Dear Enemies, Please Don’t Hate Us

Danish intelligence has warned our participants at the Olympic Games in Beijing that they are among those under the most threat by terrorists. The assessment has been made by Chinese authorities, which put Denmark in the same grade as the US and Israel.

This is not good news of course, and might serve as a wake-up call for Danes to some of the realities of the world today. Not so for handball and Olympic delegate player Kasper Hvidt, though, who comments:

“I must say that as a Dane I am shocked that we even want to be in the same league as such extreme countries. I have to say. It really saddens me. Not just because of my participation in the Games, but as a Danish citizen.” (In Berlingske Tidende, my translation)

How naïve. First of all, calling the US and Israel “extreme” is exaggeration at the least. But as if him being sad would make any difference. Nobody wants to be hated. People might speculate that the threat is due to our engagement in Afghanistan or the Mohammed cartoons, and that had we just minded our own business, none of this would have happened. But while the cartoons have obviously made a difference, the notion that the terrorist threat could be avoided is utterly wrong.

In the world of today there is no such thing as minding your own business. There is only closing or opening your eyes. To some, the mere existence of Denmark as a secular and liberal state, is an offence. These are the real extremists: jihadists and fundamentalists. Not the average Muslim or the majority of Muslims (if they were ever asked). But some people in Denmark need to open their eyes to the fact that certain people actually hate them for being Danish, and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it. Except taking the necessary consequences and moving on.

Author: Kenneth Mollerup Birch

Living north of Copenhagen, Denmark. MA in Information Science. Interests include communication, internet, sociology, language, politics, religion, theology, travel, music, and food.

2 thoughts on “Dear Enemies, Please Don’t Hate Us”

  1. I’m not so sure, these days, that calling the US and Israel “extreme” is all that much in the way of exaggeration. The present American executive invaded a sovereign country on false pretexts (if not outright and outrageous lies), and continues a cynical and disingenuous policy that incidentally is bankrupting (has bankrupted?) the American economy for the benefit of the friends of the administration. Israel, meanwhile, continues a program of feverish construction of settlements in disputed territories while building forty-foot concrete walls willy-nilly across the landscape. To my mind there is a need for more moderate (dare we say, ethical and even-handed?) policies by far…I should add I consider myself a patriotic American and that I am sympathetic to the ideal of a Jewish homeland, but they go too far by a considerable distance…and there is no sane defense nor justification for what has gone on in Iraq.

    So what does that have to do with the problems of Danes, you might wonder? That answer is complex; call it guilt by association, illogical but quite real in the minds of extremists.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Patrick.

    I am no fan of George W. As most Europeans, I would vote Democrat, if I had the chance. I think W has been a horrible president, and Iraq is indeed some quagmire. The handling of the war has been awful, as most people now agree. But I still do believe that removing Saddam at the time was correct. John Kerry probably would have done the same thing. Unilaterlism is not good, and the UN could have been better involved. But I don’t miss Saddam.

    As for Israel, yes they have certainly made some less admirable choices. There is a need for a more balanced view on this nation, with Zionists on one side and the likes of Ahmadinejad on the other. Who will drop the first stone?

    So much for the US and Israel. Denmark, then? Guilt by association? Well, as you say it’s a complex world. The thing is, blaming it all on Iraq or even Israel is too simple. 9/11 happened before Iraq, at a time when America was actually relatively well-percieved in the world.

    My point is, no matter how hard you try to not annoy people or interfere in other’s business, some terrorists (extremists) will still find reason to hate you. I think that’s a fact of life that not all Europeans seem ready to accept.

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