|This is just a trick-photo. Akkari hasn't really been muzzled|
He spoke about the imam-conference in Bahrain last week and claimed (Danish text, my translation) that the Danish imams had been muzzled by the Danish Foreign Ministry, and that their freedom of expression had been reduced:
In Denmark we were prohibited to speak about the conference. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has forbidden anybody from speaking about the conference before an official translation is available.
Foreign minister Per Stig Møller denies these allegations:
This is pure nonsense. I don't recognize anything of what he says. We have not, and we haven't had, contact with the travelling imams. I'm unable to account for this.
When Akkari returned to Denmark, he claimed (stop me, if you've heard this one before) that it was a misunderstanding, "I think it was formulated wrongly. What I wanted to say, what that the subject isn't being talked about here in Denmark"
"There's a rising tendency toward self-censorship."
Mother: "But what is the matter, Mohammed?"
Mohammed: "We were told to draw each other in kindergarten and nobody dared draw me"
Rasmus Sand Høyer has made another Mohammed-drawing. Let's pray to Allah that the consequences will be less severe this time. It can't be a picnic having to live with constant death-threats, just because some thin-skinned zealots want to impose their own political agenda.
A month ago Jyllands-Posten had received 150 death threats.
Cartoon to the right:
"An Indian minister has promised 10,000,000 dollars and the assassin's weight in gold, for killing the cartoonists."
Cartoonist to his wife: "I thought you were on a diet, Darling?"
More cartoons by Rasmus Sand Høyer.
The Western Standard was the first to republish the Danish cartoons in Canada, and this mail shows how easy it is to stiffle free speech - using your tax money:
Dear Western Standard reader,
Our magazine has been sued for publishing the Danish cartoons, and I need your help to fight back!
As you know, the Western Standard was the only mainstream media organ in Canada to publish the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.
We did so for a simple reason: the cartoons were the central fact in one of the largest news stories of the year, and we're a news magazine. We publish the facts and we let our readers make up their minds.
Advertisers stood with us. Readers loved the fact that we treated them like grown-ups. And we earned the respect of many other journalists in Canada who envied our independence. In fact, according to a COMPAS poll last month, fully 70% of Canada's working journalists supported our decision to publish the cartoons.
But not Syed Soharwardy, a radical Calgary Muslim imam.
He asked the police to arrest me for publishing the cartoons. They calmly explained to him that's not what police in Canada do.
So then he went to a far less liberal institution than the police: the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Unlike the Calgary Police Service, they didn't have the common sense to show him the door.
Earlier this month, I received a copy of Soharwardy's rambling, hand-scrawled complaint. It is truly an embarrassing document. He briefly complains that we published the Danish cartoons. But the bulk of his complaint is that we dared to try to justify it - that we dared to disagree with him.
Think about that: In Soharwardy's view, not only should the Canadian media be banned from publishing the cartoons, but we should be banned from defending our right to publish them. Perhaps the Charter of Rights that guarantees our freedom of the press should be banned, too.
Soharwardy's complaint goes further than just the cartoons. It refers to news articles we published about Hamas, a group labelled a terrorist organization by the Canadian government. By including those other articles, he shows his real agenda: censoring any criticism of Muslim extremists.
Perhaps the most embarrassing thing about Soharwardy's complaint is that he claims our cartoons caused him to receive hate mail. Indeed, his complaint includes copies of a few e-mails from strangers to him. Some of those e-mails even go so far as to call him "humourless" and tell him to "lighten up". Perhaps that's hateful. But all of those e-mails were sent to him before our magazine even published the cartoons. Soharwardy isn't even pretending that this is a legitimate complaint. He's not even trying to hide that this is a nuisance suit.
Soharwardy's complaint should have been thrown out immediately by the Alberta Human Rights Commission, just like the police did. But it wasn't. Which is why I'm writing to you today.
According to our lawyers, we will win this case. It's an infantile complaint, without basis in facts or law. Frankly, it's an embarrassment to the government of Alberta that their tribunal is open to abuse like this.
Our lawyers tell us we're going to win. But not before we have to spend hundreds of hours and up to $75,000 fighting this thing, at our own expense. Soharwardy doesn't have to spend a dime - now that his complaint has been filed, Alberta tax dollars will pay for the prosecution of his complaint. We have to pay for this on our own.
Look, $75,000 isn't going to bankrupt us. But it will sting. We're a small, independent magazine, not a huge company with deep pockets. All of our money is needed to produce the best possible editorial product, not to fight legal battles. This is clearly an abuse of process designed to punish us and deter other media from daring to cross that angry imam in the future.
One of the leaders in Canadian human rights law, Alan Borovoy, was so disturbed by Soharwardy's abuse of the human rights commission that he wrote a public letter about it in the Calgary Herald on March 16th. "During the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech," wrote Borovoy, who is general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Censorship was "hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions. There should be no question of the right to publish the impugned cartoons," he wrote.
Borovoy went even further - he said that the human rights laws should be changed to avoid this sort of abuse in the future. "It would be best, therefore, to change the provisions of the Human Rights Act to remove any such ambiguities of interpretation," he wrote. That's an amazing statement, coming from one of the fathers of the Canadian human rights movement.
I agree with Borovoy: the law should be changed to stop future abuses. But those changes will come too late for us - we're already under attack. The human rights laws, designed as a shield, are being used against us as a sword.
We will file our legal response to Soharwardy's shakedown this week. And we will fight this battle to the end - not just for our own sake, but to defend freedom of the press for all Canadians.
Do you believe that's important? If so, I'd ask you to help us defray our costs. We're accepting donations through our website. It's fast, easy and secure. Just click on http://www.westernstandard.ca/freedom
You can donate any amount from $10 to $10,000. Please help the Western Standard today - and protect freedom for all Canadians for years to come.
P.S. Remember, Soharwardy's complaint will be prosecuted using tax dollars and government lawyers. We have to rely on our own funds - and the generous support of readers like you.
P.P.S. Please help us now, at http://www.westernstandard.ca/freedom
"The Nordic (region) is the best place to practice our religion," said Abukar, who has lived in Finland for 10 years. He also praised the region's welfare system, which ensures a good level of education and health care for all.
But the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and July bombings in London, as well as other action by extremist Islamists, have soured attitudes toward the minority faith among the predominantly Lutheran populations of Europe's north.
"People mind their own business, but sometimes, if people know you're Muslim, there are all kinds of accusations," said denim-clad Mahmoud, offering a can of Mecca-Cola. He says he is tired of always being on the defensive.
Racist attacks in Denmark -- which has detained eight Muslims under its anti-terrorism law since September -- grew by a third in the first eight months this year, compared to 2004.
The story is often repeated in Danish media: "Racist attacks are growing in Denmark", or so it goes, "the numbers have more than doubled from 32 in 2004 to 81 in 2005". This "fact" is often repeated - and the rising number is associated with right-wing extremists and "the tone" in the debate.
|Number of report to PET of Racist and religious attacks|
And yet, this graph to the right (taken from Danish television) clearly shows a fall in the number of reports. How can this be? If you can read Danish, I recommend that you go to Uriasposten - because most of the present page is just a summary.
