Free Speech

Free Speech Victory in Denmark; Fatwa Issued

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A Danish Muslim group lost its libel case against Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the far-right Danish People's Party. Kjaersgaard branded a group of local Muslims as seditious after they travelled to the Middle East to denounce Jyllands-Posten's publication of the Mohammad cartoons. Reuters reports:

A court ruled that Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party (DPP), did not libel the Islamic Faith Community when she accused some of its members of treason for travelling to the Middle East to publicise a Danish newspaper's publication of the drawings, which caused a worldwide uproar in 2006.

The court said the term "treason" was not libellous because it was used extensively in public debate. It ordered the plaintiffs, a loose network of Danish Muslim organisations which says it represents 50,000 members, to pay Kjaersgaard 40,000 Danish crowns ($7,400) in costs.

Crackpot Islamic Faith Community spokesman Kasem Ahmad was, not surprisingly, slightly peeved by the verdict, and quickly shifted into blackmail mode:

"We are very disappointed with the verdict and are considering an appeal," said Kasem Ahmad, a spokesman for the Muslim group. He added that the group would issue a fatwa, or religious edict, against Jyllands-Posten if it did not receive an apology from the paper.

"It's too early to say any details of the fatwa," Ahmad said. "The fatwa is the last step and will also satisfy Muslims in the Middle East."

A victory for free speech in Denmark, though it should be noted that DPP has a history of xenophobia and racism unrivaled in Western Europe amongst parties of its size (though Front National is running a close second).

I suppose it doesn't help that the party's point-man on EU issues is named Morton Messerschmidt.

(Correction: The headline says Ahmed decreed a fatwa on J-P. Rest easy Danish H&R readers, it is merely a fatwa threat.

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  1. The court said the term “treason” was not libellous because it was used extensively in public debate.

    Regardless of the outcome, that’s pretty depressing.

  2. NTD,
    I agree words like “treason” should be used sparingly in public debate. Words like “Lobster Girl” should be used on all occasions.

  3. hier it says that the court didn’t take a position on whether the statement involving treason was true or not.

    The court also found that the phrases Pia used described her take on the delegation’s activities, and therefore are an expression of opinion (or value) – the delegation the Islamic Faith Community* that was sent to the middle east

    Furthermore, the court found that there still are limits for what one can say about another without being “punished for injuries”. But establishing this limit depends greatly on situation, context… etc.

    (the decision was heavily influenced by the practices of the Euro Court of Human Rights)

    *there’s a better, smoother translation for “Trosamfund” than “faith community”, but I’m drawin’ a blank right now…

  4. Line from “Black Hawk Down”

    Soldier (in a voice of fear of desperation”: “Lieutanent they’re shooting at us!!”

    Lieutanent: (takes a drag on his cigarette) “well, shoot back!”

    If the Danish racist group “hurt” you with their “words” why don’t you sit down and come up with your own “words” to hit them back. (aka debate with them, publish articulations of why they are wrong etc..)

    Fatwa’s are for lazy people who want others to do their deed for them. (deciders can also issue fatwas)

  5. Every time I see a story like this, I consider starting a blog with the sole purpose of goading one of these idiots to issue me my very own fatwah.

  6. Mediageek–Did ever try doing this?

    This is a picture of Muhammad 0:=(

  7. Cesar,

    excellent depiction

  8. “We are very disappointed with the verdict and are considering an appeal,” said Kasem Ahmad, a spokesman for the Muslim group. He added that the group would issue a fatwa, or religious edict, against Jyllands-Posten if it did not receive an apology from the paper.

    A Jihad on you.

    So, let me get this straight. A group of Muslims, mad about generally being called fatwa issuing bomb throwers and inciting muslim hatred and violence, lose their libel lawsuit, and respond by issuing a fatwa, and threatening muslim hatred and violence.

    This whole thing is getting funny on so many levels it’s hard to even know where to start.

  9. Every time I see a story like this, I consider starting a blog with the sole purpose of goading one of these idiots to issue me my very own fatwah.

    So do I. The problem is, I believe these people are capable of issuing fatwas and declaring a jihad on me. Which would you rather have: The reverend phelps mad at you, or a crazy muslim cleric issue a fatwa and a jihad on you.

    Personally, I’d rather deal with mr. phelps.

