Fight the boycott — buy Danish

Janus reported on a strange thing that is happening right now: Danish dairy products are being boycotted by several Arab countries because Jyllands-Posten, a major Danish newspaper, printed twelve pictures of the prophet Muhammad.

As Stéphanie argues on his page, freedom of speech is not meant to be used to insult other people. The pictures can, for example, be found here and I can fully understand that they are insulting for a believing muslim since they depict Muhammad as a terrorist and oppressor of women.

But still, buycutting products from random Danish companies is not going to help — it is only going to get innocent people fired, the first 100 employees in Arla has already been laid off. If you must, then attack JP, write letters to your local newspapers and so, but don’t blame the Danish government or Danish companies for something they didn’t do.


  1. Stéphanie:

    Just wanted to add that the insult started on a way more fundamental level, namely that the Islam does not allow to have/make pictures of Muhammed (similar to the bible that states the same about God — when still there are tons of pictures and figures of God in Catholicism. I know :) But that’s not the topic, is it.) and that JP is not only blunt enough to do that but mock that prohibition.

    To make things clear: I’m neither Danish nor muslim and I’m not taking sides — nor do I defend anyone. From my point of view they’re both so wrong (hey - I can see you smiling at this! :P).

  2. Solveig Molgaard:

    Hi all you good people og Buy Danish - thanks for your support, wee need it. It warms my heart to read all the nice mails. Islamic fanatism is terrible. The arab world is a poor f.anatic place, poor people in these countries. THANK YOU

  3. yasra:

    It’s really sad to see people fighting over something that really didn’t have to go so far. The “freedom of speech” talk is just a camouflage for political interests of countries like Denmark. The thin line between Freedom of speech and ridicule is crossed when people degrade religions and hurt religious sentiments of millions of people around the globe. Thw West is shameless enough to rant about “civilization” when its own policies defy basic “civilized” attitudes and are all about hypocrisy. I don’t understand why Denmark even needs a parliamentary system if the country’s head has no say in what is being printed in newspapers…

  4. Martin Geisler:

    We could try and forbid making fun of religion, but the problem that one immediatedly faces a number of questions:

    • What exactly is a religion?

    • Would you call Scientology a religion, and if so, should we also protect them from people saying bad things about them?

    • Should I be able to call the Pope a fool because he discourages the use of condoms, even though condoms would help stop the spread of AIDS. Many Katholics will be offended by such a statement, so should it be forbidden?

    The list goes on… If we have to respect the feelings of random groups whenever we publish or say something, then freedom of speech is dead. Because there might always be somebody who feels insulted by what you say, such as these silly examples:

    • Should it not be forbidden to draw funny pictures of our Prime Minister? Or to burn puppets made to look like him? It obviously offends the members of his party.

    • Can we make fun of Americans? Of Georg W. Bush? Some 50% of the Americans voted for Bush in the last election and I’m sure that they feel offended when people call him names…

    Such questions would be the result of weakening the freedom of speech we enjoy in Denmark and countries like it. The only reasonable answer is that no group is exempt from ridicule, no matter how large or how violent it is.

  5. Yasra:

    The definition of ‘religion’ would be a very subjective issue but what is common to most religions, is the long period of time wherein its foundation was cemented. A religion for those who follow it, is something from a divine being. I was a Hindu and after studying religion, have converted to Islam because I believe that this is the only religion that gave me the freedom to ‘live’ life.
    Do you know what the Quran talks about? It is not limited to stories of the Prophets. It actually talks about science. Scientists found out about the formation of mountains and clouds only in our times but the Quran, a book that was revealed 1400 years ago, talks about all these phenomenon! What is it that would not convince me? Islam is not just a religion as people understand. It is a way of life. Islam is not just about reading the Quran, it is about adopting certain principles by which one would lead his/her life. I would advice you to refer to authentic islamic sources and read what it’s all about. It is not even a percent of all the evil that people are posing it to be.
    As far as the ministers and leaders are concerned, I do not think they’re holy or divine. All of them have drwoned deep in the sea of corruption and internal politics. The point is: they have all come from institutions that are man-made. What is a government all about? A set of people that decide for the country?Who elects them? People!! All I mean is that politicians are really not the kind to be ‘worshipped’. As far as making fun of Americans or any other group is concerned, it’s a different issue that really delas with ethics and morals followed by people. Religion is WAY different from race or ethnicity. Think about it and thanks for the discussion. I really do appreciate talking about issues with an open-mind than just being brain-washed by biased opinions.

