Friday, February 10, 2006

Denmark and Danes

Who are we referring to?

Just a brief reflection that, by implication, may as well result self-critical:

When we refer "Denmark" in our pro and against arguments towards a political behaviour of some, or many Danes. Can we do this in the name of logics? are we here epidemiological-nosology correct? And above all, is it fair ?

In Sweden "Denmark" is often presented in the media as an indivisible geopolitical or idiosyncratic entity. "We shall stand for Denmark", and so on. However, Denmark is more than the Prime Minister, the Danish Folkeparti and its partners in the government. More than Jylland-Posten and their crowd of followers, more than the democratic chauvinists, racists, or something else. Besides, we have the fact that the goverment coalition is supported only by 39 percent of the voters (70 seats out of N= 179 in the Danish Parliament). And further, or in the first place, we are supposed to have all the rest of the Danish people and their down-to-heart lives and commitments.

The Danish Queen Margrethe II is quoted to have said:
"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us. . ." [sources: Daily Telegraph, AFP, and Middle East Online]. Considering that Queen Margrethe is also the head of the Lutheran-Evangelical Church, of which 85 percent of Denmark's population are members [source], this would further invite to easy, and wrong, generalizations. These generalizations are the kind of logical blunders Swedish academic fanatics - some journalists included - do over and over again in characterizing immigrants, particularly Muslim people from Africa or the Middle East. [Margrethe II, portrait by Andy Warhol, 1984].

Addressing the current issue, we have to keep also in mind the "other" Danes, those for instance who among an older generation did bravely fight against the Nazi-German occupation, and those who still honour their fighting spirits and ideals. And there are certainly in Denmark those who oppose not only the filo-nazi rightists' excesses, but even the participation of Denmark in the USA’s military crusades of the Middle East. Just look at this picture (click to enlarge). Danish folks demonstrating against the Iraq war 2002. Far at the right in the picture stand some Danes holding the slogan "No blood for oil".

And there are the Danish-born immigrants of "second or third" generation. Just the Muslim immigrant population in Denmark is of a size of close to four percent of the total population. And then we have the Danish folks who have emigrated to the four cardinal directions, including Sweden, in which they constitute one of the main immigrant groups.

The problem is that in national crisis - like the one Denmark is experiencing these days - the nationalistic ties could be proven a more potent factor than true ideological convictions or ethical principles.

Is here when civil courage should arise distinctly among the Danish academics or intellectuals which truly oppose the cultural sadistic behaviours of Denmark's main newspaper Jylland-Posten, against Muslim immigrants or political refugees with that faith. Statements from those Danish-born sectors, for the moral strength of its civil courage, would certainly have a stronger appealing effect.

So, concluding this reflection. The appeal that the Swedish newspapers Dagens Nyheter, Expressen, and the political party they use to represent in their editorials (the Swedish, pro USA-Republican, Folkpartiet), on that we should be in solidarity "with Denmark", it is by all means misleading.

When addressing to the Swedish public asking for "Solidarity with Denmark", they should honestly explain which is the section of Denmark they identify themselves with, with what policies they want us to be in solidarity. They should distinctly state if and to which extent the calling for support they do is in favour of the pro-xenophobic political behaviour, domestic and international, the Danish government and the "liberal" rightist parties exercise. Hand in hand with their ideological journalist colleagues of Jylland-Posten.

For my part, I should refer not to "Denmark", but to the forces in Denmark that bear the responsibility of this cultural atrocity, which was proven to be just another big bullet fired in the international war of the rich against the poor.

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