When Families Kill

Guilty verdict.

Denmark – Jyllands-Posten

Honour killing trial in Denmark

The newspaper comments on the sentence passed by a court in Denmark in the trial of a so-called “honour killing”. This is the first time in the history of northern Europe that an entire family has been found guilty. The jury considered it proven that the father had ordered the murder of his 18-year-old daughter after she married the man of her own choosing, and that subsequently all nine defendants had together planned and committed the murder. “In this way, the family will be seen not as a family of honour, but as a group of cowards who talk about honour and shame while trying to deny any involvement in the deed that was supposed to save the family’s honour. The sentence is a clear message that we won’t accept parallel societies with their own rules… The case also serves as a warning to a society that ignores people in need because of a misguided political correctness and the fear of dealing with the crazy rules of foreign societies regarding honour and shame.”

From the estimable folks at Eurotopics.

The Cat Is Out Of The Bag It Seems

The Guardian is running a story which seems to cast Jyllands-Posten Jens Kaiser editor in a very sorry light indeed. If this story is confirmed I think the expression would be ‘rank hypocrisy’ rather than ‘free speech outpost’.(Many thanks to commenter Hans for drawing this to our attention).

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.

The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten.

Zieler received an email back from the paper’s Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: “I don’t think Jyllands-Posten’s readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.”

Danish Pastry Cooking?

As the Quartet of would-be Mideast peacemakers meets in huddled session, and as Angela Merkel does some plain talking, another closely related issue is going the rounds today (and this, and this):

“In a demonstration on the West Bank, members of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades threatened Danes in the area and told them to leave immediately, the Danish news agency Ritzau reported on Sunday. The demonstrators burned the Danish flag and called on the Palestinian authorities to cut diplomatic ties with Denmark, Ritzau said.”

“Libya has said it is closing its embassy in Denmark in protest against a series of caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.”

“A roadside bomb targeted a joint Danish-Iraqi military patrol near the southern city of Basra on Monday — the first attack on Danish troops since protests against a Danish newspaper for publishing widely criticized caricatures of Islam’s prophet.”

Danish Blogger Claus Vistessen has the story as it is seen from inside Denmark:

Four months ago the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten posted 12 drawings of the muslim prophet depicting him as they saw him but with a clear provocative bordering to tactless zeal … the most notable drawing was one showing Muhammed, with a turban containing a large bomb.

The cartoons resulted in immediate protests and demonstrations from Muslims in Denmark, but to sum it all up; two very important things happened as a result of the drawings.
Continue reading here.

Kurdish TV in Denmark

One of the many reasons I continue to support the Turkish EU accession process is because I think it will be good for human rights and democracy in Turkey, and good for the Kurds. This latest spat between Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Danish hosts, is simply another good example of this at work. The pressure is constantly on Turkey.

Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan boycotted a joint press conference with the Danish leader in protest at the presence of a Kurdish TV station on Tuesday (15 November), highlighting European values on free speech.

“There is a fundamental difference between Turkey and Denmark in matters of freedom of expression,” the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at the press conference his Turkish counterpart avoided.

The Turkish prime minister was visiting the Danish capital Copenhagen as the first stop in a tour around EU capitals to discuss the prospects of Turkey’s EU membership. Mr Erdogan stayed away from the press conference in protest at the presence of a journalist from the Danish-based TV channel Roj TV.

Turkey has repeatedly urged Denmark to close the channel, which sends news, entertainment, debate and children’s’ programs to Kurds in Denmark, arguing it is financed by the Kurdish rebel party, the PKK, which is on the EU’s list of terrorist organisations. Danish police are investigating the station, but have not found evidence of links to forbidden organisations so far.

Source: EU Observer

Polish Plumbers Arrive In Denmark

The EU Observer has a piece on a row which has blown up in Denmark over some ‘new arrivals’ from Poland. The issue is itself interesting since there has been a good deal of talk in recent weeks about flexibility in the Danish labour market and the idea of ‘flexicurity’:

Danish trade unions have accused the Polish embassy in Copenhagen of encouraging Polish construction workers to ignore the collective agreements that regulate the Danish labour market….

They argue that the Danish labour model is being undermined but their opponents believe that the Danish trade union model itself undermines the EU principle of freedom of movement.

The Polish embassy website had informed Polish workers interested in coming to Denmark that they should comply with regional and national agreements on salaries and working conditions, but also points out they are not under legal obligation to do so.

This would mean that Polish workers could technically work for under the agreed minimum wage – making them more attractive than Danish workers.

The Danish Job

This is really a hybrid post, although perhaps the unifying theme – for reasons which should be clear by the end – is Denmark.

In the first place Danish journalist Kjeld Hansen has a hard-hitting article in EU Observer about just what does actually happen to all that money paid-out in the form of agricultural subsidies (hat tip New Economist), whilst in the second one there is news today that the Commission is preparing a position paper on the EU’s social model for discussion at the October 27/28 summit.
Continue reading

Denmark In A Quandry

Danish foreign minister Per Stig M?ller seems to be in something of a quandry. He has given up hope that one clear message could be sent on ratification of the constitution when EU leaders meet for a summit later this week. At the same time he doesn’t seem clear what to do about the Danish referendum – due on 27 September – since Copenhagen has made it a pre-condition for asking Danish voters to go to the polls, that Paris and the Hague say clearly what they plan to do next. I think he will have to learn to live in hope.

UEFA: Home of the cliche

Earlier today, the draw took place for next year’s European Football Championships (Euro 2004), placing the sixteen teams into four groups:

Group A: Portugal, Greece, Spain, Russia
Group B: France, England, Switzerland, Croatia
Group C: Sweden, Bulgaria, Denmark, Italy
Group D: Czech Republic, Latvia, Germany, Netherlands

The BBC Sport website has a good page detailing all the fixtures for the tournament.
Continue reading