Sunday, June 04, 2006

Denmark's Lesson For Europe

Pundits who consign Europe to future servitude under Islam are wrong, because they ignore the feedback mechanisms that underpin democracies.

Here’s an
object lesson from Denmark, the nation victimized in the Toon Riots (my ellipsis & sequencing):
…Denmark has been changed, in ways many would not have predicted a short while ago.

The slow-motion crisis began in September with publication of a dozen cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten.

Small protests occurred in Copenhagen over the cartoons, and Mr. Rasmussen (the Prime Minister)… declined even to meet with ambassadors from Islamic countries who were demanding that his government take action against the newspaper over the cartoons.

Tensions soared and Muslim governments lodged protests after…Danish Muslim leaders toured the Middle East in December with a portfolio of the cartoons (that) included clearly offensive drawings of Muhammad that had not been published.

Muslim countries announced boycotts of Danish goods -- a severe blow to an economy long reliant on exports.

The violence began in early February, when angry mobs set fire to Danish diplomatic posts in Syria and Lebanon. Protests tied to the cartoons resulted in deaths in Afghanistan, Somalia, Kenya, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt.

The sight of Danish flags being burned was particularly traumatic (to Dames): The Danish flag is believed to be one of the oldest in the world, a symbol of national identity dating back to the 13th century.
Just 3 months later, the consequences are clear, and they’re good for Denmark and its integrated Muslims, and bad for jihadists.
"...it was certainly an unusual thing for a small country such as ours to find itself the focus of such a heated situation," Prime Minister…Rasmussen acknowledged in a recent interview in his Copenhagen office.

Mr. Rasmussen's center-right government, the focus of considerable domestic and international criticism in handling the "cartoon controversy," is stronger of late in the polls, while the center-left opposition Social Democrats founder. The populist Danish People's Party, coalition partner with the prime minister's Liberal Party, also gained because of its tough stand on immigration issues.

(The) foreign-policy spokesman for the Danish People's Party, argued that the domestic debate, carried out with characteristic Danish bluntness, had been a healthy exercise.

"We have always praised how most of the Danish Muslims reacted in this affair," (he) said. "It was only when this became a big issue with the dictatorships in the Middle East and in Asia that the world had a problem. "This is an issue that you can't deal with in a dictatorship, [but one] that we have proven we can talk about here in a democracy," he added.

Yet, Denmark's single most popular political figure is a Muslim, Naser Khader, a Syrian-born moderate member of parliament who founded a post-cartoon movement -- called Democratic Muslims -- to promote the peaceful fusion of Danish values, political liberty and Islam.
It gets better - the guy that fomented violence against the country that that had given him refuge is moving on.
Meanwhile, the Copenhagen imam whom many here blame for fanning Arab and Muslim fury last winter, just as it appeared the fires had been contained, announced May 11 that he was leaving Denmark for the Palestinian territories because of the intense criticism directed at him.
If he tries the same tricks there, I’m sure the ISF will welcome him with open arms.

These heartening events show that democracies won’t tolerate barbarism in their Islamic communities, and that those communities contain decent people that understand the rules of assimilation.

France seems to be heading in the same direction. I wish I could say the same for the Brits and Germans.