Let's look at an article from May 2005: Investigates extent of racist crime (Danish text, my translation)
The Danish Security Intelligence Service (PET) will investigate, whether the country's police districts are sufficiently diligent when reporting racist or religious attacks to the service.
"The Danish Security Intelligence Service estimates that it is very uncertain, whether the reported figures reflect the real number of racist inspired criminal cases," writes Minister of Justice, Lene Espersen, in a series of replies to Enhedslisten's integration-spokesman, Jørgen Arbo-Bæhr.
Thus PET received 32 reports in 2004 as opposed to 53 in 2003 and 65 in 2002 - while there were no less that 95 reports in 2001.
Police districts has since 1992 been ordered to report attacks, which might conceivably have racist background and which are perpetrated against foreigners.
An ordinance which in 2001 was expanded to also included possible religious attacks - and irrespective of whether the assaults are against a person or interest of Danish or foreign origin.
In spite of this, the number of reports peaked with 166 in 1993.
So what does this article say?
- The number of racist attacks peaked in 1993 with 166 offenses.
- The number keeps falling and in 2001, the scope of attacks to be reported is expanded to include offenses based on religion - and offenses against ethnic Danes.
- In spite of the expanded scope, the number still keeps falling to 95 in 2001, 65 in 2002, 53 in 2003 and 32 in 2004.
- The Minister of Justice wants to be sure there are no "dark numbers" i.e. cases that were not reported - after all 32 is very low.
- With increased attention, the numbers begin to rise, but are still much lower than 10 years ago.
But 81 attacks - or even 32 - are still too much, you might say. Even one attack is one attack too much.
Of course it is, but let's take a look at some these incidents: PET has published summaries (PDF-files in Danish) for 2004 and 2005:
14. December 2004: Report against a TV-company for breaking the penal code section § 266 b [racism], since the TV-company had broadcast the murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh's movie "Submission".
Showing a movie which is critical of Islam is considered a "racist attack"! I wonder if killing Theo van Gogh could also be considered a racist attack? The thing with Submission is the same as with the Danish cartoons. Once they become attacked by zealots, they become news.
18. April 2005: A person of Somali origin reported that a Somali club room had been subject to wanton destruction when an unknown perpetrator had broken a window pane.
We don't know why the window was broken and by whom. But since the victim is Somali, the incident is reported as a racist attack.
Some of the attacks are done by Muslims, against Danes, Jews and Apostates:
11. November 2004 a journalist reported having received a letter saying among other "You are a Danish-whore" ... "if you don't behave yourself, you'll get an Arab-circumcised cock in your whore-ass" ... "So don't ever criticise Islam again and get the fuck out of our quarter, which is now Islamic territory and not Danish".
23. April 2005 a person of non-Danish origin, who had converted from Islam to Christianity, received a letter from unknown persons, which had threats in Arabic. Among others that "he who turns his back on Islam shall be killed."
3. February 2005 a person of non-Danish origin received a letter signed "Hizb-Ut-Tahrir", which contained an exhortation to join Hizb-Ut-Tahrir or otherwise no longer be considered a believer, but an apostate, who will burn in Hell with all the dirty Infidel swine".
So the lesson is: If you're Danish, don't report racist attacks to the police, because a rise in numbers will "prove" that Denmark is full of jack-booted skinheads. In fact: Be vewy, vewy qwuiet.
Denmark must be very, very quiet (Danish text, registration required)
There's a deep concern in the ministry of foreign affairs that the conflict between Denmark and the Muslim world because of the Muhammed-cartoons may explode again. This is also the background for [foreign minister] Per Stig Møller's appeal to Denmark to show its best good will to solve the conflict and avoid provocations.
[. . .]
The conflict can be rekindled, with new demonstrations and attacks on Danish institutions in the Middle East, because there are governments and other players in the area, who can use the crisis with Denmark to harness and exploit political and religious indignation.
Denmark will for a long time still need support from our allies in EU and from America in order to avoid - for instance - a total trade embargo. But this support will only be there if Denmark itself acts constructively in the crisis through dialogue with the Muslim world.
Or in other words, Denmark will have to tread carefully and diplomatically - and to give in, in the next couple of months - both in relation to the Muslim world and in relation to our Western partners.
In an interview with Berlingske Søndag, the foreign minister Per Stig Møller emphasized, that Denmark can handle a prolonged conflict with the Mohammed-cartoons, as long as we have support from the rest of Europe and the USA.
»As long as Denmark displays a constructive and active attitude, so long will the support from EU be there. Because we have shown that we are doing what we can« he said, and stated it strictly necessary that Denmark continues the dialogue with the Muslim world - also with the imams, who sharply have criticised Denmark.
Eurabia seriously needs to wake up: This is not a "conflict between Denmark and the Muslim world". It's political Islam attacking the Western world and trying to silence its opponents.
The editor explains his reasons in the comment section in his own blog:
[. . .]You are concerned about my publishing the cartoons as being provocative to Muslim sensitivities. Funny thing: Did the mainstream press hesitate for a split second about publishing the Abu Ghraib prison photos? Did they worry then about Muslim opinion, or about "inviting trouble and inflaming an already tense situation"?
I wonder: Did YOU protest those photographs, which continue to be displayed 24/7 by the mainstream media, as they have been for months? Did you write any letters to the editor of any major publication? Did you e-mail CNN with indignant messages of protest?
Or is your gripe about this exercise of free expression not one of principle, but simply a complaint about WHAT is being expressed?
You ask what I wish to achieve. What I wish to achieve is very simple: I wish to make it clear to ANYONE who tries to intimidate journalists with death threats for publishing, or saying, or showing some "offensive" opinion or image that COERCION WON'T WORK. Some of us, at least, will NOT be intimidated into silence by fanatics. I don't care if it's Muslims, the KKK, street gangs, or Presidents trying to shut me up. The PRINCIPLE at stake here is that COERCION AND INTIMIDATION are not going to be the official currency of public discussion.
Not in America.
Not while this writer still breathes.
It's not about Muhammad or Muslims, my friend. It's about the First Amendment. You may have heard of it. In fact, you may still be able to look it up online.
And if my colleagues and I have our way, you always will.
Hat tip to Sugiero: Most polemic Mohamed cartoon.
Added: I forgot that this is not the first time. In fact The Intellectual Activist not only featured Kurt Westergård's cartoon on the front-page, but the re-printed all twelve of them.
The Intellectual Activist explained their reasons for publishing the cartoons:
The central issue of the "cartoon jihad"—the Muslim riots and death threats against a Danish newspaper that printed 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed—is obvious. The issue is freedom of speech: whether our freedom to think, write, and draw is to be subjugated to the "religious sensitivities" of anyone who threatens us with force.
That is why it is necessary for every newspaper and magazine to re-publish those cartoons, as I will do in the next print issue of The Intellectual Activist.
This is not merely a symbolic expression of support; it is a practical countermeasure against censorship. Censorship—especially the violent, anarchic type threatened by Muslim fanatics—is effective only when it can isolate a specific victim, making him feel as if he alone bears the brunt of the danger. What intimidates an artist or writer is not simply some Arab fanatic in the street carrying a placard that reads "Behead those who insult Islam." What intimidates him is the feeling that, when the beheaders come after him, he will be on his own, with no allies or defenders—that everyone else will be too cowardly to stick their necks out.
