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15. Feb 2006

Another Denmark, II


People throughout the world may be wondering how the present uproar regarding the now infamous Muhammad cartoons came to be - why Jyllands-Posten suddenly decided to run these cartoons, and why the Danish government failed to act diplomatically to contain the crisis?

The answer to both questions is that the political discourse in Denmark has been hijacked by an extreme Islamophobia which dominates center-right politics and the present government's actions to a degree which in most Western countries would be considered incredible.

Years back, I helped translate a report to the UN on racism and discrimination in Denmark - this was, at the time, already prette disconcerting reading. Since then, things have only gone worse, and Denmark is now submerged in anti-Semitism - as Yossi Sarid put it in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz: It's anti-Semitism, but this time, the Semites aren't Jews.

In this political climate, our Prime Minister (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) couldn't possibly "cave in" and express his regrets for Jyllands-Posten's childish and ultimately racist provocation - he might come through as "soft on Muslims", and some of his precious votes might go to the far right instead.

So this is the political reality from which the present crisis emerged.

But, I am writing this and supplying this Denmark to affirm that there is also another Denmark - another Denmark which is horrified by the takeover of racist agendas in politics, another Denmark which is waking up and gaining momentum. Do click on the banner and learn more, and read the more than 12,000 greetings from Another Denmark.