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.