The Muslim protests against Jyllands-Posten's
caricature of the Prophet Muhammad, published in 2005,
developed at the beginning of the year into a serious
political crisis for Denmark. Before New Year, a group of
Danish imams had traveled to a number of Muslim countries to
create opinion against the cartoons. The result was
condemnation of Denmark by the Muslim countries' cooperative
organization OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference).
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen in January accused the
imams of false propaganda and demanded that they correct the
damage they caused. Government Support Party The Danish
People's Party described the Imams as traitors and liars.
When a number of Muslim countries demanded that the Danish
government condemn the cartoons, Prime Minister Fogh
Rasmussen refused, citing the media's freedom of expression.
Jyllands-Posten was simultaneously demanded for an apology.
Pressure on the prime minister increased when Saudi Arabia
called home its ambassador from Denmark as mapped on Digopaul. In addition, a
boycott of Danish goods was launched in several countries in
the Middle East in protest of the Muhammad cartoons. The
boycott mainly hit Europe's largest dairy company,
Danish-Swedish Arla, which had to close its dairy with 800
employees in Saudi Arabia. The concern was great in the
Danish business community, which called on the Jutland Post
to apologize to the Muslim countries. So did the newspaper,
but not for publication but for abusing Muslims. The growing
crisis also caused Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen to
partially retreat. He declared that he would never
personally portray Muhammad, Jesus, or other religious
figures to offend people. But at the same time he insisted
that the government could not interfere in the work of the
mass media. The anti-Danish sentiments had then reached a
level where Fogh Rasmussen's words were ineffective. In the
Gaza Strip, al-Aqs Samaritan Brigades spread leaflets
demanding that citizens of Scandinavian countries leave
Palestine within 48 hours. By then, the Mohammed cartoons
had also been published in the Norwegian Magazine, owned by
the Word of Life in Sweden. The European Commission
headquarters in Gaza was occupied by armed Palestinians who
also demanded the departure of the Scandinavians.
Previously, the Danish cartoonists behind the cartoons had
received death threats, now Danes and Scandinavians were
threatened at all and advised against traveling to a number
of Muslim countries. In early February, the violent
anti-Danish demonstrations spread in the Middle East, Africa
and Asia with numerous deaths and many injured as a result.
In Syria's capital Damascus, the embassies of Denmark and
Norway are set on fire by angry crowds, and also the embassy
of Sweden was damaged. In the Lebanese capital Beirut, the
Danish consulate was set on fire. Afghanistan was shaken by
violent riots in several cities. Swedish soldiers from the
NATO force ISAF. On the West Bank, Swedes and other members
of the international observer force were forced to leave
Hebron since their headquarters were stormed by
stone-throwing youth. Danish diplomats left their missions
in several countries. In Copenhagen, leftist protesters
rallied with right-wing extremists in connection with a
Muslim protest against the Muhammadans. Nearly 200
protesters were arrested by police. As the violence
subsided, intense debate followed in Denmark, where the
prime minister was accused of dealing insensitively with the
Muhammadan crisis. Critics felt it was wrong for Fogh
Rasmussen to refuse to accept the group of ambassadors from
Muslim countries who wanted to meet him in the fall of 2005.
At the same time, the Muhammadan crisis divided the Muslims in Denmark. Naser
Khader, of Palestinian origin and MP for Radical Venstre,
gathered moderate Muslims in a network called Democratic
Muslims. The network's criticism of the fundamentalist
groups prompted Imam Abu Laban to call Naser Khader "rat".
In September, nine young men in the immigrant-tight
Vollsmose area in Odense were arrested on suspicion of
planning terrorist acts. The arrested came from a Muslim
environment, one of Danish origin. According to the security
police, the group had procured materials to manufacture
explosives and participated in the preparation of a
terrorist attack. Terrorist experts stated that Denmark was
a terror target because of its military presence in Iraq and
because of the Jutland Posten Muhammad cartoons. Seven
people were arrested, but a possible trial was delayed. The
battle over the Muhammad cartoons made almost every fourth
Danish more negative towards Islam, an opinion poll showed
in the autumn. Of the respondents, 47% said it was right for
Jyllands-Posten to publish the drawings, while 38% thought
it was wrong. Jyllands-Posten was acquitted in October in a
trial for the publication. Several Muslim associations had
sued the editor-in-chief and the cultural editor for
defamation and slander of Muslims. Earlier, the Danish
prosecutor had rejected charges of racism and slander. A new
Muhammad debate debuted in October, when it was revealed
that the Danish People's Party Youth League had camp
participants make jealous pictures of the Prophet Muhammad.
