Monday, January 30, 2006

 

Palestinians protest against Danish prejudice

Around 100 people marched down the streets of Ramallah tonight after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten posted a series of 12 cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed in a negative light. The one cartoon that I managed to find googling the web portrays Mohammed with a big bomb as the top part of his head. This comment on Islamic people is not witty satire but rather an explicitly racist cartoon akin to the depictions of Jews as rats in the early years of the Nazi regime. Most of the media attention seems to be focused on if the people have the right to display the cartoon rather then whether or not the cartoon is racist.

Here in Palestine people are upset, not only because of the cartoon but because the majority of Danish people supported the cartoons in a recent opinion poll. Whilst there were some reports of Danish flag burning earlier, the protest that evening had chants focused on defending Islam and the occupation (Danish people weren't mentioned). The rally chanted against the occupation, because cartoons like those in Denmark reinforce the racist world we live in and the occupation of Palestine. The cartoons are just an aspect of reinforcing the idea of Islamic people as being backward and deserving less compassion then the west.

As a result of these comments and the backlash by Muslims, some of the Danish people working with the ISM don't feel safe in the West Bank and there embassy has advised them to pull out. This is a real loss to the Palestine solidarity movement.

Harry

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