Danish online ‘newspaper’ is vehicle for anti‑migrant, anti‑Muslim propaganda

Den Korte Avis pie chart

The Danish online newspaper Den Korte Avis (DKA) has gained a substantial readership since its launch in January 2012. It has also attracted sharp criticism for the right-wing, anti-migrant line promoted by its owners and editors Karen Jespersen and Ralf Pittelkow.

The English-language Danish monthly The Murmur has published a revealing analysis by Elías Thórsson of the content of DKA’s so-called journalism. The Murmur surveyed of all the articles on DKA’s website on a random day (22 October), and placed them according to subject matter in one of five categories. The findings, summarised in the above pie chart, are extremely disturbing. Thórsson writes:

There were 45 stories on the website when we made our survey. 21 were negative stories about Muslims or immigrants, with topics ranging from Muslim gang members in Denmark to a woman in France who was thrown out of the opera for unwittingly breaking the country’s niqab ban. Ten stories were general interest, and five were critiques of left-wing politicians. Of the seven video articles, three were negative stories about Muslims or immigrants. The two remaining articles insinuated that Muslims or immigrants were responsible for criminal acts by specifying that the criminal acts took place in neighbourhoods with large immigrant populations.

In total, 26 of the 45 articles (58 percent) either directly or indirectly cast a negative light on Muslims and immigrants in Denmark.

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Muslims across America, Europe face renewed 9/11-style scorn amid ISIS’ violent campaign

Muslims in America and Europe say discrimination against them has seemed more pronounced after the Islamic State terrorists beheaded American and British journalists and aid workers. Hate-filled remarks on social media have also become more prevalent, especially since 9/11, when Facebook and Twitter did not yet exist.

New York Daily News, 7 November 2014

Europe’s Muslims feel under siege

On a continent where Muslim leaders are decrying a surge in discrimination and aggression, Alisiv Ceran is the terrorist who wasn’t.

The 21-year-old student at the University of Copenhagen recently hopped on a commuter train to this stately Scandinavian city, his bag bulging with a computer printer. Feeling jittery about a morning exam, he anxiously buried his nose in a textbook: “The United States After 9/11.”

A fellow passenger who reported him to police, however, saw only a bearded Muslim toting a mysterious bag and a how-to book on terror. Frantic Danish authorities launched a citywide manhunt after getting the tip. Ceran’s face – captured by closed-circuit cameras – was flashed across the Internet and national television, terrifying family and friends who feared he might be arrested or shot on sight.

“It was the first time I ever saw my father cry, he was so worried about me,” said Ceran, who called police when he saw himself in the news, then hid in a university bathroom until they arrived. “I think what happened to me shows that fear of Islam is growing here. Everybody thinks we’re all terrorists.”

Ceran’s ordeal is a sign of the times in Europe, where Muslims are facing what some community leaders are comparing to the atmosphere in the United States following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Then, fears were linked to al-Qaeda. Today, they are tied to the Islamic State – and, more specifically, to the hundreds of Muslim youths from Europe who have streamed into Syria and Iraq to fight. Though dozens of Americans are believed to have signed up, far more – at least 3,000 – are estimated to have come from Europe, according to the Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm.

One French returnee staged a lethal attack in Belgium last year. After more alleged terror plots were recently disrupted in Norway and Britain, concern over the very real risk posed by homegrown militants is now building to a crescendo among European politicians, the media and the public.

“It’s a clash of civilizations,” said Marie Krarup, a prominent lawmaker from the Danish People’s Party, the nation’s third-largest political force. “Islam is violence. Moderate Muslims are not the problem, but even they can become extreme over time. In Islam, it is okay to beat your wife. It is okay to kill those who are not Muslims. This is the problem we have.”

Muslim leaders point to a string of high-profile incidents and a renewed push for laws restricting Islamic practices such as circumcision that suggest those fears are crossing the line into intolerance.

In Germany, a protest against Islamic fundamentalism in Cologne last Sunday turned violent when thousands of demonstrators yelling “foreigners out” clashed with police, leaving dozens injured.

