Former Imam Regrets His Role in the Cartoon Crisis: Now I Understand Drawings
by Martin Kjær Jensen
The man who set the world on fire during the Mohammed crisis has changed the attitude
One of the recent years' most significant and radical Danish Islamists have warned against the environment and the mindset he has been a part of and advocate for.
At the same time he expresses understanding for the Danish People's Party, Pia Kjærsgaard and part of the Islam-critical positions he has previously fought fiercely against.
During the cartoon crisis was Ahmed Akkari as a preacher and spokesman for the Islamic Society of to incite hatred and struggle against Denmark and freedom of expression, but today he basically changed attitude and broken with the old fellow. It says he is now in an interview with BT.
- I have become much wiser. Today, I take a very critical to the whole mindset of the environment I even represented. There is something terribly wrong when everything is seen as a battle between good and evil, where one represents the only good. All different thoughts are perceived as an attack that must be fought, and it is dangerous, says Ahmed Akkari.
The 34-year-old Danish-Lebanese have expressed experienced several examples of religious leaders in the Quranic name preach resistance against Denmark and Western values. For fear of violent reactions from his former co-religionists wish, however, he is at present no to mention names or specific details.
- I have seen what has happened to other people who have allowed themselves to criticize these people's world and interpretation of Islam, he says, referring to other prominent Muslims around the world that have been met with death threats and attacks after criticism of ' the true faith. '
Since Mohammed Ahmed Akkari crisis has receded from the public and the role of imams and religious spokesman. When he still choose to stand up, this is due to what he views as a dangerous development. If the flow to the extremist Muslim circles not curbed, it can have serious consequences for the Danish society, he fears.
- It reproduces a particular world view of people complete without shades. It's all done black / white as a struggle between them and the rest of the world, and so the reality is not. This makes it even more dangerous that they have begun to attract young people from gang environments and prisons. They may not have the brainpower to be critical of what they are told.And it is people who are already on the edge of the Danish society and find it difficult to comply with its rules. The combination is a powder keg. It could end in anything, says Akkari.
As examples of the dangerous doctrine, he mentions that democracy and the western separation of religion and law in several radical environments perceived as an attack on Islam and the proper way of life, and therefore it must be fought.
According to the now former imam, it is precisely the perception of having a monopoly on truth and resistance to any view that makes the Islamic radicalization dangerous for both the individual and society.
For the 34-year-old ex-imam was the growing gap to the environment's self-affirmation that revealed cracks in the otherwise hard-core world view.
- I pulled me a little of the Cartoon Crisis and got quiet to think. I got the nuances with and see the importance of having an inclusive society like the Danish, where there is room for all lifestyles, says Ahmed Akkari, when BT met him.
Understand Muhammad cartoons
The new worldview means that the former imam today has changed my mind about the 12 cartoons of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, who in 2005 was the Muslim world to boil over with rage against Denmark. On a tour of the Middle East was Ahmed Akkari actively helping to incite the hatred that led to the boycott of Danish products, burning of embassies and several demonstrators dead. That he regrets today and now says that he understands the newspaper Jyllands-Posten reason to print the drawings.
- I remember a meeting with Carsten Juste (then chief editor of Jyllands-Posten, ed), where he said that the newspaper fought for the common man did not get suppressed his views, thoughts and opinions of power. I could not relate to me at the time. I saw the cartoons as an attack on Islam's values and attitudes and everything, I even stood for. Today I can see that it was wrong. The newspaper saw a world that swallows people's capacity to innovate and see the world in a broader perspective, and tried to poke at it. I'm not sure it was the right way to do it, but now I understand the subject, says Ahmed Akkari.
TV: Hear how Ahmed Akkari in 2006 demanded an apology from Jyllands-Posten on behalf of 27 Muslim associations
A New Perspective on Kjaersgaard
In the same way he has today gained a new perspective on one of the people he previously saw as one of its fiercest opponents, Danish People's Party now retired chairman Kjaersgaard.
- Today I can better understand the skepticism towards immigrants and Muslims, as she and the party represents. I have lived in Denmark since I was seven years old, and I remember how Denmark was then. My dad speaks often about it. The population was not so divided, and there was another naivety and security that is disappearing. It is not only the Islamist milieus sake, but you are naive if you think that they do not play a role, he says.
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