We all know that it doesn’t take much to get the whole of Islam excited. Draw the prophet and 1.5 billion followers of the religion of peace go nuts. Hordes of crazed, screaming people will burn down your embassy, burn your flag, and pictures of your chosen political leader and whatever else may come to hand. Which, I suppose, is a fair, reasonable and understandable reaction and not at all ‘over the top’. (Right…!)
Denmark is not well known for multi-million dollar, multi-national concerns. Apart from A.P. Møller and his container empire you may be hard pressed to find others. I’ll name one here ;
They have a pretty strong monopoly of the danish dairy market, having squashed all the other ‘independant’ dairies by a particularly aggressive marketing style including contracts that forbid supermarket owners to deal with the little guys or else, and big bags of money. They produce Feta cheese amongst other things. (Although, they aren’t really allowed to call it Feta, because that is a Greek product). It’s very popular in arabia, along with butter.
Now, what do these two things have to do with each other?
During the great Muhammed crisis, (you know, the one where a few innocent cartoons had the ummah going mad), Arla asked the Danish prime minister to give an apology to the Arab world, on behalf of Denmark, for the drawings. This, because Arla, a multi-million dollar, multi-national concern that produces dairy products, was under boycott by all the Arab nations.
The Danish P.M., Anders Fogh Rasmussen, declined to do this, explaining that the drawings were published by a newspaper in accordance with Danish law and that as the government has no influence on the press, it cannot therefore be responsible. The press is free to print whatever the chief editor thinks is worthy of publishing. It’s called *Freedom of the press*.
Well done Anders.
I met him once. Shook his hand. Just before I went off to Africa to climb Kilimanjaro. Good solid grip, I remember. Here is a picture of him.
But I digress.. (Get used to it, I do it a lot. It adds to the entertainment value.)
Arla whined. Arla appealed to everyone they could. Arla wrote to the P.M. Still no apology.
So what does Arla do now? They apologise for Denmark. A full page advertisement in every arab newspaper they can get to explaining that it was wrong, and they weren’t a part of it, and they understand, and they have learned through their many years in the arab world, that tolerance and justice are a part of Islam, and they are sooo sorry, – grovel,- whine.
Hmmm.. Tolerance and justice a part of Islam?
Yes. And pigs do fly. And fish perform Shakespeare at the bottom of the sea in floodlit grottos surrounded by mermaids.
Now, it takes a bit more to get a dane excited than it does the ummah. But if he starts to mutter about longships and Valhalla and goes for the fly agaric and the mead, then take my advice.
Get the hell out of Dodge.
Go home, hide everything you value and lock up your wife and daughters.
We all know what a pissed-off viking is capable of.
As yet, and I am waiting for it, I haven’t seen hordes of milk-crazed, screaming, woad-painted danes burning down supermarkets or Arla billboards or pictures of the C.E.O., but here’s the point to all this…
Arla may now be facing another boycott. Right here, at home, in Denmark for the sell-out on freedom of speech.