Muslim leaders also cite a string of recent incidents in Germany, ranging from insults of veiled women on the streets to a Molotov cocktail thrown at a mosque in late August.

In Britain, Mayor Boris Johnson was recently quoted as saying “thousands” of Londoners are now under surveillance as possible terror suspects. In Paris last week, a woman in Islamic garb that obscured her face was unceremoniously ejected from a performance of La Traviata at the Opéra Bastille. Although France passed a ban on the wearing of full Muslim veils in public in 2010, the incident involved a rare enforcement of the law by private management who did not take the necessary legal step of calling police first.

Even moderate Muslims say they are increasingly coming under fire, particularly in the European media. A recent commentary in Germany’s Bild tabloid, for instance, condemned the “disproportionate crime rate among adolescents with Muslim backgrounds” as well as the faith’s “homicidal contempt for women and homosexuals.”

“This is the hour when critics of Islam are engaging in unchecked Muslim-bashing,” said Ali Kizilkaya, chairman of the Islamic Council of Germany. The current mood, Muslim leaders say, is less a sudden shift than a worsening of a climate that had already been eroding for years.

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Muslims should be treated the same as Hitler, DFer says

Mogens CamreMogens Camre, a Dansk Folkeparti politician who is a member of the Gladsaxe city council, tweeted recently that when it comes to persecuting Jews, Muslims in Europe have “picked up where Hitler left off, and only the same treatment that Hitler received will change the situation.”

Camre said that it is “obvious” that Muslims are persecuting Jews in Europe. “You also have an imam in Aarhus, calling for the killing of Jews and an extraordinary situation in Norway where the Norwegian police are armed to the teeth and patrolling the streets in front of parliament and at the borders,” Camre told DR Nyheder.

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Denmark may enact French ‘burqa ban’

Pia Kjærsgaard DFA ban on people wearing clothing that covers their face in public, like a burqa or niqab, may find its way to Denmark following a landmark decision at the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday.

Judges upheld France’s burqa law, accepting the argument that veils threatened the right of citizens to live together in society. And now, several legal experts have told Berlingske newspaper that they believe a similar ban could be enacted in Denmark.

Sten Schaumburg-Müller, a law professor at Aarhus University, agreed that the French model could be adopted by Denmark. “It’s obvious that a ban specifically targeting burqas would be hopeless,” he said. “But I believe a ban similar to France’s prohibiting the covering of the face in public could be established here.”

Jacob Mchangama, the head of think-tank Justitia, also believes the law could be recycled on Danish ground. “The defining element in the French legislation is that it isn’t targeted at specific religions, but instead the motivation is to ensure social cohesion and interaction between citizens,” he said.

Pia Kjærsgaard, the DF values spokesperson, thinks a ban on face-covering dress, whether it is specifically targeting Islamic burqas or not, should be introduced in Denmark. “We can’t have women being completely covered so you can’t see their facial expressions or who you have right in front of you,” she told Berlingske.

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Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark banned from protesting at Copenhagen mosque opening

The anti-Islam organisation Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark (SIAD) has been told by police to stay away when Denmark’s first grand mosque opens its doors for the first time today in Copenhagen.

The organisation had asked the police for permission for a non-violent demonstration in front of the mosque – located on Rovsingsgade on the border of the city’s Østerbro and Nørrebro districts – but the police rejected its application.

The police cited that they feared that the demonstration in front of the mosque would lead to personal attacks and vandalism, and that there would be a “considerable risk that public peace would be compromised”, they told SIAD in an email. Instead the police referred the about 50-person demonstration to outside the front of parliament at Christianborg – a proposal that SIAD rejected.

“We could just have well have done it at Thorsø Station then,” Anders Gravers, the chairman and founder of SIAD, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “We wanted this to happen in front of the mosque.”

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Politicians and royals steering clear of Copenhagen mosque opening

Copenhagen Grand MosqueWhen Denmark’s largest mosque opens its doors for the first time on Thursday in Copenhagen’s Nordvest district, few prominent invitees will be present to take part in the celebrations.