The answer, for publishers, is to tell the Muslim fanatics that they can't single out any one author, or artist, or publication. The answer is to show that we're all united in defying the fanatics.
That's what it means to show "solidarity" by re-publishing the cartoons. The message we need to send is: if you want to kill anyone who publishes those cartoons, or anyone who makes cartoons of Mohammed, then you're going to have to kill us all. If you make war on one independent mind, you're making war on all of us. And we'll fight back.
This observation is very perceptive, since the Danish imams have since admitted on candid camera that they were deliberately singling out Jyllands-Posten in order to crush them.
UN's Special Rapporteur, Doudou Diéne, had leaked a report where he calls Danes Racists and Xenophobes.
It now turns out that Mr. Doudou Diéne has never visited Denmark before writing his report. Danish foreign minister, Per Stig Møller, says (Danish text, my translation) "UN's Special Rapporteur on racism and intolerance, Doudou Diéne, before producing the report, has neither visited Denmark nor consulted the Danish government.". The report was never sent to the Danish government, and no reaction was asked for.
This explains the very strange description that Mr. Diéne has of the cartoons. From Agora's translation:
This newspaper published, September 30, 2005, 12 caricatures of the Prophet Muhammed. Inter alia, three of these caricatures show: the head of the Prophet wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb with a lit wick, the Prophet in the likeness of a devil holding in his hand a grenade, and the Prophet offering virgin girls to committers of suicide bombings.
The first part is true - everybody has seen the cartoon with the bomb-shaped turban.
But the cartoon with "the Prophet in the likeness of a devil" is one of the fake Mohammed cartoons made by the Danish imams. And this devil doesn't have a grenade in his hand.
The third one is wrong too: "the Prophet offering virgin girls". The whole point of Jens-Julius' cartoon is that the Prophet is not offering virgins. "Stop, stop. We have run out of virgins."
So not only has Doudou Diéne not visited Denmark and not consulted the Danish government, but he hasn't even seen the cartoons he's condemning.
If you want to write a UN report about a foreign country, you have to visit it, Mr. Diéne. Don't Doudou this at home.
The crazy cartoonist was a silent Danish comic strip from the 50'ies. The main character was a penciller, who could draw objects and make them become real.
|The crazy cartoonist by Jørgen Mogensen|
Cartoonist Ivar Gjørup (alias Olfax) has made a grim tribute to the old master - and he writes (my translation):
I'm siding with the twelve good Danish cartoonists, who are now - along with the rest of us - forcibly committed to a power game, which we have had nothing to do with, home and abroad. And I'm siding with the offended believers, whose feelings are being exploited in the same power game, greatly endangering the inhabitants of the Earth – from all faiths.
Ivar Gjørup is the creator of the comic strip Egoland, which is in my opinion the world's best strip, but - alas - untranslatable. Gjørup also writes (Danish text, my translation):
In these crazy times, our worst fear has become reality. We have created our own bogeyman-image, and it's the bogeyman-image that's killing us.
See Ivar Gjørup's own page for sample of the vintage Crazy Cartoonist.
|"Taking fun as simply fun, and earnestness in earnest|
shows how thoroughly thou none, of the two discernest." (Piet Hein)
Akkari with a cartoon of Khader: "But this here is only a joke."
Cartoon by Rasmus Sand Høyer
Khader was reported to have had a break-down and to have gone under ground, but according to his own homepage (Danish text): "There's a lot of speculation about my situation right now. But let me make it clear: I have not gone under ground and neither have I broken down. I need to collect myself after several months of stress, and I need to be together with my family."
On the same candid camera, Abu Laban was quoted for talking about a `Martyr Action' Plot
Danish imam Abu Laban made the comments to an associate in Arabic in front of a French cameraman they knew didn't understand the language, Danmarks Radio said. The conversation was recorded by a hidden camera, the broadcaster said. In the conversation, Laban talks of a person who ``will create complete havoc and conduct a martyr act,'' Danmarks Radio reported, without specifying whether the threats were made against a particular country.
However, the double-tounged imam was able to explain it all in a tour-de-force of double-talk: Martyr-action is just an expression (Danish text, my translation):
Reporter: According to the TV-clip, you said he would wreak havoc?
Abu Laban: That is to make a story out of nothing. If your son is insubordinate and don't want to sleep or go to school, you may say, you'll break his neck if he doesn't do as you tell him. But that's just an expression one employs.
Reporter: You used the word martyr-action. That sounds as a terror-action?
Abu Laban: But if the television had consulted me beforehand, we wouldn't have had to discuss it here. Then the case would have been closed.
Reporter: So you can say with certainty that it wasn't a terror-action he was talking about?
Abu Laban: Would you invite people to discuss terror on a cafe? There was a journalist from France. Everything was open. Nothing was secret. There is no reason to exaggerate the meaning.
An Indian minister has promised 10,000,000 dollars and the assassin's weight in gold, for killing the cartoonists.
Cartoonist's wife: "Can I be sure that the man really has the money?"
Cartoon by Rasmus Sand Høyer
Reporter: But isn't a martyr-action a terror-action?
Abu Laban: If one says one wants to »blow up this meeting«, it means that one wants to stop the meeting. Not that one wants to explode people. I'm not a terrorist. The media should stop this. Everything is being translated as if we work with terror, and that isn't true.
Reporter: If this had been about a terror-action, what expression would you have used then?
Abu Laban: If we are told about this kind of things, we know who are in charge of security in Denmark - that's the police - and then they would be informed.
Reporter: Did you consider informing the police at that time?
Abu Laban: There is no terrorist. This is fantasy and an illusion of what can be heard on the tape.
Reporter: What happened to the person you spoke about. Did he get a meeting with Amr Moussa?
Abu Laban: I have tried to ask other people about this, but there are so many people who have went to Egypt, so I don't know.
Reporter: From where had you heard about this person?
Abu Laban: We are so many people who hear so much.
Reporter: Did you think, that what he was going to do, was a good idea?
Abu Laban: That's people's own business. Why should I interfere? This is a free country and people can do as they please and meet whom they want to. Everybody has been much engaged since the cartoons were published.
Reporter: What was the name of the person you spoke of?
Abu Laban: Believe me: I have just returned. I don't recall. I'm trying to remember. Maybe, when I see the clip from TV, it will appear to me.
Confused? Well, yet another spokesman for The Danish Islamic Community, this time it was Kasem Said, said that Akkari was removed as spokesman. On the other hand Akkari said to Jyllands-Posten (March 26, page 4) that he's still spokesman. On the other hand (or is it third hand) I stumbled over this interview where Akkari denies being an imam:
Q: I have read you are an imam?
A: No, I am a spokesman for 27 organisations. I am a Danish citizen, I have some theological background, but I am educated in sociology and pedagogy.
And don't get me started on the conference in Bahrain - and which imam wanted to stop the boycott and which imam wanted to continue it and whether the conference was a success.
