After the recent burnings of the Quran, first in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm on January 21, and most recently at the Friday prayer on January 27, in front of a mosque in Copenhagen, politicians are suddenly in a rush to wash their hands. As the Danish ambassador was summoned in Turkey, Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen told DR that he “distances himself strongly” from what he called “provocations”. In his own words, he finds it “very annoying” that an individual carries out such actions, which according to Lars Løkke “in no way represent Denmark”.
This unfamiliar and highly hypocritical tone naturally comes in the context of Sweden’s desire to join NATO, which can only be done with Turkey’s approval.
Although these acts of hate do not represent the ordinary Danish citizen, they are facilitated by the Danish state, and are to the highest degree a result of two decades of anti-Muslim policy in this and other European countries. Since the 2000s, freedom of speech has been the most favored weapon of Danish politicians and the media when it comes to committing violations and hatred against Muslims. The Foreign Minister perhaps assumes that everyone has forgotten that he was part of the government that encouraged the hateful cartoons, which were supposed to force Muslims to accept “mockery, insult and ridicule”. The same government that threw Denmark into American wars of aggression against Muslim countries, where copies of the Quran were desecrated at the torture base, Guantanamo Bay, and where soldiers shot on target at copies of the Quran in Iraq and set fire to them at the Bagram Base in Afghanistan.
Freedom of speech has long been exposed as an instrument of political power. Bans and coercion are introduced across Europe when it comes to Islamic expressions and practices. We see this with headscarf bans, special laws aimed at imams, criminalization of Islamic family values, closures of mosques and Muslim schools, etc. While in many other cases the whole society is forced to walk on eggshells in order not to be judged or condemned for hate speech, the politically constructed hatred of Islam, which has fertilized the extreme right, is cultivated and nurtured.
Official, political Denmark has, with changing governments, for more than two decades made hostility towards Muslims and the fight against Islam – not with arguments and factual debate – but with war, discriminatory special laws, incitement and violations – an independent virtue and political discipline. The hateful actions of wretched individuals against Muslims thus quite accurately represent political Denmark.
This testifies to an enormous intellectual weakness in liberal, secular Europe, including Denmark. Islam and Muslims have a rich tradition of critical debate, but we will never be cowed by hateful insults! They even have the audacity to call on Muslims to ignore it when they are subjected to hatred. The systematic anti-Muslim policy of successive governments, including the current one, cannot and should not be met with silence.
We place the responsibility where it belongs, for the hatred and hostility towards Muslims that has spread from Christiansborg to the wider society. At the same time, we emphasize that the Muslims in Europe and elsewhere will continue to be vulnerable as long as we are without a state power that actually represents the convictions and will of the Muslim population. We therefore call every Muslim to take part in the work to re-establish the Khilafah in the lands of the Muslims – the righteous Caliphate (Khilafah Rashidah), which will by all means; economic, diplomatic and, if necessary, military, stand guard over the sanctities of Islam.
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Denmark
7 Rajab 1444 – Sunday, 29th January 2023
No: 03 / 1444
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