Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


As Sahab video explaining the attack on the Danish Embassy

As Sahab, the professional AQ media outlet has released a video, detailing the attack on the Danish embassy in Karachi. They advertise for it using this nifty banner:

The video itself (as always hard to come by if you're late) shows various clips, including ones with the illustrator Kurt Vestergaard, the suicide bomber involved in the plot and Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (who were alledgedly killed earlier this year - and was behind the attack).

You can see the thumbs from the video here:

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Go home! But where?

The political discussion in Denmark has taken a turn at discussing condemning Islamic fundamentalism. This happens after the recent spat of car-burnings by boys mainly of Arab background, the revealed murder plot directed against one of the cartoonists of Cartoon-Crisis fame and the ensuing flare of Cartoon-crisis 2.0.

Hizb ut Tahrir took the centre stage of this discussion after a protest march where they once again publicly stated their anti-democratic intention.

This spurred the age old question: Why have you come to Denmark, why don't you just go home? This time it was asked by among others the Minister for Justice Lene Espersen in a debate on TV2.

I think the question, when asked in connection to Moslems of a radical salafist leaning is misunderstood.

It implies that the countries that these people come from would be a better place to be if you fight for the Caliphate, the world-spanning empire, uniting the Moslem umma.

But the essence is that these guys believe in an utopia, a place that isn't there. This is in many aspects the most powerful appeal of their movement: "We want to recreate a time of glory and justice and piousness". In this aspect Hizb ut Tahrir is similar to other totalitarianism's dreams of the Tausendjähriges Reich or World Socialism. Of course a moslem country would be more permissive of some aspects of salafist dogma (such as incoorporating elements of Shaaria laws), but very often the political climate of these countries will be much more harsh for these organisations. And then it becomes obvious why you'd rather be in Denmark than in Syria. If you aim after utopia, your post address matters less and rationality of course will have you settle in the most permissive climate.

I don't support the idea that the organisation should be banned. It is radical and radicalizing, but as long as they are under special scrutiny, those views are better kept in the public and not chased further underground.

But that the Justice Minister can wonder why they just don't go home, hints that her understanding of the nature of utopian organisations lacks somewhat and I doubt she would have many reservations outlawing them.

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Don't mention the war

The election is on in Denmark once again. Last time it happened was in 2005 and I was blogging a bit back then as well. Makes you feel experienced and a bit old to have been in the "blogosphere" that long.

Now, all signs point to this election also being almost void of serious discussions or real interest in the utility of force from a Danish perspective. Since then the Danes have withdrawn from Iraq (save for a helicopter detachment) and are manning up in Afghanistan, casualties have risen and more and more people know young men who have been off for 6 months. It will change Danish strategic culture, no doubt, but as with all changes of culture it will be silent and we won't know until we have moved into yet another phase. However, I think it would suit politicians of all colours and creeds to engage with the question (as always it is only veteran, old male politicians that take on or are assigned positions as defence spokespersons).

A good quote that came tome me just as I had finished writing this above. Robert Kagan on EU's use of military power:
"The incapacity to respond to threats leads not only to tolerance. It can also lead to denial".

That was the old culture, let's see if politicians can forge the new one actively.

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