For instance Imam Shaykh Raed Hlayhel admits they are deliberately working to single out Jyllands-Posten, instead of trying to debate with other newspapers that have published Mohammed-drawings: "I think that the pressure should be maintained in order to create a climate of hate against the newspaper, God willing".
Ahmed Akkari said about Naser Khader, member of the Danish Parliament and founder of Democratic Muslims: "If one day he should become minister for immigrants or integration, shouldn't one then send over two guys to blow up him and his ministry?"
At the end of the session, Abu Zakaria, who's apparently Abu Laban's assistant, threatens the French journalists (without knowing about the hidden camera):
I warn you that if there's anything negative in what you have filmed or what you're going to write, it wouldn't be good for you or your friends. This is just a piece of advice I give you and your friends. It is necessary that you bring a positive image of us, and not something that is against us. I prefer to express myself clearly.
This "advice" was not really necessary, since Mohammed Sifaoui is already living under police protection and has done so for three years.
Today Ahmed Akkari denies ever having been together with Shaykh Raed Hlayhel and a French journalist, and says: "I have never said such about Naser Khader, but they shall be welcome to prove it".
This is exactly what French TV2 intends to do tonight.
|"to blow up him and his ministry?"|
Added: Danish TV2 has contacted Akkari, who at the moment is in Bahrain.
Akkari initially said that he had never been in a car with a French journalist and dared anybody to prove it. Now, that it has been proved, he remembers the situation, but claims it was a jest.
Akkari has written an open letter (Danish text) to Naser Khader, where he assures Khader that it was only a crude joke. He then proceeds to teach Khader: "In Denmark there's a tradition for humour, sarcasm, irony and jest - and I have often heard the same kind of playful remarks from different sides. Not just from Muslims."
This is truly astounding news: Akkari and 5 other Danish Imams are currently attending a conference in Bahrain, where they'll decide what "punishment" they are going to mete out on Denmark in return for 12 innocuous cartoons published half a year ago! 1,6 billion Muslims (has anybody noticed, how the number is constantly rising?) have been deadly insulted!
That's right, Akkari: "In Denmark there's a tradition for humour, sarcasm, irony and jest".
Added: Naser Khader has gone into hiding. The most of the day, he has been too shocked to give a statement - and now he's gone underground and is considering resigning from politics. He's no longer sure it's worth the risk.
Added: I just saw the French program on Danish TV2. Most of the program is a sober-minded round-up of the Cartoon Jihad, the contents of which would not come as a surprise, if you have followed the blogosphere.
The threats against Khader are much discussed in the media, but I predict it will all come to nothing. It will be hard for a prosecutor to prove Akkari wasn't joking with his friends.
The most interesting part, IMHO, is how they admit to having targeted Jyllands-Posten in their campaign and how they have singled Jyllands-Posten out. Apparently there's old hate behind it - the imams didn't like it when Jyllands-Posten wrote about the Danish Guantanamo prisoner, Slimane Abderahmane and his connections with the mosque on Grimhøjvej, Århus.
For instance, Abu Laban repeats that the cartoons in Weekendavisen were worse that those in Jyllands-posten. This claim sounds odd to me, since those cartoons are not really about Mohammed, but the Imams are apparently earnest. The journalist then asks the logical question, why they don't target Weekendavisen - and are told, "We have concentrated on the source of the problem, i.e. Jyllands-posten and not Weekendavisen. The primary problem comes from Jyllands-posten".
Another revelation is when Akkari discusses how Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen have regretted the cartoons. He thinks the government should send this apology to all "Muslim countries". And the reason for this is not that Akkari wants to comfort the tormented souls of 1,6 billion offended Muslims. Akkari's cold and cynical reasoning is that the words of the apology will remove all political support for Jyllands-Posten.
Mohammed Sifaoui's final conclusion is that Abu Laban belongs to an extreme branch of political Islam, and that the group of Danish imams have used the caricature-case in an attempt to force their their laws, rules and doctrines on the European society.
I won't be blogging for the next 36 hours or so, so check Agora for updates.
Abu Baker Al-Qirbi, the Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, received on Tuesday a letter from the Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds, related to the insulting cartoons of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), Saba news reported.
The Swedish minister expressed her disapproval and sadness at the republication of the cartoons on a right-wing extremist group's website, adding that the Swedish government had closed the site.
Al-Qirbi also received a telephone call from Ekmeladdin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
You may wonder what terrible things the web-site had done to make the foreign minister take such drastic steps. Well, Sweden shuts website over cartoon
He had asked readers to send in their own Muhammad cartoons, but he denies intending to offend Muslims.
There may be a pun in Mohammedan / Mohamme-Danish
His website briefly posted a picture showing Muhammad from the rear, looking into a mirror, with his eyes blacked out - an image he said was about self-censorship.
"It was directed at the Swedish government and Swedish magazines," Jomshof said.
"They are cowards for not standing by the Danish people and Jyllands-Posten [Danish newspaper which first published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad last year]."
Muslims around the world have demonstrated against the cartoons since they were republished in a number of European newspapers at the end of January.
Swedish Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds described Kuriren's move as "a provocation" by "a small group of extremists".
"I will defend freedom of the press no matter what the circumstances, but I strongly condemn the provocation by SD-Kuriren. It displays a complete lack of respect," she said in a statement.
That's it: A few cartoons, including a new one, which makes an allusion to self-censorship. Notice that when Laila Freivald speaks of "extremists", she doesn't mean the rioters, who issue death threats, but a harmless cartoonist. And notice that Laila Freivald vows to "defend freedom of the press no matter what the circumstances" - unless someone actually uses their speech.
The web-site was closed, but soon reopened on a new server. However, the new site does not show the cartoons.
Later, Sweden closed down one more web-site although it's not clear how much the government was involved in this case.
You may wonder, how things could get so bad. Brussels Journal has an article about the state of affairs in Scandinavia: When Danes Pay Danegeld – Dealing with Islam in Scandinavia. The article is written by Fjordman, who used to have his own blog, where he has written about Norway and Sweden
The Danish company, Lego, was rather surprised to see their famous (and trademarked) bricks used in a poster about racism. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made the picture to the right - with a Lego brick, red as the Danish flag.
Lego weren't sure how to interpret it. Is Lego one of the "many shapes that racism can take"? Lego were also wondering why they hadn't been approached by the UN in advance, since Lego has earlier cooperated with the UN about a campaign. Lego complains about UN anti-racism poster.
“We feel that the message of this poster can be interpreted as if we are a racist company,” Lego spokeswoman Charlotte Simonsen said in Copenhagen.
“I don’t know if that’s what’s intended, but it’s definitely one way of interpreting it.”
The Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said no affiliation to Lego was intended and apologised for the misunderstanding.
Lego can be racist
Titus 2:9 Slaves must be obedient to their masters in everything, and do what is wanted without argument.
The Brick Testament, the Epistles of Paul
“The poster is in no way a comment on the specific situation in Denmark or on Lego. It is unfortunate that the poster has been interpreted as such, Diaz said.”
The Danish ministry of foreign affairs contacted the High Commission, who promised to remove the poster from the web-page and their building Tuesday evening. A spokesman for the UN claims that this has been the intention from the beginning.
