This allegation was made to Arab newspapers, officials and politicians by Danish imams, touring the Middle East nine months ago in order to stir up hatred and violence against Denmark. The imams claimed Margrethe had urged the Danes to fight the Muslim minority in the country.
This information was revealed last Summer by the Danish Foreign Ministry, which had been informed by Det Dansk-Egyptiske Dialoginstitut, the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute. The imams also claimed that the Danish government and the Danish people were behind the hate campaign. Hanna Ziadeh, the media researcher for the Det Dansk-Egyptiske Dialoginstitut, said the imams’ aim was to make the entire Danish people responsible for the Muhammad cartoons.
The imams also told the Islamic world that their voice was excluded from the Danish media and that more “horrible reviles” against Islam were being planned in Denmark, including blasphemous films and threats to burn down mosques. Ziadeh said the information he gathered was only from about ten interviews given by the imams to as many large Middle Eastern newspapers. However, the imams talked to many more Arab media, including several TV stations. Only a small part of the false information which the imams spread in the Middle East is actually known in the West.
The imams have consistently claimed that they only told the truth during their tour and that false information in the interviews are the responsibility of the journalists who wrote them. Ziadeh, however, says that the cases of false information are so numerous that they cannot be explained as being merely mistakes made by the journalists. In the interviews he also discerns a pattern which makes the imams’ denial untrustworthy.
According to Hanna Ziadeh “The avowed aim of the imams was to create huge indignation in the Muslim world in order to mobilize broad public protests which would eventually force Jyllands-Posten and the Danish government to apologize. But the cartoons alone were obviously not brutal enough. Therefore the imams were forced to underline that the affair was more than just some drawings in a single newspaper on one specific day. This had to be part of a systematic insult including an offensive film and a censorship of the Koran and there had to be a government and an entire nation behind this hate campaign against Islam and Muslims.”
The campaign of the hatemongering Muslim religious leaders against Denmark and Jyllands-Posten is not over yet. Last August the Egyptian Grand Imam, Sayyed Tantawi, said the newspaper should be closed down and its editor, Carsten Juste, imprisoned for three years. According to Tantawi, who is the spiritual leader of one billion Sunni Muslims, Fleming Rose, Jyllands-Posten’s former cultural editor who commissioned the Muhammad cartoons, should suffer the shame of being depicted as a pig. The Grand Imam said the cartoon affair had nothing to do with freedom of expression, but the freedom to be presumptuous. “In the West you must understand that you cannot treat prophets in the same way as presidents or other ordinary people,” Tantawi told the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende.
According to a poll produced by Rambøll Management one year after the Danish cartoons were published, 53% of the Danes still believe Jyllands-Posten did nothing wrong by publishing the cartoons, while 38% think the cartoons should never have been published and the others are not sure. In a similar poll last November (which was before Muslims began rioting, burning down embassies and boycotting Danish products) 54% said it was the right decision to publish the cartoons while 25% said it was not.
Another poll, published in early September, says that 57% of the Danish people expect another crisis similar to the cartoon affair to take place within the next five years. The poll also shows that, while a few months back 50% thought Islam and democracy could be reconciled, today only one third thinks this is possible. A vast majority of the Danes want tighter immigration laws. According to yet another recent poll one in four Danes is more negative towards Islam and Muslims in Denmark than before the cartoon affair.