The Royal House, the nation’s ministers and most of the seven deputy mayors of Copenhagen have all been invited, but only the city’s deputy mayor for social issues, Jesper Christensen, has agreed to show up, according to a survey by DR’s radio station P4.

“Some conservative and radicalised sectors can use this as yet another argument against the democratic system and that politicians basically don’t want Muslims,” Yildiz Akdogan, a Socialdemokraterne City Council member, told DR Nyheder.

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Tories admit convicted racists into European parliamentary group

Two anti-immigration politicians with criminal convictions for inciting ethnic tension were admitted on Wednesday night to David Cameron’s eurosceptic alliance in the European parliament.

The situation is the result of an unexpected move that defied the reservations of some in Downing Street in which Tory MEPs overwhelmingly voted to join forces with the Danish People’s party and True Finns. The two parties are former allies of Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence party.

The decision helps take the European Conservatives and Reformists group [ECR], established by Mr Cameron in 2009, to 55 seats, making it the fourth biggest group. A planned vote on also admitting the anti-euro Alternative für Deutschland was postponed after Mr Cameron warned that this would sour relations with Berlin.

Morten Messerschmidt, a senior DPP figure and a rising star in Danish politics, was convicted in 2002 for publishing material that appeared to link a multiethnic society to rape, violence and forced marriages. Jussi Halla-aho, a newly elected True Finn MEP, was convicted in 2012 of stirring ethnic tensions after writing a blog on freedom of speech that claimed Islam “reveres paedophilia”.

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UKIP’s alliance with extreme-right Islamophobes

EFD logoMembers of Nigel Farage’s political group in the European parliament have compared childbearing Muslim women to Osama bin Laden, spoken at a rally with the BNP’s Nick Griffin, and defended some of the far-right views of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

Farage is facing a decision after the May elections over whether to keep Ukip in the Europe for Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group, an alliance of parties from different countries of which he is co-president, amid criticism of the extreme positions of some of its MEPs and examples of anti-Islam rhetoric on its website.

Ukip argues that all British political parties are forced to have “strange bedfellows” in Europe as it allows parties to qualify for more speaking time in the EU parliament. However, MEPs in any such alliance must have “political affinity” or risk being disbanded by the EU and losing their funding.

Some anti-Islam comments appear on the EFD’s own website. In one video, Magdi Cristiano Allam, an MEP from the I Love Italy party, is translated as saying that Islam is not a religion but an ideology “that preaches hatred, violence and death, but that is something we’re not allowed to say”. His comments are made in response to a speaker at an EFD “study day”, who argues against “caving in” to Muslims in Europe and warns of the threat of “Islamisation” of western society.

One politician in the EFD, Slavi Binev from Bulgaria, spoke at Ukip’s conference last year. An interview with Binev on his website says: “If Osama bin Laden symbolises the cruellest aspect of the Islam for the Americans, then the Muslim woman with her numerous children are his European equivalent.”

The group also contains Frank Vanhecke, a Belgian MEP, whose former party Vlaams Blok was disbanded after a court found it violated anti-racism legislation in 2002. Vanhecke, now an independent, appeared at a student rally with Griffin, the BNP leader, in 2010 and told the Guardian he believes “Islamisation” is a serious problem for Europe.

Another politician in the group is Morten Messerschmidt, a Danish MEP whose youth organisation was given a conviction for incitement to racial hatred in 2002 after it argued crime such as rape was a product of a multi-ethnic society.

Ukip’s biggest partners in the EFD group are the Italian Lega Nord, which is reportedly considering leaving the EFD after the May elections for a tie-up with Marine Le Pen’s far-right French National Front.

Farage’s co-president is Francesco Speroni, an Italian MEP from Lega Nord, who defended some of the views of Breivik in 2011 saying: “If [Breivik’s] ideas are that we are going towards Eurabia and those sorts of things, that western Christian civilisation needs to be defended, yes, I’m in agreement.”

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