The poster is very ambiguous. Is Lego/Denmark supposed to be racist? Or is the other way around? The poster shows 11 identical, black jigsaw pieces - locked together and keeping the single red brick out. Maybe they represent the 11 dark medieval repressive countries, who tried to impose their Racist Sharia-laws on the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen?
Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds has resigned, said Prime Minister Göran Persson at a press conference at Rosenbad on Tuesday morning.
[. . .]
In recent days her position became untenable as it emerged that that she knew that a foreign ministry official contacted the internet hosting company which later closed the web site of the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraternas).
Her resignation is a consequence of her having closed a web-site, which featured the twelve Mohammed cartoons, and then lying about it:
"We cannot have a foreign minister that does not tell the truth," said Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund.
The forced closure of the Sweden Democrats' site on February 9th, after pictures of the prophet Muhammad had been published on it, was strongly criticised at the time. A foreign ministry official contacted the hosting company, Levonline, as did Sweden's security police, Säpo.
Amid allegations of state censorship, prime minister Göran Persson publicly slammed the civil servant behind the move.
"However strong his personal reasons may be, with a political position as adviser in the foreign ministry he should refrain from this sort of activity," said Persson to TT.
Freivalds defended the foreign ministry's contact with Levonline and said that it had simply been to inform the company of the consequences of publishing the pictures.
At the same time, Freivalds denied that she had known of the contact in advance.
That claim has now been contradicted in a statement sent by Carl Henrik Ehrenkrona, the head of the foreign ministry's legal department, to the Chancellor of Justice, who is investigating whether the official was guilty of misconduct.
"On February 8th an official in the department, after consultation with the foreign minister, contacted the company which hosted the web site," wrote Ehrenkrona, according to the publication Riksdag & Departement.
Ehrenkrona said that point had not been for the official to pressurize the hosting company, but to offer information about the situation.
In the statement, Ehrenkrona said that there was therefore no reason to criticise the foreign ministry official for what happened.
Swedish government bodies are banned in the constitution from getting involved in what newspapers, including web-based newspapers, write.
The latter part is odd. It's true that the blasphemy claims are weakened, when it turns out that the picture-ban is only enforced by some interpretations of Islam, and - as the Mohammed Image Archive shows, Ottoman and Shiite Muslims have no problems with portraying Mohammed. But is the opposite true? Is Danish law in any way dependent on religious dogma? Should the punishment be proportional to the percentage of Muslims - worldwide and historically - who has already broken the picture-ban? Anyway, you can't accuse the prosecutor of not being thorough enough - or can you?
Predictably, the imams from The Danish Islamic Society are not amused. Spokesman Kasem Said Ahmad says (Danish text, my translation).
»The jurists who have assessed the case have not had enough knowledge of Islam and the religious symbols within Islam. This is sloppy work«, says Kasem Said Ahmad.
This is confusing - who's the spokesman du jour? Kasem Said Ahmad or Ahmad Akkari? Well, neither actually. The spokesman for the organisations, who reported Jyllands-Posten to the police, is the 23-year old Asmaa Abdol-Hamid.
She has been all but forgotten for a few months - apparently the bearded imams found it more rewarding to spread their fake Mohammed cartoons in the Middle East, but let's take a look at what Asmaa Abdol-Hamid said to Danish Television 2, October 29 2005 (Danish text, my translation):
11 Muslim organisations are reporting Jyllands-Posten to the police for blasphemy and race discrimination.
The background is that the newspaper September 30 published 12 drawings of the prophet Mohammed, who according to Islam must not be depicted. 23-year old Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, spokesperson for the organisations in the case, says that the police report focuses on the context in which the drawings were published.
We believe it has been the intent of the newspaper to insult and mock, says Asmaa Abdol-Hamid.
She points out that the newspaper's culture editor in the article, which accompanied the drawings, wrote that Muslims in Denmark must be prepared for Insult, Mock and Ridicule.
We probably wouldn't have been so offended if the drawings had been published in another context, explains Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, who expects the court to agree with her.
However legal experts don't believe that the paper is at odds with the law in the case.
The official spokesperson for 11 organisations states, that the problem is not the drawings per se, but the context. According to Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, the organisations wouldn't have been offended over the cartoons - if it hadn't been because Muslims were told to expect insult, mock and ridicule. And then she repeats the age-old misquote of Flemming Rose. But as I have pointed out, this is not what Flemming Rose said - he said the opposite.
So the 11 organisations have originally reported Jyllands-Posten because of a misquote. The prosecutor has then evaluated each and every cartoon to see if it was insulting, mocking and ridiculing. And when the prosecutor acquits Jyllands-Posten, another spokesman instantly calls it "sloppy work", because the prosecutor has "not had enough knowledge of Islam and the religious symbols within Islam".
Speaking of "sloppy work":
- Three people - Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, Kasem Said Ahmad and Ahmed Akkari can't make up their own minds and decide who is spokesman for 1,6 billion Muslims.
- They can't tell the prosecutor what their charge against Jyllands-Posten is - is it something "very special" about Islam - or is "the context"
- The complaint against Jyllands-Posten is based on a misquote.
Yup, that's sloppy work.
But these are so much worse.
The advantages for Danish women of converting to Islam:
They escape the eternal discussions about, who's going to arrange Christmas Eve for the family. At last they can find a use for their Charlotte Sparre-scarfs, which have been stored away in a moth bag at the back of the drawer. They get an opportunity to combine the spiritual with the practical, since they can mop the floor and pray at the same time. Camping trips will be much easier, when you are always wearing a tent. They won't have to shave their legs.
Ooh - that's insulting. Calling the burqa a tent. Ouch. Comparing the movements a praying Muslim with those of a scrubbing woman. Double ouch. Saying that Muslim women neglect their personal hygiene. Ouch. Ooh. Yah. Eeek. The agony, the ignomy.
Somebody call Tøger Seidenfaden, somebody call Politiken. This is what Seidenfaden calls Insult, Mock and Ridicule. Somebody ..... hey wait. These racist jokes are published by Politiken and republished by Politiken's publishing house in At tænke sig Årgang 2005. Oops.
When Jyllands-Posten originally published the 12 cartoons, they were accompanied by an article in Danish. Let me quote Wikipedia's translation:
The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule. It is certainly not always attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but that is of minor importance in the present context. [...] we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell how the self-censorship will end. That is why Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has invited members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Muhammad as they see him. [...]
Unfortunately this quote was too long for many people, so a much shorter version soon started to circulate: "Jyllands-Posten have said they published the cartoons in order to insult, mock and ridicule Muslims"
Is that a fair summary? No, it's not - because it says the opposite of the original article. Flemming Rose wrote that we couldn't have one group demanding special treatment and special considerations. Newspapers should be free to criticize all religions, unions and political parties. As I have pointed out, Jyllands-Posten has printed cartoons satirical of Christianity before.
However, the short version is more catchy (and infinitely more useful) so it appears often. One example was in CBS's sixty minutes - as Samuel Rachlin explains:
The editor of Politiken, Toger Seidenfaden, who was presented by Bob Simon as a defender of Jyllandsposten has, in fact, been one of the fiercest critics of the paper, a competing paper. Seidenfaden is an adamant campaigner against the government. He is now being charged with having launched a vendetta against the government, and his paper has lately been busy with publishing numerous corrections of major errors in its coverage of the cartoon scandal. In the TV story, he gets away with saying “They (Jyllandsposten) explained on their front page that they were doing this, and I quote, “To teach religious Muslims in Denmark that in our society, they must accept to be scorned, mocked and ridiculed.” He is committing one of journalism’s worst sins, misquoting a source.
