I am not a Dane

By Jan Oberg

Jan Oberg

NO to being included in the Denmark of the Government and Parliament

Written in the wake of the official Danish reactions to the tragic, horrific murders in Copenhagen of a Danish film director and a Jewish Danish guard outside the synagogue in Copenhagen on Saturday February 14 – a crime committed by a 22 years old Danish Muslim with a heavy criminal record and one foot in Denmark and one in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan.

I’m a Danish citizen. I’ve worked for the UN Charter norm of peace by peaceful means for 40 years. Have been a member of the Danish government’s Commission for Disarmament and Security all through the 1980s. I’ve worked in war and conflict zones in Somalia, all parts of Yugoslavia, Burundi, Iraq, Georgia, Iran.

I have friends and colleagues in many countries and cultures. I know things can be seen in more than one way – and how the West may also be perceived from the outside.

I will use my freedom of expression and wisdom of expression and our democracy to struggle against the warring Denmark which Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt insists that we Danes shall all be united around.

Denmark is not only a victim. It has also caused many victims.

It has violated international law and participated in mass murders on the Iraqi and other people, innocent people. On the initiative of then prime minister Fogh Rasmussen it has fought a cultural battle (kulturkamp) not with but against other cultures – related to the Muhamad caricatures. His government was also responsible for dragging Denmark into being an occupation power during four dark years in Iraq – and thus co-responsible for today’s situation there. Likewise in Afghanistan and Libya.

Over a couple of decades Denmark has developed a political xenophobia which I would never have thought even remotely possible a couple of decades ago because of basic values such as welfare for all, solidarity, equality, peoples’ colleges, philosopher poet Grundtvig, disarmament, the compassion for the Jews in October 1943, the fundamental belief in human dignity and tolerance.

The Danmark which the Prime Minister demagogically includes ”all we Danes” in and insists that we all be united around in her misplaced, all-motherly manner, is not the Denmark I want to be included in.

If so, I am not a Dane these days.

I want a Denmark for peace by peaceful means – and in that struggle we dissidents may meet, however few or many we seem to be.

But I draw my line at a national(istic) forced inclusion in the warring, xenophobic and segregated Denmark that has been created the last few years.

And this is not easy for me to write.

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