After the Danish Mohammed Cartoons were published last year, a group of Muslim clerics led by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi called for a boycott of Danish products by Muslims around the world.
The Danish dairy conglomerate Arla was one of the hardest-hit victims of the boycott, with its extensive Middle Eastern exports cut to a trickle. It was quick to bend the knee to the Ummah and pay the jizyah.
Now Arla’s grovelling has borne fruit. Here’s an account from an editorial in Canada’s National Post:
The row over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper appears to have been resolved. At an “International Conference for Supporting the Prophet” last month, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a well-known terrorism apologist who led the anti-Denmark campaign, declared that the boycott of Danish products was to end. The conference of some 300 Muslim clerics in the Gulf emirate of Bahrain was also attended by representatives of Arla, the Danish dairy company that had been worst affected by Qaradawi’s February 3, 2006 call for an anti-Danish embargo.
The end of the controversy is no cause for celebration. Rather Qaradawi’s announcement, and the deal Arla has struck with him, is a victory for thuggery and extortion over free speech. The lack of resistance to the vilification of Denmark by Middle Eastern regimes and their pet theologians sets an appalling precedent.
Arla prostrated itself, in effect apologizing for the supposed offence caused by the 12 not terribly interesting drawings. Of course, the company does not put it that way. Instead, Arla’s Web site refers to “an active marketing approach.”
Nice euphemism. Way to go, Arla. That’s what Texaco should have called it when they were shaken down by Jesse Jackson back in 1996. Suggested new slogan: “No active marketing approach, no peace!”
The editorial continues:
At the end of January, Arla paid to have the Danish government’s official statement indicating its respect for Islam printed in Saudi newspapers. Then, in a full-page advertisement in newspapers in 25 countries on March 26, Arla stated that “Our presence in the region has given us an insight into your culture and values and about Islam. This understanding has, over many years, enabled us to supply high quality products which meet your preferences.”
God, it is said, works in mysterious ways. How else to explain this previously unknown symbiosis between the gathering of religious insight and the sale of dairy products?
So we see that the Danish government was complicit in this shameful commercial capitulation. Denmark’s government, it seems, is not monolithic. The American analogy might be the State Department versus the Defense Department — one agency ready to surrender obsequiously to any demand, the other standing firm on behalf of American interests.
And how much jizyah did Arla have to pay?
The centerpiece of the deal between Arla and Qaradawi is not the grovelling statement, but Arla’s offer to start humanitarian projects in the Middle East, including helping disabled children and cancer sufferers.
The terms of this deal had already been set in March during a conference convened by the Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen. According to The New York Times, Amr Khaled, an Egyptian preacher, indicated that the boycott of Danish goods could end “if Danes and their government reached out with initiatives like help for small businesses, or health care.”
On his own Web site, Khaled had been even more explicit, announcing “We will not accept a symbolic apology. We want them to take actions that prove their respect for the Prophet.” Arla got the hint and paid up.
Arla’s behaviour is perhaps understandable. The boycott will apparently cost the company some $65-million, and has already forced it to lay off some 50 workers.
If the Jesse Jackson business model holds here, it would be Khaled’s cousin who gets the grant for a children’s medical center, and Sheikh Qaradawi’s brother-in-law would very conveniently open an oncology clinic.
The National Post concludes with an ironic historical reminder:
If extortion is not resisted, it is repeated. The Danes have a word for such regular payments: Danegeld.
Some major Danish companies, and most notably the multinational dairy giant ARLA FOODS have been criticized heavily for trying to appease Muslim fundamentalists by coming with statements criticizing Jyllands Posten and the government. The company has bowed to the Islamists by apologizing for Danish freedom of speech.
Boycott ARLA, IKEA, GRUNDFOSS , and other companies which betrayed the values of the West…
We should never forget that mass third world immigration initially was a process staged by big companies that wanted cheap labor, and couldn’t care less for the long time cost and other consequences.
And it still is the largest companies, that support de-nationalization, globalization, betrayal of western values such as freedom of speech and woman’s rights, and appeasement to Muslim ideology…
The Danish Diary giant ARLA, which was initially boycotted by Muslim countries because of the Mohammed cartoons, has bent down its knees, and has praised ‘Muslim culture’ in many countries in the Middle East and has come with a number of apologizing statements to Muslim dictatorships. Statements, which are now heavily criticized by the Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen and other members of the Liberal Party, normally definitely the pro business party.
Another member of the Liberal Party, Jens Rohde, suggested they move their company’s main seat to Teheran.
Also Danish feminist organizations, as well as many individual Danes have protested against ARLA ‘s cowardice and disgracing appeasement policies.
The same goes for the Danish Technological Company GRUNDFOSS (produces pumps etc.) that also betrayed the values of its home country and licked the butts of Arab dictators, rather than to support the values that brought them into business.
I hope the news of this boycott by free speech supporters and woman’s rights groups will also be spread to those websites that display ‘Support Denmark’ banners.
The multinational ARLA by the way, has been long criticized and boycotted in Denmark because of their abuse of their dominant market position, to try and eradicate smaller and often more ecologically minded dairies and small farmers in Denmark.
It would be great if all the I Support Denmark blogs, would also display an “ARLA NO THANKS” banner, since this company more than any other has stirred up the anger of freedom loving Danes. It would be too bad, if now they too would benefit from the “I Support Denmark Campaign”.
I’ll have to admit that the whole issue was very confusing at first. Buy Danish, but don’t buy Arla! Whenever I went to get my weekly supply of Havarti, I had to look closely to make sure that an unobtrusive little Arla logo wasn’t on it somewhere. And if Arla was the only brand of Danish cheese in the store, I had to go get a six-pack of Carlsberg to console myself with.
The “Buy Danish, boycott Arla” campaign is an economic version of a JDAM, a precision-guided effort to take out an appeasing dhimmi corporation while leaving the surrounding commercial structures intact.
I hope it’s working. I hope Arla is feeling the pain, and thinking twice about its kiss-the-feet-of-the-Arabs strategy.
The rest of the effort seems to have been effective, based on Denmark’s recent trade figures.
Hat tip: Erudito.