these "enemies within" (as P.K. calls them in her weekly letter on the Danish People's party homepage), even when they go to ME countries and talk to people there?

There seem to be some rights for "established Danes" and the other "Danes", non-Danes, or whatever the appropriate term? This is a wrong course.

At 12:49 PM, Anonymous anne kirstine said...

Yes the freedom of expression is for Ahmed Akkari as well as Pia Kjærsgård.
Just for the record the minister for integration said that the police could investigate whether the imans' citizenship could be revoked and then the courts would have to decide it.
Some experts of law have said that it can't be done. I think that will be the outcome.
And lets remember that the Danish People's Party got (only) 13.3% votes at the last election.
Right now they have more influence than their fraction of the votes should account for, because the government is only looking at their side of the parliament. I hope that will change eventually.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Mortiferex said...

To cosmic duck.
Of course freedom of expression applies to everyone. Even if they err. (Or spread lies) You have to remember that Akkari & co, did have a very loose relationship with the truth, when they visited the ME. Saying stuff like JP was a goverment owned newspaper. (It's not) Showing cartoons much more offending that the ones printed in JP, while claiming that these were also printed. (They were not, but hey, even BBC feel for that one.) So, of course some people will react by having the police look into the matter, just like many did with JP, including some "Native" Danes. And regarding The Danish People's Party and affiliates, we have been hearing ugly things from both sides. You have to remember that even organizations like Neo- Nazis and Hizb-ut-Tahrir are both legal in Denmark, so of course you will hear nasty things. And if British historian David Irving, had held his speach, denying the holocaust, in Denmark, there would never have been a trial. But Denmark has to seriously think about integration, and what of the ones speaking against it? This case has shown that there are those in "The Moslem" community, that do not wish for "their" people to be integrated. I think that more of "Those" should start listening to Mr. Khader and The Democratic Moslem´s. As for the other side, I hope they will come to reason, and hopefully sometime soon.

From a very nonracist, nonmoslem, very free to speak Dane, who hope the world will soon lighten up.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous esben said...

looks like we're mostly Danes here ....
Where are all the offended Muslims we should be talking to ?

(godt at se moderate danskere på banen her )

FFE: you got some dialogue-minded Danes here, what can we do ?

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'll sing with the danish choir too.

As long as the Sight-seeing Storytelling imams were seen as the voice of "the moslim community" in Denmark, it was the best argument for xenophobia ever.
What have they been speaking about?
Parts of Copenhagen as Sharia-land.
Blood-money was Mr. Labans proposal for a dispute in Copenhagen.
At a friday prayer one imam said that women without a hijab(?) should not complain about being raped - they had it coming. Some incidents of honour killing and young girls telling about how to escape from forced marriage.

That was the parallel society that Mr. Mikkelsen was adressing. Is that racist or xenophobic?

I believe that the law of the land applies to everyone. Nobody should have the right to practice another law than danish law in Denmark.

Mr. Khader (co-founder of Democratic Moslims) has been adressing the radical imams and they have stated loud and clear that he was not a true moslim and could not speak for moslims in Denmark.

Under these circumstances it's easy for Frevert, Camre and other idiots to get away with the ridiculous things they say.
And I must admit; I thought they would go away, if they were ignored. I was wrong.
The far right was/are having a smearing campaign. (Not only in Denmark but in Europe and US too.) But they don't speak for a majority of danes neither are their views official policy. They speak for a minority - just like the fundamentalists. And they must be adressed the same way as the the fundamentalists.

The Democratic Moslim group have more support than the radical imams. And there are several other non-radical groups that are being heard now. Even Mr. Espersen from Danish Peoples Party called it an eyeopener to learn that.

At 1:43 AM, Blogger Cosmic Duck said...


Don't they have freedom of speech like all other Danes, - or do you belong to those who want to take away their citizenship (as proposed by the Danish People's Party) and civil rights?.

Or there are other ideas you could take as inspiration from Europe in the 1930's: Start deporting them.

At 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cosmic Duck.

"Don't they have freedom of speech like all other Danes, - or do you belong to those who want to take away their citizenship (as proposed by the Danish People's Party) and civil rights?."

They certainly have their freedom of speech. They may say anything they want. But I will have the right to disagree with them without being called xenophobic.
I believe in democracy and that the law applies to every citizen in Denmark. That law is a protection and the limit for behavior for danes - moslim, christan, hindu, atheist or inuit.
The radical imams are danish citizens. They have as far as I understand done nothing that is against danish law. So no; they have the same civil rights and citizenship as me.
I tried to say, that they spoke for all the moslim community. Which they don't.
The best thing that has happened is, that a lot of "moderate" (I lack a better word) more or less religious moslims have disagreed in public about the most controversial issues, that the radicals have.
I believe that it will take out a lot of the wind in the sails of the far right in Denmark.

"Or there are other ideas you could take as inspiration from Europe in the 1930's: Start deporting them."

I simply don't get it. Do I have the freedom of speech? May I address the opinions the radicals have or am I when doing so a fascist by definition?
I'm not a moslim myself. Because of that I don't comment Islam. That is for the moslim community to discuss.
I strictly comment on the radicals opinions, when it's against danish law.
If nobody - apart from the far right - dares to have an opinion about, what the radical imams say, then it's to easy for the far right to be the only defender of the constitution.

I don't like Danish Peoples Party. I don't vote for them and I never have. They are fundamentalist too in the way that they want Denmark to be as it was in the 1950's.

I think I'm much closer to Naser Khader.



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