  6. Martin Geisler:

    Hi Yasra, thanks for your reply. I too appreciate the discussion!

    I don’t think that Islam is an evil religion — though I haven’t read the Quran, I’m sure it talks about peace and how people should be behave (peacefully) towards one another. The same as with all other religions.

    I agree with you completely that politicians shouldn’t be worshipped, but my point is: who are we to decide? If someone feels strongly that Bush is the answer to our prayers and that he has come to save the world, then why should we not allow him or her to believe that? We have freedom of faith in Denmark, so they should be allowed to hold their crazy beliefs.

    But then what if someone draws a picture of Bush as an evil-looking thief that only wants to occupy Irak for the sake of the oil? These hypothetical Bush-worshippers will then surely come and say “You cannot draw such insulting pictures of Bush, it is not allowed in our faith.”

    I’m sure you see the similarities — my example feels silly because we’re talking about Bush, but still, if we are to respect the wishes of Muslims that say that we cannot draw a picture of Muhammed (positive or not), then shouldn’t we also respect the wishes of the Bush-fans?

  7. Brian Nielsen:

    It is in hard time like this, the danes find their enemies,,- and true friends. Thank you all, for buying danish instead of boycotting. Forced silence done by threats and violence is a horrible thing.

    Please check this link out :

  8. Martin Geisler:

    Yes, being forced to keep silent is very bad and undemocratic.

    But having listened to the song on the page you linked to, I might want to reconsider… that MIDI music is quite annoying! :-) But the lyrics are very Danish in spirit: sort of a “Come on, relax, sit down and have some beer!” kind of attitude :-)

  9. Russell Whitaker:

    Blogger “The Dissident Frogman” actively maintains a posting with some very high quality “Support Denmark” graphics in multiple languages (the list of which is growing) such as English, French, Italian, Polish, German, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Romanian:

    I recommend downloading and using these banners on our blogs.

  10. Svend:

    Hmm, The picture of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban is a illustration of his use of terror to spreed Islam.

    See this page.

    Your can roughly separate verses in Koran into 2 groups.

    The Mecca verse and the Medina verse.

    The Mecca verse is vary peaceful so of course these are used when your want to show the beauty of Islam.

    The Medina verse it very different this is were we find the ugly stuff.

    Here is a little selection about killing. But don’t take my word for it start looking into it yourself.

    There is 3 translations (YUSUFALI,PICKTHAL and SHAKIR).


    YUSUFALI: Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”

    PICKTHAL: When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.

    SHAKIR: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe . I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

    YUSUFALI: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

    PICKTHAL: Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

    SHAKIR: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

    YUSUFALI: O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding.

    PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty steadfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred (steadfast) they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.

    SHAKIR: O Prophet! urge the believers to war; if there are twenty patient ones of you they shall overcome two hundred, and if there are a hundred of you they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they are a people who do not understand.

  11. Martin Geisler:

    Hi Svend, interesting reading… But is it not so that every religion says bad things about people from other religions? Such that they would burn in hell or that they are second-class citizens.

    (I’ve fixed a couple of links in your comment and removed a bunch of space characters which had sneaked in here and there… Please write links like <> to make them link.)

  12. Yasra:

    Well…so the “the picture of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban is a illustration of his use of terror to spread Islam”…well when people oppose you and threaten to kill you, carry out atrocities, only an absolute idiot would do nothing about it.
    I seriously urge you to first have some knowledge about the religion that you’re talking about and then make any statements. Discussing matters is a rational way to go about it, it’s great that you have an opinion but PLEASE, don’t indulge yourself in pure ignorance and make comments. This is a request- think about what you’re saying. “Freedom of expression” does not give anybody the right to make insulting remarks about cultures or religions. Please do visit and I assure you, it’s not one of those biased blogs screaming out irrationality…

  13. Svend:

    I don’t know every religion so I can’t answer your question.

    But it is quiet a different thing to say that I am going to hell in the afterlife. Then to say I should get killed now.

    If your religion says that I go to hell in the afterlife I can ignore it and just let your have your believe in peace.

    But if your religion says that your have to kill me. I have to defend myself so that I don’t get killed.

    Now do your think that brings peace ?

