Norway: Support Denmark

Christian Tybring-Gjedde, parliament member for the Norwegian Progress Party (Frp), encourages Norwegians to buy Danish goods, in order to support Danes in their struggle for freedom of expression.

He says that Danish products are systematically boycotted by the largest stories in several lands in teh Middle East, because Danish newspapers published the caricatures of the prophet Muhammad. He says he thinks it will help the Danes a bit, by buying Danish products. In any case, it can balance the Norwegian Muslim boycott.

He adds that Danes are not suffering from spontaneous reactions, but from a systemic boycott where shoppers are first informed that Danish newspapers "insulted the prophet" and then informed which products are produced in Denmark. He says hundreds of Danish workers have been affected.

By buying Danish products, Norwegians will morally support the Danish struggle for basic human rights, namely the freedom of expression.

Tybring-Gjedde also thinks Norwegians should follow the Danish example and publicize the cartoons. he says it's a shame Norway is silent on such a principal question of values.

As to the question why the Frp doesn't publish the cartoons on their site, he says they haven't discussed this, but can do so. He also tells Danish Muslims that if they boycott Danish products, they should also boycott Danish welfare.

Meanwhile, Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende reports of the anti-Danish boycott in Jordan. According to local observers, 75% of stores in Jordan now refuse to sale Danish prodcuts.

The business owners interviewed by the newspaper complain of not being respected and of a hate campaign led by Denmark and possibly the US. Not one had heard of a plot to murder Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaaard.

At least 18 Jordanian newspapers launched a campaign towards end of February against the reprinting of the Muhammad cartoons by Danish newspapers. The campaign is now starting to have an effect, though there is a debate on how effective it is.

Khalil Haj Tawfiq, president of Foodstuff Traders Association in Jordan brings up several other issues: the boycott is bad for the Jordanian importers, and Jordan imports medicine and water pumps. As one importer says: you can't boycott a country half-way. Jordan imports 80% of its insulin from Denmark, as well as a majority of warfarin (heart medicine) and anti-psychotic medications. Though the leaders of the boycot claim there are alternatives for that too.

Source: VG (Norwegian), BT (Danish)

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