' feel pity for the poor immigrant!
mustafa.hussain at GET2NET.DK
Tue Oct 25 19:42:13 UTC 2005
Although most of the Western world has witnessed a tremendous increase in the anti-Muslim
rhetoric in the mass media and political discourse after the 9/11, and the Muslim expatriates
feel insecure in many European countries under new anti-terror legislations, the situation in
Denmark has become bad to worse for the Muslim population of roughly 175.000 in a
nation of 6 million people in the Nordic hemisphere.
Even prior to the dramatic events of 9/11, Denmark has been subjected to sever criticism by
no less than the European Council's Committee Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) in
its Second Country Report (Spring, 2001) for failing to check for growing xenophobia and anti-Muslim
prejudice. Several other independent scholarly reports and doctoral theses have in the recent past
repeatedly demonstrated that the media and political propaganda against the vulnerable minorities
has crossed all the limits of decency and the true meaning of freedom of expression in a
democratic society. However the anti-Muslim rhetoric and all the thinkable symbolic violence
to hurt the Muslims seems to have no end in the Danish press and television.
The media in symbiosis with the political elite of this country by their blatant provocations are
potentially pushing the otherwise peaceful Muslims to extremism and towards a total
seclusion from the rest of the society. The ordinary labour market is already closed for the mainly
Muslim minorities and a number of youth being educated in Denmark are turning to England and
even the USA for employment opportunities. I will spare the members of the list for the
countless, and baseless, allegation against the Muslims by the political and the media elite of
the country, but would draw their attention to a very recent attempt by an influential newspaper, JP, to
stir more troubles and insecurity for the Muslims by publishing 12 different cartoons of their
prophet Muhammed among which one is shown wearing an Arabic head-gear (turban)
with a hidden bomb underneath it. And all this under the holiest month of Ramadan for the Muslims.
About twelve ambassadors from the Muslim countries, including from Pakistan, wrote a letter
of concern to the Prime Minister of Denmark (who also carries an informal title of Minister of the Press),
the leader of the Liberals, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen. He bluntly refused to acknowledge their concern by
referring to the typical rhetorical move that "we have freedom of press and expression in this country".
The ambassadors later on requested to meet with him personally to explain their viewpoint, which he also
turned down, advising them to go to the courts.
Now interestingly, the same newspapers and the politicians who beat the drums of freedom of expression
as a pretext to provoke the Muslim communities, blame the Muslims for not respecting our
freedom of expression, when the Muslim use their freedom of expression showing that their religious feelings are
hurt by such acts of provocations. Through such circular argument the elite keep on reproducing hatred
against the Muslims and their alienation from the society.
It is hard to be convinced whether terrorism or extremism is an innate Islamic quality or it intentionally is
being bred by the anti-Muslim ideology of the elite (also) of this country.
Even the press in Israel, who has been at war with the Muslims for many years, has not gone to such extremes,
which one may witness in the Danish press with the full backing of the governing elite.
Hurting other religious minorities of any faith has never been a democratic value or a truly secular deed.
But then perhaps one should comfort oneself by recalling the famous phrase from Shakespeare's
formidable drama Helmet that, Something is rotten in Denmark!
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