Message From Denmark’s Embassy in Cairo
I am writing to you regarding the article “The Road to the Muslim Holocaust” by Ghali Hassan dated 11 October, which I came across on your website. While I do not share the views expressed in the article nor like the tone it is written in, I am with this e-mail only trying to draw your attention to two grave errors regarding Denmark in the article.
Firstly, the article quotes Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark in its beginning, which might give the wrong impression that Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark has attacked Islam. This is certainly not the case. This misunderstanding is based on a mistranslation of an interview with Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark used for a biography called “Margrethe” which was published in Denmark in April 2005. In the interview Her Majesty reflects on many topics among which Islam was one. The reflections in the book can in no way be seen as an attack on Islam or Muslims in Denmark or in any other place.
When translating the biography from Danish into English the Daily Telegraph mistranslated a sentence in Danish as follows: “We must show our opposition to Islam”. The correct translation is “There should always be a counterbalance”. The sentense was brought in a context where Her Majesty voices concerns about the rising influence of the totalitarian side of Islam, not Islam as such.
It can therefore by no means be justified to view Her Majesty the Queen’s remarks in the book as being opposed to Islam. Thus, the Queen of Denmark has never stated that she was opposed to Islam or any other religion. On the contrary, Her Majesty calls upon the need for the people of Denmark and Muslims in Denmark to live together, and not only to live side by side. In the book, the Queen sends a message of tolerance and respect.
Furthermore, I would like to draw your attention to another mistake in the article, where it is portrayed as if the Danish Peoples Party is a member of the Danish government. This is not the case – and I can inform you that the Danish Peoples Party has never been part of any Danish government.
I would therefore kindly ask you to correct the above mistakes on your website.
In light of the recent debate regarding private video-clips produced during a summer camp of the Danish Peoples Party’s Youth Organisation I further attach for your kind information the strong condemnation of the Danish Prime Minister on this issue as well as some further background information.
FIRST SECRETARY / DEP. HEAD OF MISSION
EMBASSY OF DENMARK
We greatly appreciate your response, which I find it to be enlightening. We certainly share Her Majesty the desire and the willingness to send a message of tolerance and mutual respect not only across Denmark but also across the world, especially during these difficult times in our human history. It is only through understanding and respect of other peoples’ cultures and religious believes that we can achieve peace and tranquility for our world.
Having said that, we certainly can not hold everyone to the same standards of tolerance and civility. Like in our part of the world, and in Islam in particular, there are individuals or groups who are misrepresenting our religion and ruining the relations among civilizations. These are the same extremists who are today trying to do the same thing to your country and to the great Danish people; who had always enjoyed exceptional relationship with the Muslim world throughout history.
We should not allow these extremists on both sides of the isle to dictate our way of life and force us to live in fear and give up our freedoms and noble values. We must work together to expose their ideology of hate and violence and let the large masses of ordinary people throughout the world to be vigilant to their wicked strategies.
Thank you again for your cooperation and looking forward to hearing from you,
Khaled Salam, Editor, IKhwanweb
Information regarding private video-clips produced during a summer camp of the Danish Peoples Party’s Youth Organisation
The Danish Prime Minister in a statement on Sunday 8 October 2006 said:
– I strongly condemn the behaviour of members of the youth wing of the Danish Peoples’ Party during their summer camp.
– It is an unacceptable behaviour of a small group of young people. Their tasteless behaviour does in no way represent the way the Danish people or young Danish people view Muslims or Islam.
– I have noted with great satisfaction that a broad spectrum of the youth wings of the political parties, including the Liberal Party, jointly have expressed their strong condemnation of the behaviour.
The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated the following:
– The private video-clips produced during a summer camp of the Danish Peoples Party’s Youth Organisation are showing young people acting in a deeply reprehensible way.
– Clips from this private video have later been up-loaded to the video-sharing website “YouTube”.
– All other major political youth organisations in Denmark, including organisations representing the two parties in Government, have already distanced themselves from and strongly condemned this inappropriate behaviour.
– Also the chairman of the political party to which the youth organisation belongs and its chairman have distanced themselves from the behaviour shown in the video-clips.
– There is no doubt, therefore, that such behaviour is strongly opposed in Denmark.