  14. yasra:

    It is not expected of you or anyone else to be a complete encyclopedia about world religions. Every religion has its own belief systems. If you don’t belong to a certain religion, it really shouldn’t make a difference to your life thinking about what punishments they have for you in the afterlife. After all, you don’t believe in it right? So YOU should also practice some tolerance here and be ok with it. You know your religion and you feel contented following it. Period.
    Nobody ever said you were going to be killed now. I’m not sure where you got this ‘theory’ from. There is no religion that encourages violence. The media today, is responsible for posing forward a very falsely dangerous image of Islam and FYI, please think of issues in totality. The Muslims were not just a bunch of people. They were people who were actively engaged in politics- and by politics I do not mean the dirty games politicians resort to, now-a-days. By politics I mean that they had a whole system which consisted of a leader and Caliphs after his death, to maintain peace and unity amongst Muslims. As obvious, wars were frequent in those times because of leadership interests and you had to defend your land.
    If you were implying that Islam encourages ‘terrorism’, please go ahead and define it for me. Maybe the ’secular dictionary’ of the West has another definition for terrorism too. The British came up with accusations, calling the tribal people of Arabia ‘pirates’ when all they(Saudis) did was an attempt to collect taxes from the British (which btw was the LAW)…so well now they want to label Muslims as ‘terrorists’. Unfortunately, people still seem to be living in the Dark ages; unwilling to think for themselves; something we should be ashamed of. After all, we believe we’re in ‘modern, civilized’ society…

  15. Svend:

    “I seriously urge you to first have some knowledge about the religion that you’re talking about and then make any statements.”

    And can your prove that your have knowledge about the religion your talking about ?

    “Discussing matters is a rational way to go about it, it’s great that you have an opinion but PLEASE, don’t indulge yourself in pure ignorance and make comments.”

    Now if your really know what your are talking about. I think your should take on Ali Sinas challenge at

    I think Ali Sina is wrong simply because if Mohammad were that bad, he wouldn’t have so many follows today. But I don’t know enough about Islam to disprove him.

    But maybe your can ?

    But all the people trying rational to prove him wrong after some time loses temper and start calling him names. So instead of attacking his arguments they start to attack him as a person.

    And your can’t have a rational discussion that way.

    The challenge are here.

    And the earlier debates are here.

  16. Martin Geisler:

    Right, if people want to carry out the stuff in their various religions books litterally, then we would all be in trouble. Those books were written in ancient times and are thus very much a product of the society back then — see this article on why eating pork is forbidden for example, it explains that there were good social and economical explainations for this prohibition back in ancient times.

    What has surpriced me a lot in this case is that there are so many people who care so much about some stupid cartoons. So much that they take the time to burn down an embassy and a consulate… As if they don’t have more important things to do.

  17. Martin Geisler:

    Hi Svend. I’m sorry your comment had to wait for moderation — all comments with more than two links are held for moderation since they’re typically spam. But please link away! I’ll try and keep up with the moderation :-)

  18. Svend:

    “Nobody ever said you were going to be killed now. I’m not sure where you got
    this ‘theory’ from.”

    I got the ‘theory’ directly from the holy Koran. Here is an example.

    YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! fight the unbelievers who gird you about, and let them find firmness in you: and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.

    PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him).

    SHAKIR: O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

    “There is no religion that encourages violence.”

    That is excactly what I believed for a long time. So your can probely understand my
    supprice when I started to read the Koran and I found verses like this.


    YUSUFALI: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open
    the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    PICKTHAL: Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    SHAKIR: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them;
    surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    “The media today, is responsible for posing forward a very falsely dangerous image of Islam and FYI, please think of issues in totality.”

    Don’t blame the media the problem is the scriptures of Islam itself. After reading the Koran I am thinking that the media it to
    soft with Islam.

    “The Muslims were not just a bunch of people.”

    And I have nothing against Muslims they ARE just a bunch of people. And most of them are good people that has just been born in a Islamic culture. Most Muslims have newer read the Koran and is only
    been feed beatiful Mecca verses in the Moske.

    BUT Islam is an ideology and as every ideology I try to investigate it in a objectiv and critical way.

    BUT any ideology that says your should deliberately harm another person, I have to reject. Because I feel that I should treat other people the way I wish to be treated myself.

    “Unfortunately, people still seem to be living in the Dark ages; unwilling to think for themselves; something we should be ashamed of. After all, we believe we’re in ‘modern, civilized’ society…”

    And very unfortunately that only make them good Muslims because the Holy Koran includes the following verse.

    YUSUFALI: It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.

    PICKTHAL: And it becometh not a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) claim any say in their affair; and whoso is
    rebellious to Allah and His messenger, he verily goeth astray in error manifest.

