Danish Muslims Won't Be Provoked
- Danish Muslims Won't Be Provoked
By Nidal Abu Arif, IOL Correspondent
Sun., Oct. 08, 2006
COPENHAGEN Condemning new cartoons mocking Prophet
Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Muslim
leaders in Denmark said on Saturday, October 7, they
will not be provoked by such a "childish manner," but
will take an astute action against the insult by the
anti-immigrant Danish People's Party (DPP).
"Against the background of the problems earlier, we
have to address the issue astutely," Ahmed Abu-Laban,
a Copenhagen imam who helped organize a trip to Egypt
and Lebanon last year to rally support among Muslim
leaders for protests against drawings that lampooned
the prophet, told IslamOnline.net Sunday, October 8,
in an interview.
Danish state TV on Friday, October 6, aired amateur
video footage showing a number of members of the youth
wing of the DPP at a summer camp in August, drinking,
singing and engaging in a competition to draw
humiliating images of the Prophet.
The charge-free daily Nyhed Avisen also published the
amateurish drawings on Saturday.
In September last year Danish daily Jyllands-Posten
published cartoons, including one showing the Prophet
Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, proving Muslim
condemnation from all the world over and sparking
protests early this year in which more than 50 people
died in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
In statements to Reuters, Abu-Laban said he regretted
Danish TV's decision to air the footage saying it
raised ethical questions.
"We've been working very hard to resolve the problems
since the conflict earlier this year," he said.
"This time it's a different situation. Of course it's
deplorable, but we all know the attitude the DPP have
toward Muslims and Islam and these pictures were never
intended for publication," Abu Laban said.
Qassem Said, spokesman for the Danish Islamic
Community, said the "irresponsible" act is an internal
"We don't want it to be an explosive issue," Said told
Said, whose group is an umbrella body grouping 27
Muslim organizations in Denmark, noted that
representatives of Islamic organizations in the
country will meet Sunday with Nyhed Avisen
editor-in-chief David Trads.
"The paper at issue was only seeking fame by
publishing such cartoons," he said, adding that the
Sunday meeting would focus on means of heading off a
Abu Laban, in statements to IOL, said Muslim leaders
in Denmark will invite a number of scholars soon to
have a first-hand experience on the publishing
"We consider inviting the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and
other scholars to open a dialogue," he said.
Following the cartoons crisis last year, a galaxy of
Muslim scholars established an international
organization and a fund for defending Prophet Muhammad
against defamatory attacks in the West.
The cartoons have prompted Muslim minorities in many
Western countries to champion local campaigns to raise
awareness of the merits and characteristics of the
IslamOnline.net launched on March 21 a multi-lingual
website to acquaint non-Muslims with the prophet.
Yildiz Akdogan, spokeswoman for Democratic Muslims, a
pro-integration group formed in the aftermath of the
protests against the cartoons in February, said she
was glad other parties had condemned the actions.
"I think the events are too stupid and too absurd to
provoke demonstrations or other actions from Muslims,"
"Of course it's not a good thing and definitely does
not make building bridges any easier, but I hope it
won't have any lasting effect."
The youth wings of other parties, including the ruling
Liberal party, criticized the DPP and said they would
protest by not attending any political events where
members of the Danish Peoples' Party were present.
Kenneth Kristensen, a senior member of the DPP's youth
movement, criticized the events, but stopped short of
apologizing. The party was not available to comment on
The DPP rose to prominence in a 2001 election on a
platform that combines emphasis on increased spending
on schools and care for the elderly with a strong
It has been accused of racism, but has been a
political ally of the centre-right coalition led by
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen since 2001.