When the videotaped cartoons were shown on TV, the youth's
efforts were condemned by Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen,
while the Danish People's Party leader Pia Kjærsgaard
refused to give up. The video was also shown on Arabic TV
and led to some upset reactions in Muslim countries.
During the year, a broad political settlement was
concluded regarding future changes in the Danish welfare
system. Among other things, the retirement age will be
raised from 65 to 67 years. Behind the settlement were the
bourgeois government with the Liberal Party and the
Conservative Party, the support party of the Danish People's
Party and the opposition parties Radical Venstre and the
Social Democrats. In November, thousands of high school
students and teachers demonstrated against the government's
expected savings in education. The major so-called
administrative reform would make the upper secondary schools
financially self-governing with budget responsibility from
the beginning of the year, which according to the teachers'
union would lead to larger classes and less resources. It
was rejected by the government. A report from the World
Economic Forum, WEF, found in December that Denmark had the
most competitive and dynamic economy in the EU.
Police State 3.0
In December, the Parliament decided to give police and
PET further powers to carry out secret searches and
seizures. It should allow police to copy member lists,
messages and letters from trade unions and grassroots
organizations. A criminal practice PET de-facto has been
practicing since 1945, but is now also available to ordinary
police. The extent of clandestine searches against citizens
and associations exploded in those years. Figures from the
Ministry of Justice showed that the number of covert
investigations by the Copenhagen Police increased from 12 in
2008 to 85 in 2009. The restriction on liberties led to
warnings from, among other things, Amnesty International and
the Department of Human Rights. This, in turn, led the
Danish People's Party to submit a motion for a resolution in
the Danish Parliament to prohibit the institute from
commenting on the Danish state's human rights violations.
This proposal to restrict freedom of expression was
supported by DF's sister party, Left.
The Danish parliament also decided in December to deprive
refugees and immigrants of the right to public pension. The
pension is no longer a right, but a benefit that can only be
fully earned after 40 years of residence in Denmark.
The Red Cross documented that "Minister of Integration"
Birthe Rønn Hornbech led the Folketing behind the light. The
minister deported unaccompanied refugee children to
Afghanistan and had formed the Integration Committee that
the Red Cross and Red Crescent run several orphanages in
Afghanistan. It was a lie. However, the systematic breaches
of the Ministerial Accountability Act by the VKO parties did
not lead to consequences, as the parties, by their majority,
could impede compliance with the law.
In December 2010, for the third time, Danish politicians
tried to ban the fundamentalist association, Hezb-ut-Tahrir.
The reason was that in the fall of 2010, the association had
declared that resistance to the occupying power in
Afghanistan - including Danish soldiers - was legitimate.
The Danish government initially instructed the Attorney
General to investigate the possibility of a legal action
against HuT. But in reality, HuT was absolutely right that
armed resistance to the occupying power - including Danish
soldiers in Afghanistan - was legitimate. The UN Charter
recognizes the right of an occupied country to revolt
against occupation troops - in the same way that the
resistance movement in Europe during World War II was
entitled to armed resistance against the Nazi occupying
In 2010, the international Pisa surveys documented that
Danish school pupils are still performing poorly, compared
to pupils in other countries. Denmark rattles down the
rankings. This whole process was started in 1982, when
Bertel Haarder assumed the post of Minister of Education and
started total war against the teaching profession and its
organizations. In the current economic crisis that is
exacerbated by the VKO government's tax cut, most
municipalities have been forced to reduce the number of
students and increase class quotas. The Left Party has
wanted to completely remove the upper ceiling over the
In January 2011, WikiLeaks revealed that the VKO
government was lying when it announced in 2008 that it would
launch an investigation into the CIA's use of Greenland and
Danish airports as stopovers when the United States was to
fly prisoners of war to torture centers around the world.
After years of speculation, it was confirmed in 2008 that
the United States had used Danish and Greenland airports in
its torture flights. The government sought to put a lid on
it by promising that the case should be investigated.
WikiLeaks might reveal that the United States Ambassador to
Denmark by Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller had been
informed that there is not would be a study. It was
merely a question of leading the Danish population and
international human rights organizations.
Denmark launched a war on Libya in March. The Danish Air
Force committed war crimes when it bombed the civilian
population in, among other places, Tripoli. Since the rogue
state had no restrictions on the use of its aircraft, the
Danish aircraft was NATO deployed when other countries said
- especially the bombings of the Libyan civilian population.