Saturday, April 08, 2006
Right after the cartoons controversy, 2 schools of thought emerged. One called for a hardline stand and the other opted towards dialogue with Denmark. The latter was head by superstar Islamic TV preacher Amr Khaled who organized a Danish government financed conference in Copenhagen.
We all know now the conference turned out to be a colossal failure mainly due to the clumsy rhetoric of one of Khaled's companions, Sheikh Al-Suweidan who kept attacking the Danish government (who financed the thing!) and rebuked it for not apologizing. However, I still supported the conference and hailed it as a good step forward. Nobody hates dialogue.
Here is an interview with Amr Khaled about the conference. Khaled said that "Danes respect Muslims now" after his group went to this conference. Even though the conference was a good idea, I don't think Muslims earned any respect after what happened.
I have said before that the Arab/Muslim world had a golden chance to show the world how grown up they were. Unfortunately, they blew this chance off. Instead of writing angry letters to the editor and boycotting companies that advertise in J-Posten, they boycotted an entire nation and vilified an entire people. They demanded the Danish government to apologize for something it didn't do and something it had zero control over. Not to mention the flag burnings and the embassy firebombings.
Sorry, no respect earned here but more self inflicted tarnishing.