    SHAKIR: And it behoves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he surely strays off a manifest straying.

  19. ahmd:

    please check out the book here!

  20. sadia:

    In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

    Danish Cartoons and all blasphemy are a crusade against “The Mercy to Mankind”.

                    Prophet Muhammad Salallahu alaihi wa sallam is
    • the man who firmly stood against injustice
    • the man who liberated women and guaranteed them their rights
    • the man who spoke for respectful rehabilitation of widows and orphans
    • the man who diminished the raging fire of racism and inequality
    • the man who rightfully conveyed the word of Allah, Most High
    • the man who termed the liberation of slaves as a merciful act, an expiation of sins
    • the man who untiringly brokered Peace between warring tribes
    • the man who convinced to the world that humanity is a single race
    • the man who endorsed social justice in the greatest way possible - simply by adhereing to it
    • the man who established a moral and just system in society in the form of shariah
    • the man who loved his neighbor more than his life
    • the man who greatly upheld loyalty in friendship.
    • the man who forgave his staunchest enemies
    • the man who shared with the poor and the rich
    • the man who never spoke a word untrue
    • the man who honoured his guest, and treated them the best.
    • the man who visited the sick and the old, comforting them with kindest of words, even to those who opposed him the most.
    • the man whose faith was the greatest, and yet lived life the simplest.
    • the man who loved to pray and to kneel, and shared his every meal.
    • the man so honest even his enemies swore by it.
    • the man most upright even at times of strife.
    • the one muslims regard as their True leader,
    • the one muslims love and respect more than their lives or their family,
    • the one muslims believe is the most beloved among the entire creation of Allah Almighty,
    • the pious one that everybody, muslims and non muslims, unmistakably believe as the Greatest Human Being ever to have walked on Earth.
    • the one who is the biggest cause of grief to all evil whisperers and evil doers.
    • and the one that the immoral Danish cartoonist, Danish media, Danish publicists and associates constantly slander against out of prejudice and bigotism.

    The current state of the world is ” When you do good, know it when impounded with criticism and abuse, and if you have sinned know it when YOU become the “apple in the eye” of the self styled “LIBERAL WORLD”, (or if you get nominated for a noble prize!)

    Denmark is fairly acquainted with the FACT that Islam forbids picture making and that Muslims will never Forgive Blasphemy, and yet so as to provocate muslims extremely, Denmark permitted the printing, publishing and distribution of blasphemous
    material directed towards the noblest of all nobles, the leader of all prophets, the messiah of mercy to mankind - Prophet Muhammad Salallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam……..all in the pretext of “FREEDOM of EXPRESSION”!!
    Expression of what? Hatred and jealously???…..

    Guess they have choosen to forget what the “Freedom of Expression” really stands for???
    Well, its about time they realize that it stands for
    Liberty of faith
    Liberty of honour
    Liberty of justice
    Liberty of modesty
    and more than anything - it is the Liberty of Rightful WAY of LIFE!
    Clearly, it doesn’t stand for suppression - suppression of beliefs that differ culturally and religiously.

    Modesty and Vulgarity have different names in the west as is evident from the following views:
    To the WEST, it is upright when u have “women walking nude” in the name of FASHION
    To the West, it is upright when u have topless women working in strip clubs
    To the West, it is upright when u have proms where “loosing ones’ virginity” is the criterion to become trendy
    To the West, it is upright when u commercialize women to market commodities as cheap as a shavingrazor
    To the West, it is upright when u write untrue and abusive stuff about a faith that has millions of believers
    To the West, it is upright to indulge in alcohol, which clearly diminishes the sense that distinguishes good and bad
    But shockingly, when a muslim woman chooses “not to dress provocatively and to cover her hair” out of HER FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OF MODESTY and BELIEF, she FACES UPROAR AND SEVERE CRITICISM FROM THE WEST so much so that legislations have
    drafted rules banning any such attire …….WHY? Because it does not endorse vulgarity- the west’s”freedom of expression ” !

    This is an Act revealing the Highest Degree of Bigotism perpetrated by chauvinists who fiercly envy the “MAgnetism of Islam” in the growing world.
    Yes, it hurts when bigotism extends to this level….but we will now show our “FREEDOM of EXPRESSION”.
    We condemn these acts of prejudice and reject the falsehood

    An Apology on mere papers is not what we want
    An apology from within is what we demand


    sadia masroor

  21. Jonay:

    All of my questions settled—tnakhs!

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