Tøger Seidenfaden said - and I quote!
Seidenfaden's newspaper, Politiken was also the paper with their own vendetta against Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen. Politiken falsely claimed that Jyllands-Posten ignored warnings when they printed the cartoons.
The Danish cartoons story was a test, and the civilized world failed it. ..
[. . .]
It's summed up by the CNN technique: whenever the story comes up, they show the cartoons but with the Prophet's image pixilated. Watching, you wonder briefly if it's not your own face that's pixilated. Maybe you dozed off and fell face down in the blancmange and you're not seeing it properly. But no, you grab a towel and wipe your eyes and, when you look again, they're still doing it: the graphics department of a major news network is obscuring the features of a cartoon face. If you weren't paying attention, you'd assume Mohammed must have entered the witness protection program.
But, of course, its meaning is the exact opposite: it's CNN that's entered the witness protection program, or hopes it has. The BBC, disgracefully, did the Islamists' work for them, spreading around the world the canard that one of the cartoons showed Mohammed as a pig. No. That was one of the three fake cartoons added by the Danish imams in part because the original 12 were felt to be insufficiently incendiary. If it's an outrage for an infidel to depict the Prophet, isn't it an even greater one for a believer to do so? Who did those Danish Islamists hire to cook up the phoney cartoons and have they killed him yet?
|Spokesman Akkari showing the press a photo of "Mohammed as a pig". Actually it's a photo from a French pig-calling competition|
The imams were told by the Public Prosecutor that Jyllands-Posten's 12 cartoons did not constitute an offence under neither section 140 (blasphemy) nor section 266 b (racism) of the Danish Criminal Code. So they decided to "internationalize the issue".
To this end, they assembled 43 pages with various allegations, distortions, mistakes and outright lies. They included the 12 cartoons from Jyllands-Posten, a back page from WeekendAvisen and three fake Mohammed cartoons, which had never appeared in any Danish medium.
The presence of the dossier was detected by Ekstra Bladet, who published it: The imam and the unbelievers of Denmark. For reasons unknown to me, Ekstra Bladet's copy is a low-quality, black and white scan and the pages are out of sequence. Ekstra Bladet has also translated the Arabic text into Danish, but that page ("Imamens vantro Danmark)" seems to be unavailable.
|Video still: Imam Abu Bashar presenting the imams' own fake cartoons in Cairo: "This is one of the worst pictures can anyone ever imagine. They imagine our prophet(PBUH). Hands of a man praying and a face of a pig".|
It is this jumbled version that has been reproduced at mysterier.org/politikk/ekstrabladet/hefte/ and which has been preserved at WikiPedia.
However, the Akkari-Laban dossier is now available in glorious colours in PDF-format and Politiken has made a new translation into Danish: Islamisk Trossamfund mappe (dansk oversættelse). Tip: The file is quite large (12MB) so if you want to save it, it's best to right click the link and select "Save destination as".
It appears that Ekstra Bladet has published the 43 pages in a rather haphazard order. This can be seen partly by comparing with the PDF-file, and partly by studying the little numbers which are written with a pencil in the top, right corner of Ekstra Bladet's scans.
Since Ekstra Bladet's copy has formed the basis for months' worth of discussion I would like to set the record perfectly straight:
|Ekstra Bladet's text||Ekstra Bladet's file name||Real number|
Director of Public Prosecutions Henning Fode upheld the decision of a regional prosecutor who ruled the drawings published in Jyllands-Posten Sept. 30 did not violate Danish law. Fode's decision cannot be appealed.
His ruling said the 12 cartoons, one of which shows the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, did not violate bans on racist and blasphemous speech.
"My decision is that there is no violation of the said rules of the Danish Criminal Code," Fode said in a statement.
Henning Fode has detailed the reasons for his decision in Danish and English. Henning Fode has assessed the drawings in the light of section 140 (blasphemy) and section 266 b (racism), the constitution (Grundlov) section 77 (free speech) and the European Human Rights Convention, article 10 (free speech). He has looked at the intention behind each of the laws, the definition of some of the keywords (like "mockery" and "scorn") and the article in Jyllands-Posten, which accompanied the drawings. He describes each and every of the 12 cartoons and he even comments on the false claim that Islam forbids depicting the prophet - in fact he has produced a separate document in Danish about Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
Predictably, members of The Danish Islamic Community are not satisfied (Danish text, my translation).
|Yes, I PhotoShopped this image. A guy can dream can't he?|
»The jurists who have assessed the case have not had enough knowledge of Islam and the religious symbols within Islam. This is sloppy work«, says Kasem Said Ahmad.
Kasem Said Ahmad was the former spokesman who back in the start of December told the cartoonists to relax because he was about to go to the Middle East and appease the angry Muslims, before somebody got hurt. After which he went to Egypt with a propaganda booklet full of inflammatory lies and three fake Mohammed cartoons
If Muslims are offended - why don't they go after the real blasphemers - Kasem Said Ahmad, Abu Laban and Ahmad Akkari, who distributed the drawings of Mohammed as a pig.
Half past five today, about 40 ambassadors were called to the Danish ministry of foreign affairs, where the decision was read aloud. After that there was time for questions, but none were asked. This might be because they only had received 90 minutes notice.
Five were arrested
All five were arrested on suspicion of using words or written material to stir up racial hatred, and four of them were also arrested on suspicion of incitement to murder.
Slogans on placards seen at the demonstration included "Free speech go to hell," "Behead the one who insults the prophet" and "Massacre those who insult Islam."
Police, who said they had received about 500 complaints about the demonstration, said they examined 60 hours of video footage from surveillance cameras.
Some 22 people have been considered for prosecution, but police said they were still trying to identify some of them.
"....still trying to identify some of them". Yes, I can see why it would take some time.
"We're the ones who will change you," Krekar told Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet in his first interview since an uproar broke out over cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims.
"Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes," Krekar said. "Every western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries are producing 3.5 children.
"By 2050, 30 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim."
Where have I heard that one before? "Muslim women breed a lot of children - and one day Muslims are going to take over". Oh yes, that's what we are told by the ultra right wing - like retired Danish politician, Mogens Glistrup. In 2003 Glistrup said: "The followers of Muhammed have come to Denmark in order to drive the Danes out of their native country". For this, the 76-year old Glistrup received a sentence of 20 days in prison.
Other extremists have attained notoriety for saying that "Muslims multiply like rats". But Krekar is apparently allowed to say Muslims multiply like mosquitoes.
These days it's hard to tell one extremist from the other. Are mosquitoes more politically correct than rats? Or does Racism laws only apply to non-Muslims?
In writing this letter they broke several basic rules of diplomacy.
- They sent the letter to the Prime Minister instead of sending it to the foreign minister.
- Before giving the Prime Minister a chance to answer, they leaked the letter to the press. Incredibly as it may sound, Politiken inadvertently revealed that that they had a draft of the letter.
