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Another Denmark

A Danish blogger and columnist, Henrik Føhns, alerted me to a post on his blog, Mondofunza about a letter to ‘Muslim citizens’

A letter from Another Denmark

Dear Muslim citizens in Denmark and the World

I wish to state the existence of another Denmark: A Denmark that wants to live in peace with the Muslim world. There is another Denmark, which hopes for and believes in respect and tolerance between religions and different groups of people.

As a Dane I have no responsibility for what a single and privately owned Danish newspaper chooses to publish. Even so, I strongly condemn the actions of Jyllands-Posten that have offended muslims around the world, and I understand the need for an apology from the newspaper.

We all have a responsibility for treating each other, our religious faiths, and
convictions with dignity and respect. By publishing the caricatures of Muhammad, the newspaper Jyllands-Posten failed their obligation to exercise with care and consideration the right of freedom of speech.

I condemn all kinds of discrimination, prejudice and racism, whether it is directed against Muslims, Jews, Christians or other groups in a society. Therefore, I reject the hostile and prejudicial way of speaking that has marked several Danish,political parties and media within recent years.

I want to make a request to all parts involved, that opinions and protests may be conducted in a respectful and peaceful manner. Attacks on and threats against individuals and assets only make the situation worse for all of us.

I believe in a world, where religions, ethnic groups and various political and cultural opinions can coexist in an atmosphere of dialogue, tolerance and mutual respect.

I wish to state the existence of Another Denmark that conceives itself as a part of such a heterogenous world and humanity. In the sincere hope of international tolerance and respect.

Despite some agonising, Henrik’s response is unequivocal:

I have not signed the letter and do not intend to do so. I too want to live in peace with the muslim world, but I want to live by terms set by a modern democratic society. Not by rules set by autocratic, fundamentalistic, religious regimes. The outrage about the Danish cartoons have other roots than the cartoons themselves. The cartoons and Denmark have just become scapegoats for social and political disorder in the Middle East…

… I have nothing against christianity, islam or other religions. But when they start to preach and act against basic human rights – count me out.

Note: Also, Happy Birthday, Henrik!

25 comments to Another Denmark

  • The fact most in Denmark, like Henrik, do seem to ‘get it’ is heartening but it is hardly surprising that there are some who do not. Bravo Henrik for taking a principled stand.

  • Pete_London

    How pitiful. I’d put my mortgage on the person who drafted that letter being a left wing tranzi, a supporter of the EU and UN and someone sure of their own moral goodness. There is no more pathetic sight than someone’s complicity in their own subjugation.

    Speaking of the EU:

    The European Union may try to draw up a media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor caused by the publication across Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, an EU commissioner said on Thursday.

    In an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show “prudence” when covering religion.

    “The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression,” he told the newspaper. “We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right.”

    As I said, there is no more pathetic sight …

  • J

    “someone sure of their own moral goodness”

    Doesn’t that apply to most people? I don’t see much self doubt in evidence on any side of the debate these days. There’s nothing in the text of the letter to object to, although I’m inclined to agree with you about the person behind it. But, debate and argument isn’t about personality or motivation, it’s about right and wrong, and there’s nothing wrong in the text I see quoted. The text is reasonable.

    As for the EU and the frankly bizarre idea that you can self regulate a right… it doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • J, I find alot in the letter to object to. Primarily it assumes it is dealing with a rational and reasonable counterparty. It assumes that coexistence does not result in dhimmitude.

    I would not say the letter is from “someone sure of their moral goodness”, rather “someone tripping out on collective imperialist guilt by proxy”.

  • Verity

    Pete_London and TimC have got it.

  • Verity

    Via Dhimmiwatch, we see the brave Swedish government has closed down a blog that ran the cartoons. (Link)

  • At last, someone I agree with.

  • The letter just goes to show that this whole cartoon uproar was caused by a “tiny minority of Dutch extremists!”


  • Verity

    M4-10 – What do Dutch extremists, whether a tiny minority or a great majority, have to do with this? I haven’t seen Holland mentioned as a player here, other than the very brave and beautiful Dutch MP Hirsi Ali saying it is “urgent and necessary” to criticise Islam.

  • The time for letters is over…its time to stand up for what we believe in and let them know we mean business.

    Tim C & J are spot on.

  • Pete-London
    “There is no more pathetic sight than someone’s complicity in their own subjugation.”

    Tranzism is not a political but a mental state,many of them would pay good money to be subjugated.

  • Verity

    Wot Pete_London and Ron Brick said.

  • M4-10

    Verity – They should just get on with it and make Denmark, Dutch, Holland, Danes, and the Low Countries all refer to the same thing. It would make it less embarrassing for us ignorant North Americans. Maybe they should unify Europe for simplicity. *ducks*

  • Verity

    How frightfully amusing. I hope you won’t be offended if I refer to you as Mexican? It’s all in N America, after all.

  • Joshua

    I think Mexico is probably to North America what Finland is to Scandanavia. Something completely different that just happens to be on the same continent as Canada and the US.