On its first date of publication, Friday 6 October 2006, the new free paper “Nyhedsavisen” printed as its top story that the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party, at a summer camp, had organised a competition that involved drawing pictures of the Prophet Mohammad. Articles published on Friday and Saturday describe in detail the offensive nature of the competition vis-à-vis Muslims, and a few photos were published. On the website of ”Nyhedsavisen”, there are also links to video-clips on the video-sharing website ”YouTube”, which is not a Danish-based website. There is no information available as to what persons have posted these clips on ”YouTube”. On ”YouTube, there are a total of 10-15 video-clips, which show offensive drawings and /or intoxicated members of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party making offensive statements about Muslims. According to “Nyhedsavisen”, the video-clips in questions have been produced by Martin Rosengaard Knudsen from the group of artists called Defending Denmark. He was a member of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party for 18 months in order to disclose the views of the youth organisation politicians. When it was revealed that also the events at the summer camp had been filmed, he was asked to stop making any more recordings. He was subsequently excluded from the Party. In news transmissions on Friday 6 October 2006, both the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and the TV2-channel showed brief excerpts from the video-clips in question. These clips were not shown with a purpose of provoking Muslims. Instead, they were shown as a background illustration in connection with an interview by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation of the leader of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party, Kenneth Kristensen, who condemned the video recordings.
The video-clips showing the scenes from the summer camp from Danish Peples Party’s Youth organisation have been removed from the web-sites hosted by “You tube” and “Defending denmark”. The story has also been removed from “Nyhedsavisen’s” web-site.
The video clips were produced by the artist group”Defending denmark”. According to Defending denmarks web-site, the rationale behind the clips were the following: (quote from web-site). “Defending denmark joined the youth fraction of the Danish People’s Party (DPP) in 2005 to document the Party’s extreme right wing associations”. The group finds that it has succeeded and has removed the video-clips from its web-site. According to Defending denmarks web-site the videos were uploaded from October 5th to October 9th 2006.
Joint statement by four Danish political party youth organisations
A joint statement issued on 6 October 2006 by four Danish political party youth organisations (VU (the Youth Organisation of the Liberal Party), KU (the Youth Organisation of the Conservative Party), RU (the Youth Organisation of the Social Liberals) and DSU (the Youth Organisation of the Social Democrats) states:
”The Youth Organisation of the Social Liberals (RU), the Youth Organisation of the Conservative Party (KU), the Youth Organisation of the Social Democrats (DSU), European Youth and the Youth Organisation of the Liberal Party (VU) take a common stand against the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party.
In the wake of the disclosure of the scandalising evening entertainment at the annual summer meeting of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party, where prominent members of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party behaved extremely discriminating against Muslims, we have decided to cancel all future cooperation with the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party until steps have been taken against the leadership and members responsible for this.
All the Youth Organisations strongly condemn this behaviour. It shows no respect and it is directly harmful to democracy. As top leader of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party, Kenneth Kristensen must assume responsibility and, together with the Danish People’s Party, ensure that the leadership members responsible are no longer allowed to introduce young people to youth politics and democracy.
They are quite simply not in a position to perform this task.
However, we are convinced that strong measures will be taken against the background of this disgraceful disclosure as the Danish People’s Party has a history of excluding rabid members. We therefore call on the party leadership of the Danish People’s Party to continue down this road for another while.
”We find that full responsibility for the culture that prevails in the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party rests with Kenneth Kristensen. He has been leader for eight years and has, therefore, decided the line of policy to be pursued by the Youth Organisation leadership for the last number of years. Kenneth must now take the consequence and ensure appropriate sanctions regarding those who are responsible for this. Otherwise, we cannot find any potential for future cooperation of any kind with the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party”, says Thomas Banke, political spokesman for the Youth Organisation of the Liberal Party.
”It may lead to a general problem of credibility for political party youth organisations when the leaders of the youth organisation of one of the country’s largest parties in a disgraceful manner introduce young people to that kind of primitive summer games. We are strongly opposed to that behaviour. It must have clear consequences,” says Jacob Bjerregaard, leader of the Youth Organisation of the Social Democrats.
”What I am most concerned about is that it will be altogether natural for many parents and young people to think to themselves: what on earth is going on in the political party youth organisations. Therefore, we must all condemn what happened. We owe it to the future credibility of all the political party youth organisations,” states Zenia Stampe, leader of the Youth Organisation of the Social Liberal Party.
”It is important that the Danish population – and especially Muslim groups get a clear idea that this kind of organised insult to Muslims is not tolerated in the environment of political party youth organisations. Therefore, this incident must have consequences for the leaders of the Youth Organisation of the Danish People’s Party who are responsible, to make sure that these offensive playing games with the religion of others does not turn into the beginning of yet another Muhammad crisis,” says Kasper Hülsen, leader of the Youth Organisation of the Conservative Party.”