Our Danish correspondent TB has compiled a report on the political reaction to the attempted murder of Kurt Westergaard, based on his translations of official responses by all the major Danish political parties.
What Danish Politicians Say About Kurt Westergaard
Below are translations of the reactions from the leaders and spokesmen from all Danish political parties after the attack on Kurt Westergaard.
Why did I bother translating all these political statements? Aren’t they only empty expressions from the persons who deserted us in the first place? I think so! Except for the Danish People’s Party, of course — they were right all the time, and they still are.
What is important here is not the complete condemnation, the total support of Kurt Westergaard, and the perfect unity from the whole political palette, even Radikale Venstre (who are, more than anyone, responsible for the mess we are in) and the Communists. What’s important is that these statements are an indirect symptom of the fact that our politicians now know that it would be the end of their careers if they did not back up Kurt Westergaard. These statements do not say much about the politicians, but they say a lot about the sentiments and views of the Danish population in general.
These politicians’ statements show that the name “Kurt Westergaard” now constitutes a “winner-case”. If you want power in Denmark, you have to be on the side of Kurt Westergaard. Kurt Westergaard is Denmark, and Denmark is Kurt Westergaard.
When reading through all the press releases I suddenly remembered an old saying: “Listen to what he says, and then watch what he does”. This is what they said. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do!
First the ruling party, Venstre, from Berlingske Tidende:
PM L. L. Rasmussen: Despicable Assault
The attack on Kurt Westergaard is not only an attack on the cartoonist but also an attack on the Danish democracy and the open society, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen (V) states.
“The attack which Kurt Westergaard and his family have been exposed to is despicable, and I reject in the most comprehensive way this attack against human life and security rooted in extremism. It is not only an attack on Kurt Westergaard but also an attack on our open society and democracy. It is good that the Danish society together sharply distances itself from the attack,” Lars Løkke says in a press release.
On Saturday the PM himself called the cartoonist to express his sympathy following the attempt by the 28-year-old Somali to enter the cartoonist’s home to kill him. According to the PET, the man is part of a larger terrorist network, which the PET has kept under surveillance for a long time.
The perpetrator was imprisoned for four weeks and charged with attempted homicide.
And from the Venstre website:
P. Christensen: Incomprehensible that Denmark houses terrorist suspects
Political spokesman Peter Christensen, is shocked by the murder attempt on Kurt Westergaard in his own home.
“I send my warmest thoughts to Kurt Westergaard and his family, who experienced a true nightmare yesterday. This is the second time that they have tried to kill him, and it is scary and grotesque that Kurt Westergaard since publishing his cartoon has lived as a de facto hostage in his own home because of these fundamentalist men of violence,” says Peter Christensen.
By these terrifying events we experience once more that the terrorist threat in Denmark is real. Al Qaeda and their partners have not only focused on Denmark — we know that they are actually working in our country.
The arrested man, according to PET information, has close ties to the Somali terrorist organization al-Shabaab and Al Qaeda leaders in East Africa. He is also suspected of having been involved with terrorist activities. Such persons should not be allowed to have a permit to stay in the country, Peter Christensen states.
“It is completely incomprehensible that Denmark houses terrorist suspects and even gives asylum to some of them. If PET can prove that citizens or asylum-seekers are involved in terrorist activities, it should be followed up with charges, deportations, or administrative deportations,” says Peter Christensen who is satisfied with the police and PET since they reacted quickly and effectively, thereby saving Kurt Westergaard’s life.
“The government’s strengthening of the police and PET have once again shown its value,” he states, and underlines that it is completely unacceptable that one can be threatened just for exercising the right to express oneself — and that attempted murder because of political statements is terrorism and should be punished as such.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt: Denmark stands behind Kurt Westergaard
The leader of the Social Democrats, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, expresses her sympathy to Kurt Westergaard.
“It is a monstrous attack that Kurt Westergaard and his family have been exposed to in his own home. I would like to send a warm greeting to him and his family.”
“The cold-blooded assassination attempt against Kurt Westergaard is an attack on Danish society. We will not accept that Islamic fanatics think that they, by the use of threats, can subdue freedom of speech. The whole of Denmark stands behind Kurt Westergaard. All democratic forces must reject the terrorist attack completely.
“It is important that the police and PET have the greatest possible support. The attack on Kurt Westergaard shows that the terror threat against Denmark cannot be taken too seriously.”