  • Verity

    Joshua, as the Mexicans were there first, it might be the other way round.

  • Joshua

    So were the Finns.

  • Verity

    The Finns were in Scandinavia before the Vikings? Proof, please. Are you saying they’re a kind of Innuit? Well … uh, come to think of it ..

  • Joshua

    I’m no expert, naturally – just repeating stuff I’ve heard. I believe the Viking period starts in about 800AD, and the going theory is that the “Scandinavians” had only arrived shortly before the Viking period started (Thor Heyerdahl, for what it’s worth, thinks they came from Azerbaijan).

    The Finns are a harder case. One current theory has them in what’s now roughly Finland as early as the ice age (the main reasoning behind this is linguistic, I think – Finnish shows some important relations to Basque – which is otherwise a linguistic mystery – and I guess some researchers think you have to go back that far to explain the apparent links). Starting in the 1970s evidence started turning up that the Finns had probably been around Finland for at least 2000 years. Before that, I believe the going theory was that they had been there since the 1st century AD (apparently there is some documented historical evidence that supports this conclusion).

    In any case, it seems likely that the Finns were in “Scandinavia” before the “Scandinavians.”

    But you’ll want to check all this with someone who knows what they’re talking about. I study Linguistics, so my knowledge of things like this is filtered through that discipline.

  • David

    Daniel Pipes, an American journalist and academic has an interesting site at danielpipes.org – he has been writing about the growing Islamist threat for years and was even interviewed by Jylands-Posten a couple of years ago.

    He has a very good cartoon. here


  • georg

    “And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.” – Newscaster Kent Brockman from The Simpsons

  • Paul Marks

    “We” (whether that means Danes, Englishmen or inhabitants of the planet Mars) do not have a responsibility not to say that Muhammad did not do many wicked things.

    This is because that Muhammed (or however you wish to spell this man’s name) did do many wicked things – he attacked many communities (Christian, Jewish, Pagan and other) in Arabia, he enslaved people, and so on.

    As for the cartoons. Some of the followers of Muhammed do use terrorism as a tactic and they do so in his name (indeed they do so also in the name of God). Muhammed himself did not use explosives – but only because he did not have any.

    I to wish for peace with the Muslims – but not at the price of censorship.

    Nor is it a genuine choice. For if censorship is put in place, radical Muslims will simply come back at a later date with another demand and another…….

    Peace can only come if most Muslims respect truth. For example, it is no part of the Islamic faith that their prophet was God or incapable of doing bad things.

    Whether most Muslims will tolerate the expression of the truth (concerning their prophet or other matters) is a matter for them.

    If they will not, that is unfortunate.

  • Ahmed Haddad

    As for the fact that Muslims are terrorists and whatever other ‘crap’ is being told about us, I would like people to READ about Islam before throwing accusations right and left, and looking for PROOFS of what they say and not just saying it.
    And as for freedom of speech, I would like to thank the circumstances that in this very week, a british writer, known by the name of David Erving, was sentenced to three years of prison, by an Austrian court, for denying the Holocaust. Well then, is Anti-Semitism a crime and offending Muslims and their prophet not one?? Come on, enough double standards.
    I would like to thank all those who stand with us, Muslims, Christians, Jews, or people from any other groups. As for those who still debate it, I pray to God to forgive them, and guide them to the righteous path.

  • Ahmad A. Al-Mat'hammi

    If Mohammad (Parqaleta) was with us ,he might send some of us to you and talk about the religion of submittion and peace(Islam) and not do what we have done. He was thrown with more than you think but he was so kind. We love him more than our souls. He change us from killer and premitive into humadbeings. He change those who burry women alive into whom make women respected. We don’t represent Islam. It is the religion of Jesus ,Moses and all prohets. We beleive that Jesus will come back from the heavens to rule with Islam. We will say like him when those who want to kill him and they were hopeless (but you are strong) :” Go ,you are free”. This is Mohammad. I respect your words and I know you all the kind people.
    But please forgive our fool mistakes against you .I know that Mohammad would forgive you and would love you and ask Allah happiness for you. When the people of At-Taif thrown him with stones,the angle of mountains came and asked Mohammad to let him order two mountains to crash them. He said ,let them .They might have from their sons some who would beleive in my message. This is Mohammad ,Who didn’t kill a single soul.
    I love him and still he is a humanbeing but the last messenger of Allah. The one who Allah gave more than any one.
    visit this webside:
    thank you I hopeyou to live in “peace” or in Arabic ( atman’na te’eisho fi “salam”)

  • Ivana

    If some Christians are bad ,it does not mean Christianity is bad. So I believe, If some Muslims are bad ,that does not mean Islam is bad. Before judging any religion, we should deeply read about this religion in reasonable and moderate sources. Horrible people, may not belong to any religion, even if they said so.
    I lived in middle-east for 3 years, and I had many great friends, muslims and Arab friends.