Sunday, July 16, 2006

Imams: The Danes are a hateful people

Imams: The Danes are a hateful people
By Kim Hundevadt and John Hansen, Jyllands-Posten, July 13, 2006

The Danish government and the Danish people were behind a hateful campaign against Islam and muslims, according to the imams who in December participated in the delegations to the Middle East. A media-researcher belives that they consciously tried to give the Danes a collective responsibility for the Muhammed cartoons.

The Danish imams who in December travelled to the Middle East to create an international pressure on Denmark, were in at least 10 important interviews the source of misleading or false information, which helped inflame the minds of the Islamic world.

The imams claimed among other things that it wasn't just a Danish newspaper, but also the Danish government and the Danish people who was behind a hateful campaign against Islam and muslims, and that there were plans for further “terrible humiliations”.

They also told that they weren't able to be heard in the Danish media and appealed for muslim support to prevent continued attacks -- from blasphemic films to theats of buning down mosques.

This can be read from documents made available by the Foreign Ministry - including reports from the Danish embassy in Cairo, who in collaboration with the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute tried to keep an eye on what was said and written in the Middle Eastern press.

However, media-researcher Hanna Ziadeh, who during the Muhammed crisis were employed at the institure and followed the Egyptian coverage closely, estimates that the approx. 10 interviews most likely only were a smaller part of the disinformation that the imams were responsible for.

“There haven't been a systematic registration, so I am only aware of the examples that I have stumbled upon, and these are primarily from the printed press, where it is easier to document, what is being said. But there are no doubt a number of other examples. I know that incorrect claims were stated in certain TV-programs such as "el beyt beytak", but the stations refused to provide the relevant tapes,” says Hanna Ziadeh.

The imam from Funen Abu Basha, who were the leader of the delegation to Egypt and the spokesman of the imams Ahmed Akkari, have said at several occasions that they only spoke the truth during their travels and all errors must be attributed to the journalists.

Hanna Ziadeh claims though that the exaggerations and the lies are so numerous tat they cannot be the result of misunderstandments and misquotes. He also believes to be able to see a pattern in the many interviews:

“The declared intentions were to create an outcry in the muslim world so powerful that they could mobilize a broad public protest, which in the end would force Jyllands-Posten and the Danish government to apologize. But the cartoons apparently weren't enough in themselves, thus the imams were forced to emphasize that they weren't just foolhardy and harmless drawings in one newspaper, but part of a coordinated and systematic offense which included offensive movies, censorship of the Qu'ran and the government and the people of Denmark had to be hind this hate campaign against Islam and the muslims,” says Hanna Ziadeh.


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