- They made demands, which they knew the Prime Minister couldn't possibly meet
The letter contained the request:
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.
Naturally, in a free country, the Prime Minister is unable to take the free press "to task under law", which Fogh politely explained in his written reply.
Much of the criticism against Fogh, from abroad and from his political opposition in Denmark has been that he didn't give in to the demands in the letter. However, Mona Omar has later admitted, that the demands were never meant to be accepted. She said to the Oman daily, al-Watan:
As a matter of fact I feared that the case would end with an apology from the Prime Minister - leaving more than one billion Muslims overwhelmed with sorrow and anger.
The best thing the Danish PM did, was not to apologize for the scandalous attitude. If he had apologized, this case would have been closed and finished temporarily - in order to return again, some times in the form of a caricature drawing, other times in the form of articles or in the form of new attacks.
In fact the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, has played a great role in connection with this, since the minister has continuously instructed me on how I should act in the case
[. . .]
The Danish PM stated on the occasion of the New Year, that he rejects any act, which aims to insult any religion.
Some thought that the case would simply end, since they meant that this statement could be regarded as an indirect apology. But Saudi-Arabia continued with their efficient reaction and called their ambassadors home
These statements, which can be read (in Danish) here and here are not what you would expect to hear from a diplomat. She feared that Fogh Rasmussen would apologize, because without a proper escalation of the crisis, Denmark might still use its free speech another day to make a drawing, an article and something else, which might offend Mona Omar's delicate taste. When Fogh did apologize, Ms. Omar was glad that the Saudi's "continued with their efficient reaction" and that Saudi-Arabia found themselves an easy victim.
|Mona Omar: Together we can prophet from this case.|
(Notice the fake pig snout in Akkari's hand
Cartoon by Rasmus Sand Høyer
In fact, the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs issued visa, let the Danish imams travel as diplomats and introduced them to the highest Islamic authorities.
The first Danish delegation left 3rd December, when Kasem Said Ahmad, press spokesman for the society, reassured the cartoonists, that he would put in a word for them in the Middle East. The delegation, led by imam Abu Bashar, went to Egypt and met the leader of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, a meeting which would have been unthinkable without the help of the Egyptian embassy. Abu Bashar showed his own fake Mohammed cartoons with Mohammed as a pig. The secretary Alaa Roushdy has later told that the two Danish Muslims told him about a Islam-critical movie, which Denmark was going to produce. Another Imam-lie.
The delegation also met the Egyptian grand Mufti Muhammad Said Tantawy - and even more important: The Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, promised to bring up the case on the conference in Mecca, where the 57 countries of the OIC were going to meet in December. Later when Mr. Gheit went to Mecca, he brought along a copy of the infamous Akkari-Laban dossier.
For a good measure, the Egyptian government also reported Denmark to EU, UN, the Arab League and the Islamic Conference (OIC), knowing fully well that a reply would not come before after the Egyptian election.
But while they were putting Denmark in general, and Fogh Rasmussen in particular, under maximum pressure from several sides, they were passive towards the Danish ministers, who during 15 contacts between the Danish and the Egyptian ministries of foreign affairs were led to believe that any trouble would be fixed by Fogh Rasmussen's New Year's speech. Thus Mona Omar's fears did not come true - and Fogh Rasmussen did not give in.
Why did the Egyptian government act so strangely? One explanation is the upcoming Egyptian election, where the government was afraid of losing to the Muslim Brotherhood - and needed the issue to escalate in order to appear as the True Defenders of the Faith. Abu Laban said something similar to the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Abu-Laban began working closely with Cairo's embassy in Copenhagen, holding several meetings with Egypt's ambassador to Denmark, Mona Omar Attia. "Egypt's embassy played a fundamental role," he says. Egypt and other Arab regimes saw the furor as a good opportunity "to counteract pressure from the West" and "to show people they are good Muslims," he says.
So according to Laban, it was "a good opportunity [...] to show people they are good Muslims"
After the election, the Egyptian government cancelled their promised reforms - e.g. local elections which should have taken place at the beginning of this year - and arrested a number of leading members of The Muslim Brotherhood.
I have mentioned one example before: who are behind the riots? Kasem Said Ahmad, then spokesman for The Danish Islamic Community, told the cartoonists to relax "They didn't know how much the drawings would offend" and advised Jyllands-Posten to "come out with an apology because the drawings offended religious feelings" And while the cartoonists followed Mr. Ahmad's advice - and relaxed - and Jyllands-Posten took the advice - and apologized - Mr. Ahmad and his brethren went to the Middle East to spread their inflammatory lies and their own blasphemous cartoons.
This is truly a strange behaviour. Whom could it benefit?
Another instance was the two-tongued Abu Laban, who while in Denmark, said he was against the boycotts - and then went on al-Jazeera to say "If Muslim countries decide to boycott, and if Muslims feel that it is their obligation to defend the prophet, then that is something we can be happy about".
The Egyptian government is even stranger. Their Foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, has had 15 meetings and contacts with the Danish foreign minister, where he had assured him that relations between Denmark and Egypt were fine. In reality, Ahmed Aboul Gheit was preparing the ensuing boycott of Danish goods. He even said so in a report, until Politiken asked him about it (Danish text, my translation):
Until this week the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs claimed that it was the Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who took the initiative to boycott Danish goods.
This appears from a report concerning the Mohammed-case, which the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs has produced.
Error in report
But when Politiken met the foreign minister this week, he sharply distanced himself from that part of his report: »That is an error in the report. We have never done that«, he says.
In the report it said that Egypt, few days after [Danish Prime Minister] Anders Fogh Rasmussen in October last year had refused to meet the Danish ambassadors, decided to spread an idea to boycott Danish goods.
»The foreign minister also requested that there should be sent an official note about the case to both the Arab League and the Islamic Conference [OIC], and that we should set forth demands for a boycott of Danish goods in all the Muslim and Arab world«, says the report.
So the appeasing Egyptian foreign minister was quite openly preparing a "spontaneous" consumer boycott - and when caught by the Danish press, he said that the rest of the report was fine, but that particular part was a erroneous.
And if that isn't strange, he also claimed to have phoned the Danish foreign minister several times, while the the Danish foreign minister flatly denies having received any calls from Egypt at all (Danish text).
But in the next post we shall look at the strangest of them all (picture to the right): The Egyptian ambassador, Mona Omar Attia.
For his reason, a new Danish union, Kvinder for Frihed (women for freedom) wanted to hire Ms. Rehman for the International Women's Day this Wednesday. The director of the Betty Nansen theatre, Henrik Hartmann , liked to idea to begin with, but then he got cold feet and rejected the offer. He later told Politiken (Danish text) that it was neither censorship nor self-censorship, but that "it was an artistic decision to say no thanks".
According to the mail Henrik Hartmann sent to Kvinder for Frihed, he regards Shabana Rehman as a both interesting and fantastic stand-up comedian, and his refusal has nothing to do with her artistic level. But she cannot stand as the only voice in connection with an arrangement at the theatre. The Theatre's performances are based on »as wide a richness of nuances of attitudes as possible«.