From the Conservative Party’s website:
Naser Khader: Today we are all Kurt Westergaard
“Today we are all Kurt Westergaard,” says integration spokesman Naser Khader in a comment on the attempted murder of the cartoonist in Århus last night.
“It is completely unacceptable that Danish citizens are being attacked by fanatical Muslim who demand revenge because of a drawing. It is worrisome that the terrorist managed to get into the house, and PET must look more closely at Westergaard’s security. Luckily the police were there quickly — and for that they deserve credit,” says Naser Khader.
“In Denmark one should be able to live safely whether you have drawn a picture of Muhammad or not. Our most important mission is the security Danish citizens in Denmark. That is why we now have to investigate whether it has become too easy for potential assassins to operate in this country,” says Naser Khader.
He underlines that he does not know the background of the attacker, but that he expects a thorough investigation of the man, his network, and all of the reasons for his being in Denmark. If it turns out that he is connected to the Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabab, the Conservatives will demand that the group be put on the international terrorist list.
The Socialists, as reported on TV2:
Villy Søvndal: The perpetrator is ‘retarded’
It is completely insane that we have these kinds of retarded people in the world who think they can intimidate and terrorize their way to their goal.
This is what Villy Søvndal says in a comment on the attempted killing of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in his house on Friday night..
“It is crucial that this be met with nothing but condemnation in as strong a formulation as possible, and that we stand unified in Denmark, and say no: nobody should come here and threaten us about what to write or draw or think in this country,” says Villy Søvndal, who also express his sympathy with Kurt Westergaard.
Enhedslisten [The Communists], from their website:
Line Barfod: Attack on Kurt Westergaard is unacceptable
“It is unacceptable and scary that Kurt Westergaard has been attacked in his own home,” says political spokesman Line Barfod from Enhedslisten [the Communists]. Enhedslisten demands an investigation from the minister of justice to evaluate the security around Kurt Westergaard.
“Nothing can justify attempted murder, threats or violence. It is a completely unacceptable event which Kurt Westergaard and his family have been exposed to,” Line Barfod states.
Enhedslisten wants an investigation by Brian Mikkelsen, the Minister of Justice, to reveal how the attacker was able to get into the house. “It looks like security around Kurt Westergaard was not good enough. Especially since the arrested man was already under surveillance by the PET,” says Line Barfod.
Radikale Venstre (perhaps the guiltiest of all political parties in our parliament for the mess we are now in):
Margrethe Vestager: An attack on democracy and all of us
“The attempted assassination of Kurt Westergaard is an attack on our free society. I am furious that anyone would try to do such a thing. We do not want anything to do with this in our country. We can and will not accept it under any circumstances. Denmark is a free country. We have freedom of speech and no one can change that,” says the leader of Radikale Venstre, Margrethe Vestager.
“Radikale Venstre condemns the attack in the strongest of terms, and our thoughts go out to Kurt Westergaard and his family, who tonight and earlier have gone through things no one should be put through. Especially not in a free democracy.
“I am glad that it was not any worse, although the shock from being attacked must be bad enough,” says Margrethe Vestager.
Last but not least, the Danish People’s Party, from the party’s website:
Pia Kjærsgaard: DPP demands general review
The leader of DPP, Pia Kjærsgaard, demands a complete investigation to reveal exactly how many terror-related Islamists reside in Denmark, in the wake of the scary attack on the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Pia Kjærsgaard demands further possibilities for deportations of Islamists connected to terror organizations, and that the existing capabilities to be used to their greatest extent.
“The attack on Kurt Westergaard is very scary, and serves as a brutal reminder about how the naïve immigration politics of earlier days has brought the consequence that we now have a group of people in this country who are prepared to use violence to crush democracy. Therefore we have to make it much easier to deport terrorists and their sympathizers,” says Pia Kjærsgaard.
“The PET apparently knows why the attacker of Kurt Westergaard is likely to be a terrorist sympathizer. Therefore I will demand a general review of the overall numbers of these Islamists in Denmark, and at the same time I will ask the Minister of Integration to reveal what opportunities we have to deport known terrorists to their countries of origin, and on top of that I will ask her to broaden these opportunities,” says Pia Kjærsgaard.
“Already before last night’s attack on Kurt Westergaard we had a Tunisian man in the country who is charged with attempting the same kind of attack. It now has to be to completely clear to everyone that we cannot accept having terror-related Islamists living in this country. It has to be far easier than it is today to deport these people as soon as the authorities detect any kind of affiliation with terrorist organizations,” Pia Kjærsgaard says.