Home | Comment & Analysis    Thursday 28 February 2008

Denmark: Boykot the Boycott

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By Helen Latifi

February 27, 2008 — Has the tiny Kingdom of Denmark once again got itself into major foreign policy troubles? Possibly…

Several countries and Muslim scholars have, over the past few days, encouraged people to boycott Danish goods. But I have had enough of the double standards that characterize some Muslim countries. On the one hand, they receive millions of dollars from Denmark, and on the other, they encourage a boycott of Danish goods, as Sudan has done. So my appeal is this: boycott the boycott!

Although I believe that republishing the cartoons was an unnecessary provocation, and that you cannot attribute wrong-doing to our particular religion, as a lot of Danish newspapers did on purpose, the situation is seized upon by individual Muslim countries to distract attention from any national crises or conflicts. Last time around, we saw how the Egyptian government spearheaded the boycott craze in order to snatch votes from the Muslim Brotherhood in the upcoming elections. This time, we see how Sudan has taken the front row, why is this? Perhaps to make us forget certain national atrocities taking place in that country as I write these words?

If you choose to boycott, why not boycott American and British goods, since both countries still hold occupation troops in Iraq? Why not boycott Sweden due to Lars Vilk’s drawings? Why did Sudan not boycott British goods in response to Gillion Gibson’s naming of the teddy bear? There are many more examples that one could raise.

During the cartoon crisis “version 1.0”, Hamza Yusuf said, on his visit to Denmark, that you cannot punish a country collectively, if someone in that country has committed a crime, and that these were not the ways of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).

Consequently, my appeal is for people not to boycott Danish goods, but instead to boycott the boycott!

The author is muslim living in Denmark. For more visits her blog: www.helenlatifi.wordpress.com



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  • 28 February 2008 11:56, by Jan

    As a reaction to the official boycot by the Sudan government against Denmark, Sudan will not be able to become a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Sudan wishes to be a member of WTO, but have blocked for their membersip due to illegal actions of governmental boycut, that is against the rules in WTO.

    It was agreed that Denmark would spend 100 millions USD in 2008/2009 to help Sudan. Will be interesting to see if the sudanese President will boycut the 100 millions USD. I hope he will refuse the donation.

    We in Denmark do not care about the small amount of export to Sudan, our net profits is only 5 millions USD.

    All Islamic extremist like the President of Sudan must learn to understand that religion is not above the freedom of the press and democracy.

    Your boycut is only having negative effects for Sudan, not for Denmark.

    A danish National

    repondre message

  • 28 February 2008 12:50, by Lat Dak Nyaroah

    Dear Helen, I am not cock-sure whether you are a Muslim and if you are, than you must have been brought up in a care and loving family whose principles are just to humanity. I seconded your advise that Sudan should boycot the boycot. It is rediculous that Beshir and his cycopancies(regime)received the 100 mln US dollars from Denmark with open hand and turnt their stinky mouths to the people of Denmark.

    Don’t you be worry so much by Beshir’s words because you put it right that he(Beshir) is following the strategy used by Egyptian presidential candidate to win more votes. That is exactly what Beshir is doing.

    My advise to people of Denmark in Sudan is to be extra careful this time because the Arabs in Sudan are the top terrorist/silence Killers. We in South Sudan have mastered them well.

    Lat Dak Nyaroah

    Original Sudanese.

    View online : Denmark: Boykot the Boycott

    repondre message

  • 28 February 2008 17:24, by Jan

    Today in the Danish government it has been agreed that the debt by Sudan to Denmark of USD 400 millions shal be paid in full.

    Together with other countries that Sudan has debt with, Denmark agreed to cancel some of Sudans debt. Due to the actions of the Sudanese Predeident, Denmark will reclaim to full payment of the 400 millions USD owed by the Sudan Government to Denmark.

    There is something called "biting the hand that feeds you". I can asure you that Denmark will no longer accept the actions of the Sudanese President.

    repondre message

    • 28 February 2008 18:49, by Benjamin

      Today in the Danish government it has been agreed that the debt by Sudan to Denmark of USD 400 millions shall be paid in full.


      That’s not exactly true. This has been raised as a natural consequence for Sudan, but is to be decided after a meeting tomorrow between the Danish Minister of Foreign Development and the Sudanese Ambassador in Denmark. The Danish minister has furthermore insisted that the people in Darfur will not be taken hostages in this situation. So any sanctions taken should only affect the government of Sudan - as far possible.

      I sincerely hope that someone in Sudan will start telling people that the damned cartoons weren’t drawn by everyone in our whole country. Far from. We just have this freedom of speech, just like we have freedom of religion. Islam is an accepted and respected religion in Denmark with many followers.

      repondre message

  • 29 February 2008 02:26, by Bashy Quraishy

    I have read with great interest, Helen Latifi’s article; Boycott the boycott and the ensuing comments on the contents of Helen’s arguments.
    I also live in Denmark and follow the debates in the Danish society very closely.
    As much as I would like to support her views, I see the issue from a different perspective.
    The fact is that Danish media, the government, many politicians and majority of the people are Islamophobic. If it was legally possible, Danish government would not hesitate to expel all Muslim in hours.
    If Danish media and politicians under the cover of so called freedom of speech insults and degrades Islam, Prophet Mohammed and Muslim minorities, again and again, why can not the head of a state, newspaper, NGO or government in a Muslim country - Pakistan, Iran or Sudan- issue an appeal to boycott Danish products. If I went to a restaurant and the waiter refuses to serve me or is behaving badly, I do not want to go there again. It is but logical. Muslim world can not force Denmark to refrain from continious provocations. Well, in this case, Muslim countries, collectively or individually have a right to retaliate as best as they can. In this case trade boycott and sanctions. This is their right. In this globalised world, the only language an oppressor understand is the language of money.
    Muslims have a right not to eat Danish cheese or drink milk.This is the best weapon a customer have. So my advice to anyone who feels mistreated by the other person, country or nation, is to retaliate peacefully but actively. Violence is anti-Islamic and anti-humanity.

    repondre message

    • 29 February 2008 15:27, by Benjamin

      If it was legally possible, Danish government would not hesitate to expel all Muslim in hours.


      What do you base that on? See, these are the kinds of exaggerations this debate is suffocating in. I *believe* the right-most DF are hiding these kinds of islamophobic opinions, but as for the two other government parties, they’re playing the political game on a very complicated level, and I don’t believe anything as primitive as a phobia is controlling their actions. Look deeper.

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    • 1 March 2008 16:46, by chuckdenmark

      Sadly, I can only concur with the writer. Many Danes, if not most, are sick and tired of Danish women being called "whores" by rampaging Arab youths who in the past couple of weeks alone have burned down several schools and more than 200 private cars. Because of a silly drawing! Frankly, we are tired of Muslims, period. There are countless other immigrants in our small country — South Americans, Chinese, Koreans, Viet Namese, etc. — but according to a recent survey, Muslims count for a vast majority of prosecuted crimes. Welcoming at first, we are becoming increasingly xenophobic, and, sadly, for good reasons. A lot of us are actively immigrating ourselves, including this writer who has had enough of paying the highest taxes on the planet and getting only insults in return. So, goodbye Denmark and prepare yourself for the Caliphat.

      repondre message

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