Danish Jihad - a study

Michael Taarnby Jensen of the Danish Institute for International Studies published a study of Jihadi activity in Denmark. The study itself can be read here: Jihad in Denmark - An Overview and Analysis of Jihadi Activity in Denmark 1990-2006

There were several points I thought were interesting to note:

1. Jihadi activity in Denmark started after Denmark accepted asylum seekers who were wanted in their own lands for terrorism. What started off as local terrorism developed later into global terrorism.

As one Egyptian official is quoted, regarding the arrest of one such terrorist/asylum seeker by Egyptian forces:

"His arrest proves what we have always said, which is that these terror groups are operating on a worldwide scale, using places like Afghanistan and Bosnia to form their fighters who come back to the middle east…. European countries like Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, England and others, which give sanctuary to these terrorists should now understand it will come back to haunt them where they live ."

2. The study divides the Muslim community in Denmark into four groups: the non-political, the democratic, the non-violent Islamists and the Jihadists. I found the division confusing, and especially I did not understand what the author meant by "non political". According to the study the democratic group includes all those abiding by democratic principles and not only those who are actively participating, so what do the non-political people abide by? I do not think one can be "neutral" on the issue of democracy. You either support it or you don't. I had turned to Jensen for clarification, but did not receive any response.

3. In summary, Jensen says that should there be an attack in Denmark the main victim would be societal cohesiveness and not the
personal damage.

That is true, in a way. If Jihadists would commit an attack in Denmark, their goal would not be to kill all Danes or against a specific train, but rather their goal would be to disrupt life and impose their own way of life over the Danes. Denmark might not need to worry about the personal damage, but the question is whether the ultimate victim would be the cohesiveness of society or its identity.

In this context it is interesting to note what Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, recently said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.

Asked by the Post if there was a distinction under human rights law between missile attacks aimed at killing civilians and military strikes in which civilians are unintentionally killed, Arbour said the two could not be equated.

"In one case you could have, for instance, a very objectionable intent - the intent to harm civilians, which is very bad - but effectively not a lot of harm is actually achieved," she said. "But how can you compare that with a case where you may not have an intent but you have recklessness [in which] civilian casualties are foreseeable? The culpability or the intent may not sound as severe, but the actual harm is catastrophic."

Most terror attacks do not get to the level of the World Trade Center attack. Every attack will kill and maim "only" a few dozen people at most and so the "personal damage" will be quite minimal, on a global level. However, as Jensen points out - the personal damage is only a fraction of the cost. It is a shame that somebody who represents Human Rights so casually ignores the aim of terrorists and the danger that they pose to society.

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