February 20, 2006

Danes Speak Out Against 60 Minutes

Danish reader L.H. sounds off about CBS News's blame-the-victim smear attack on Denmark last night on 60 Minutes (video segment available at Expose the Left):

Dear Michelle:

I have just come across your site and as I am anxious to let off steam I hope you don’t mind me writing to you.

The reason for my upset is the CBS ’60 Minutes’ programme of last night. You see, I have always enjoyed this programme thinking it was based on sound journalistic research. But now I have gotten serious doubts.

This time I am in a position to judge the validity of the statements about Denmark made in the programme by Bob Simon as I am Danish and have followed the cartoon issue since the beginning.

Bob Simon portrays us Danes in a very negative way.

In the programme he focuses on Denmark being a fairytale country and believe me it is that – as well, but as part of our upbringing we learn to debate and to question actively, especially at school. I would describe us as a nation of ‘pain-in the ass’s always asking ‘Why?/ Why not?’. I guess this comes from being privileged (makes me think of Maslow’s pyramid) and the luxury of never going hungry to bed.

So for this past month the television has been full of debates and inputs from both Danish experts and experts from around the world on this very important issue: Freedom of speech versus Religious ethics.

The people Bob Simon interviewed have played only minor roles in these debates. The imam Abu Laban has been exposed at inciting to boycott Danish products on Al-Jazeera and is therefore no longer used as a reference by Danish television. The others have various personal agendas to nurture such as the ex-foreign minister Uffe Ellemann Jensen, who now is retired but just couldn’t stay away from a brawl even when in office.

The Cartoon issue has set the snowball rolling here in Denmark. We have seen the emerging of a Moderate Muslim movement. The leader of this initiative is member of the Danish parliament and an immigrant from Syria, Naser Khader. This movement has been started on account of the damage to ordinary Danish muslims done by the lies spread by the Danish imams during their visit to Egypt and Lebanon last December. By the way, we have just learned that the Egyptian ambassador in Denmark was the main instigator to the explosion of violence, flag burnings etc. She has now been posted in South Africa.

It seems so unfair to be pictured in the ’60 minutes’ programme as silly and immature children, when in fact we bear the burden of being those who pricked the hole in the boil.

I believe in a higher justice. If anyone in this world were to handle this madness it had to be the Danes, we are phlegmatic and well-fed enough to survive it. Right now we are sitting quietly waiting for the storm to calm so that we all can address the important issue of the future role of religions.

My hometown is Odense and Hans Christian Andersen wrote in The Emperor’s Clothes that ‘it took a little boy to dare tell the truth’. I would have liked Bob Simon of CBS to have taken that cue.

Ahhh, I feel a lot better now, thank you for your time.

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