  10. Other Danish Imams are also laughing at Kasem Ahmad – several have commented that a Fatwa would have “no practical meaning” (hier and expert)

    hier is another response. At the end of the article, the a spokesman for DF is going to try to get the Ministry of Justice involved to see if the Fatwa is the equivalent of a call to violence (what the expert doesn’t expect)

    Jeez – am expecting a mirror response from Casey Rashad…

    (oooh! obscurity!)

  11. In honor of this decision, I repost:

    DENMARK: (to Muslims) We made a fair move. Screaming about it won’t help you.
    U.S. STATE DEPT.: (interrupting) Let them have it. It’s not wise to upset a Muslim.
    DENMARK: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a Christian.
    U.S. STATE DEPT.: That’s ’cause Christians don’t pull people’s arms out of their socket when they get offended. Muslims are known to do that.

  12. PAUL, YOU FOOL, THERE IS ONLY ONE MR. PHELPS.

  13. ProGLib –

    a fine portrayal, but C3PO is a little too, um, manly-man for go’ gamle Danmark.

    Maybe a jawa that’s severely palsied, or how about an impotent Tribble…

    those would capture Danish hygge much better.

    [doesn’t need to duck]

  14. VM,

    I was thinking more old-school Dane. With lots of Saxon violence.

  15. Looks like Fatwas-R-Us is available. Maybe you could set up a random fatwa generator.

  16. Hm, Germanic racists. Muslim extremists.

    Is zere any vay zey can boze looze?

  17. I love the Random Fatwa Generator idea!

    Also, you cannot put the marshmallows in the hot chocolate. Fatwa! Fatwa!

    And, um, you can only wear the black Chuck Taylors. Or the white. No colors. Fatwa!

    Also, the Jack Nicholson movie “The Shining” – only the original version. No director’s cut! Fatwa!

  18. At the risk of being accused of “xenophobia and racism”, maybe Denmark needs to tighten up their immigration policy. It couldn’t hurt.

  19. Max-

    Actually, they have one of the most restrictive policies in Europe.

  20. Crackpot, nut job parties like the DPP actually being able to win seats is why Parliamentary governments suck.

  21. Max –

    maybe you could try to understand the nuances of the issues in Denmark.

    Couldn’t hurt.

    hva’ sig’r Du? aw fuckit.

    din skiderik… rend mig og skrid

    tool.

    makes me wish Mr. Grinch didn’t grab the reigns at the end.

  22. The Church of the Coupon Redeemer will issue fatwas, excommunications, denunciations, pronuncimatios, bulls, ex catherdras, damnations, etc. upon request.

    Please see our price list.

    Aresen
    High Hierophant

  23. U.S. STATE DEPT.: That’s ’cause Christians don’t pull people’s arms out of their socket when they get offended. Muslims are known to do that.

    Ergo: LET THE WOOKIE WIN.

  24. I took a Danish class once, inspired by those crazy drunks having denied me access to their country during a spell in northern W. Germany. It felt like speaking with a mouth full of marbles–which didn’t surprise me, as that’s exactly what it sounds like.

  25. maybe you could try to understand the nuances of the issues in Denmark.

    That would take a lot of effort. I’m comfortable with my ignorance.

  26. Rhywun – try the favorite, r?d gr?d med fl?de

    But it couldn’t hurt, “Max”. Archloch.

  27. r?d gr?d med fl?de

    Yep, that pretty much covers it. Lots of pursing and throatiness. And a casual disregard for every other consonant. I’d be drunk all the time if I talked like that too 🙂

  28. I’d talk like that if I was drunk all the time too. 🙂

  29. joe:

    Personally, I prefer this version of The Shining.

  30. Hey? Am I the only one who has noticed that the last three letters of the name Muhammad spell “mad”? Naw, I couldn’t be. Hmm, I wonder if someone will issue a fatwa about that?

  31. Paul,

    Fatwa! Fatwa!

  32. Paul wrote:

    Which would you rather have: The reverend phelps mad at you, or a crazy muslim cleric issue a fatwa and a jihad on you.

    Personally, I’d rather deal with mr. phelps.

    Me, too, that’s why I’m going to sign Freddy’s name to the site.

  33. Is fatwa what the young kids are calling fat wankers these days?

  34. “though it should be noted that DPP has a history of xenophobia and racism”

    Why? You manage to refer to “Publishing gadfly Larry Flynt of Hustler” without noting he molested his daugher and once fucked a chicken. So in the future refer to the DPP as political gadflies.

  35. Thank you for your nice posting

    Bathmate

  36. Hey people of the world listen that muslims are not terrorist. you gave them this title.

    Bathmate

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