Monday, March 20, 2006

Is Denmark biased in dealing with its minorities?

According to Ritzau News Agency the public prosecutor in Copenhagen has decided to prosecute the spokesman of Hizb-ut-Tahrir for presumed threats against Danish ministers and Jews. In November 2004 the organisation distributed a handbill at a Mosque in a Copenhagen neighbourhood, in which it said: “Go out and help your brethren in Fallujah Iraq and do away with your rulers if they are in your way.”

This statement is a threat to prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and other members of the Danish government, in the public prosecutor’s opinion, and thus it is a violation of the penal code’s text about threats to persons in public office.

Fadi Abdullatif, the spokesman of the islamic organisation that only has 100-200 active adherents in Denmark, has said that the Danish authorities render his words in a biased way. The exhortation was primarily directed at the military forces in Muslim countries around Iraq, he said.

The new penal case will also deal with another handbill placed on the organisation’s homepage, with the words “and kill them, wherever you find them”, which is directed at “infidels”, particularly Jews.

Fadi Abdullatif has previously been convicted of derision and threats against Jews, thereby violating article 266b in the penal code concerning racist utterances. He was sentenced to 60 days conditional imprisonment.

The new indictments of Hibz-ut-Tahrir raises the question whether Denmark is biased in its dealing with minorities. The public prosecutor has just dropped the case against Jyllandsposten for blaspheming Muslims with the cartoons drawings. The cartoons are not sufficiently concrete to merit a case. The same argument could be used about Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s statements. These statements are cloaked in a kind of religious wording, somewhat resembling the Qu’ran’s text. The threats are not concrete.

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