The imam and the unbelievers of Denmark

Misinformation? Ekstra Bladet has had the Islamic spokesmen's review of the Muhammad case translated from Arabic to Danish

- The people of Denmark are unbelievers who hate Islam.

- We, all the Muslims in Denmark, are under attack from them, the Danes.

- In Denmark, they talk about the diseases caused by Muslim prayers.

- Relations between the West and Islam are entering a dark tunnel.

- And in printing 12 drawings of the Prophet Muhammad in September 2005 it was really Jyllands-Posten s intention to curb Muslim opinion and protests.

These are the provocative terms in which the Muslim organisations, spearheaded by Imam Abu Laban, are discussing Denmark and the controversy over the cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad that have propelled freedom of expression, a cornerstone of democracy, to the top of the agenda.

However, the case documents also contain far more conciliatory statements.

The question is: Is this misinformation or evidence of a real problem?

Judge for yourself!

Key sections
Today, for the first time in Danish, Ekstra Bladet is publishing key sections of the 43-page case file which, according to the Islamic Community in Denmark, was taken to Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. The translated sections include: the introduction, which explains why Muslims feel offended; a standard letter appealing to Islamic embassies to meet in surroundings where the press has unrestricted freedom to talk about Islam and about Muslims as it suits them ; and a letter to give to foreign authorities urging them to establish contact with relevant decision-makers .

Growing racism
The group of Muslim organisations it has grown from 11 to 21, and at the last count numbered 29 - presents the case as though speaking on behalf of all Muslims in Denmark of which there are approximately 170,000.

This country has its own language. It has a constitutional and monarchic system of government. The country consists of a number of islands, its capital is Copenhagen, it has a population of five million and most of them are Protestants. Although they claim allegiance to Christianity, secularisation has gained the upper hand, so even if you were to refer to them as unbelievers you would not be wrong' the introduction states.

This leads to problems:
One of the issues is an atmosphere that fuels a growing racism, which has gained strength of expression since the events of 9/11. And it (the racism) has many different guises, the common denominator being the disparaging reference to Islam. (Sometimes the veil is the issue, at other times circumcision, or the diseases that prayer causes and so on) .

The cause of the conflict
The letter to the embassies outlines the cause of the conflict, Jyllands-Posten s motives:

The newspaper is trying to exploit the inflamed situation and the anti-terror campaigns to curb the spread of Muslim opinion and to get Muslims to restrain their protests for fear that, should they react sharply, they will be accused of being anti-democratic and of inciting terrorism.


The 43-page case file which, according to the Islamic Community in Denmark, was taken to Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria (The Danish Islamic organisation "Islamisk Trossamfund" are responsible for the content):

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