Apparently the message is that whenever an artist ridicules Islam's view on women, it must be followed by another artist with a positive point-of-view. Jyllands-Posten (Danish text) chides Henrik Hartmann for not being able to call a spade a spade, but instead calling the spade an "artistic decision".
One person, who might take umbrage at Shabana Rehman's performance, is the Norwegian Mullah Krekar whom she lifted on television two years ago: Krekar furious after lift-up stunt. According to Politiken (Danish text) Rehman's argument was that a man lifted by a women cannot be a fundamentalist. The mad Mullah got madder, grabbed the microphone and and exploded: »Just as I don't have the right to lift her, she hasn't the right to lift me or grab me. She displays contempt for me, Why doesn't she kiss me, now that she's started? My wife is here in the audience - what will happen if these pictures are shown to an imam?«"
Mullah Krekar then demanded that all photographers should destroy their photos - and some of them complied. The Mullah then reported the incident to the police, attacked a journalist, forgave Rehman and the police dropped the case
Mullah Krekar is sentenced to 15 years prison in Jordan for his connections with al-Qaeda. Last summer, the Norwegians considered expelling Krekar for security reasons. He was quoted for calling bin Laden "Islam's jewel", but Krekar defended himself by claiming that he called all true believers for "Islam's jewel".
It would appear the Krekar was not expelled. One month ago he was still enjoying Norwegian protection and presumably living on Norwegian welfare, while he declared war against Denmark and Norway: "The war has begun, [. . .] It does not matter if the governments of Norway and Denmark apologize, the war is on."
Click the mouse and let Rehman lift Krekar. More details about the Mullah's up-lifting experince at Dhimmi Watch and Faith Freedom.
|Weekendavisen: Mother with prophet|
The picture to the right is an abstract painting. It's an old joke (at least in Denmark) that if you don't know what to call an abstract painting, you can call it "Mother with child". Weekendavisen in their alleged satire called the painting "Mother with prophet".
The imams have reproduced this cartoon and distributed it all over the Middle East to ensure that 1,3 billion Muslims would get sufficiently offended - except that their translation is wrong. The Arabic caption reads "make fun, amuse yourself and play with the prophet".
"mother" in Danish is "mor" - and "amuse oneself" is "more sig". So let's look at two different Danish sentences:
"Mor med profet" = Mother with prophet
"Lav sjov, mor dig og leg med profeten" = Make fun, amuse yourself and play with the Prophet.
I suppose it's an honest mistake, but whoever prepared the Akkari file has little knowledge of Danish, he has added several words and he has absolutely no sense of humour.
Sadly, one of those, who perpetuate this false information, is a Danish journalist writing in International Herald Tribune:
For 20 years, Muslims have been denied a permit to build mosques in Copenhagen. And there are no Muslim cemeteries in Denmark, so the bodies of Muslims have to be flown back to their home countries for proper burial.
"No Muslim cemeteries" So what happens to dead Muslims? Are they lying in the streets? Fortunately our Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs has made a fact page:
The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs has approved around 100 individual religious communities including Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Old Norse congregations. 19 of these are Muslim congregations.
And to set the record even more straight:
- In Denmark as a whole there are about 120 mosques or Muslim prayer rooms.
- In Copenhagen and a number of other cities in Denmark parts of the public cemeteries are reserved for the burial of Muslims.
- Muslim communities are free to establish their own cemeteries according to Danish law, and a large Muslim cemetery in the Copenhagen area is expected to open this year.
- No burning of the Koran has taken place in Denmark. Burning the Koran may constitute a criminal offence and result in a prison sentence.
- In Denmark there is free access to set up Private Independent Schools, which receives government funding covering 75 – 80 per cent of their expenses. This includes free access to set up Muslim schools. Currently there are 18 Muslim and Arabic Private Independent schools, with approximately 3500 pupils.
So far from being persecuted, there are 19 flavours of Islam in Denmark with 120 mosques and prayer rooms - for a Muslim population which is estimated to be between 160,000 and 200,000.
Mosques and Churches (except for the official Lutheran church) are not funded by the state as such, but contributions to churches are tax deductible and the state will support culture. All you have to do is combine the two words "culture" and "kids", and the state will pay you for teaching kids about Muslim culture, Arabic language, Koran-singing etc. etc. Ofttimes the imams are de facto paid by the state, when they - like Abu Laban - live on welfare, or like Abu Bashar work as imams in prisons.
The snag is that these 120 mosques are modest buildings: apartments, old office buildings or factories - what we don't have is impressive buildings with minarets and calligraphic inscriptions. But this does not mean that Muslims are not allowed to build mosques. On the contrary, a very large ground - close to Copenhagen's center - has been allocated for this purpose for almost 20 years. (see the area marked in red).
So why don't we have a "real" mosque yet? For a very mundane reason: If you want a large piece of property in the middle of Copenhagen, 500 meters from the Danish parliament, 600 meters from city hall, close to water and green areas, and if you want to build an imposing testament to Allah's greatness with potent minarets - you have to pay for it.
The same thing with churchyards. Areas have been allocated in the suburbs of Copenhagen - but if you cannot lie in the same general area as the Infidels, and if you want your grave to last forever - you have to pay for it.
In actual practice Danish Muslims are divided between Sunni, Shia, Salafi, Sufi, and Ayurveda - not to mention the 70-80% who hardly ever bother to visit any mosques. It boils down to a question of money and power. Those who control the mosque will have a monopoly on theology. Abu Laban says he supports a joint mosque in Copenhagen, but he will still try to build his own as well.
In Norway's capitol, Oslo, there's also a power struggle, but this is much more bloody. They have a mosque, but are fighting for control with knives and baseball bats. Fears lives will be lost in mosque conflict (Norwegian text, my translation):
Danny Iqbal Ghazanfar was present during the knife attack at the mosque Central Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat in Urtegata in Oslo Friday. He tells VG Nett that he fears there will be more.
- This power struggle and the conflict in the Mosque is not over with this episode. I'm afraid somebody can lose their life here, unless the authorities intervene.
In total, six persons were hurt in two episodes of violence, within and close by the mosque Central Jamat-e Ahl-e Sunnatda during the Friday prayer yesterday.
First the labour-politician Khalid Mahmood was attacked by a man with a knife just outside the mosque. A few hours later men, armed with knives and baseball bats, ran into the mosque where many people were gathered.
According to the police, no persons were seriously hurt, but several of them wil have to spend some days at the hospital.
- Long conflict
The background for the attacks are a conflict, which has gone on for a long time, claims Iqbal.
- there are 3,000 members, but only a few handpicked directors of the board. The conflict began when one of the groups were thrown out of the board without reason.
The case is bad publicity for Islam, he thinks.
- Stop monetary support
Now the authorities have to stop the economical support of the mosque until this has been cleaned up, thinks the politician, who was the Center-Party's second candidate from Oslo during the election for the parliament last fall.
- The mosque must gather the members and let them decide, who shall sit on the board. Those who are involved in the conflict today must go away from the mosque. Until this has happened the monetary support must cease, he demands.
Added: The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten has articles in English about the fighting in the mosque in Oslo: Politician in knife attack, Suspects in custody after mosque violence, Mosque may lose financial support