Denmark used to have a reputation

Jakob Illeborg says Denmark should have known better.

[T]he hawkish approach taken by the Bush administration internationally is reflected by a similarly tough position on Islam and Muslims in Denmark. If the US is leading a global mission, the Danes have been fighting an inner mission, standing up against what is perceived, by some, as a threat to our democracy. Ever since the prophet cartoon crises of 2006 and 2008, Islamist extremists around the world have been threatening bloody revenge on Denmark.

So…maybe that’s why this ‘what’ is perceived by some as a threat to our democracy? Because of the, you know, threats? Of bloody revenge? For some cartoons? Could that have something to do with it? And could there be a way to describe it other than ‘hawkish’?

Monday’s attack, is of course, indefensible, but it raises questions about the wisdom of the much-debated cartoons and Danish reactions to Muslim wrath…The tragedy in Islamabad only confirms the views of those on both sides of the argument…[M]any are proud of Denmark’s newfound role as a “player” in the international conflict between the west and Islam. This is certainly not a position we used to pride ourselves on – nor is it one that is shared by other Scandinavian countries. Denmark used to have a reputation as a liberal, consensus-seeking country advocating calm and reason…

Whereas now it has…what? A reputation as an illiberal country that thinks newspapers should be able to publish innocuous cartoons without triggering death threats and riots and car bombs outside embassies? Is that what he’s saying? Is he saying that publishing the cartoons is not liberal? That it’s anti-liberal?


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