Statement from Danish Anti-War Coalition Re: CartoonsThis was just sent to me by my good friend Doug Brown of the Burlington Association for Nuclear Disarmament:
The western press has erroneously reported on the publication of anti-Islamic cartoons in a Danish paper as a free speech issue. Here is a good analysis from the Danish peace movement.
The Stop the War Coalition in Denmark, Nej til krig in Danish, sent the following message of support to the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War just before Saturday's rally against hate:
Greetings to all of you in Toronto and around the world who resist war and racism!
Any war has a propaganda side. And this war has been worse than any. We all know the lies about weapons of mass destruction. They have been exposed for what they are.
But a much more dangerous brand of propaganda has become an integral part of this war: the demonisation of Muslims and Arabs. In Denmark, this has amounted to an ongoing witch-hunt from politicians and the media.
So when a conservative paper, supporting the government and the war, published these cartoons it was only the last straw. It was designed as a deliberate provocation. In spite of this, Muslim organisations and ambassadors from Muslim countries sought dialogue with the government.
They did *not* demand police action against freedom of speech. They just asked the government to distance itself from and stand up against Islamophobic confrontation. The Danish government turned down this plea for dialogue. *They* let this situation escalate by their passivity.
And they did it for a simple reason: for Bush, Blair and Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen this is a very convenient divide-and-rule tactic. They want us to forget that since February 15th, 2003, public opinion has been against them and their war. Black and white, men and women, people of faith and those without, people in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa - and not least in the Middle East - millions of us have said again and again: "This is not our war, and we want to stop it."
We will not allow them to divide us. In Denmark, tens of thousands marched against the war in 2003, saying: "This war is not in our name." Last year when George W. Bush visited Denmark, tens of thousands marched again, saying: "George Bush is not welcome here." In Denmark - as well as in all other countries who have invaded Iraq and Afghanistan - a majority now demands: "Bring the troops home."
The coalition is trapped in a war they can't win. But this in itself won't stop the bloodshed. We need the majority who is against the war to manifest itself, not only in opinion polls, but in the streets and in schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. This is how we can stop the war. This is how we can stop the racism and Islamophobia.
And this is how we can pave the road for another world.
No To War Coalition, Denmark
Nej til krig