Our Perth correspondent Anne-Kit has translated a rousing op-ed from the opinion pages of yesterday’s Berlingske Tidende, one of Denmark’s leading dailies:
I Demand Halal Pork
By Henrik Day Poulsen, Psychiatrist, PhD
WE are in the middle of the Muslim holy month, Ramadan. I’ve already treated two women with scarves who were ready to faint in the summer heat, due to the ban on eating and drinking during daylight hours.
This week both Berlingske Tidende and other media have covered Islam for better and for worse. Zenia Stampe, the village idiot in charge of Radikale Venstre [Denmark’s radical liberal (or left) party], showed herself to be devoid of psychological insight into what Danish soldiers and their families might think and feel about the armed forces’ exit from Afghanistan. Stampe’s party supported Denmark’s involvement in upholding Muslim women’s rights in Afghanistan, including girls’ access to education. They also supported the prevention of the formation of terror cells, thereby creating a more peaceful world.
But now, in the clear light of hindsight, Stampe thinks this was a big mistake. Consequently, in her view 43 Danish soldiers lost their lives by mistake, and their families lost their sons by mistake. I don’t know if it was a good idea to invade Afghanistan. But I do know that politicians need to think very carefully before they express opinions on sensitive issues that affect people deeply. Many veterans struggle with psychological problems, and again this is due to a regrettable mistake, says Stampe. She forgets to mention that Denmark and her allies are owed a big debt of gratitude by the Muslim world for trying to support democracy and human rights, and for fighting the Taliban, whose reign of terror is comparable to those of Hitler and Pol Pot. Imagine if England and the US had not fought Hitler, and just didn’t care?
I call for prominent Muslims to thank Danish soldiers for their efforts. This would be especially timely during their holy month. A big “thank you” to the 43 soldiers who died for what they believed in, i.e. freedom. A “thank you” to Danish taxpayers for the billions of DKK that have been and still are being sent to Afghanistan. Denmark is among the foremost countries that support equal treatment of Muslims on the world stage.
But, so far, no thanks have been forthcoming. Instead, the month of Ramadan has seen a totally misplaced integration initiative where Hvidovre Hospital now only serves halal beef, out of consideration for our Muslim citizens. But what about the animals? Halal slaughter means that the animal slowly bleeds to death. In another context Denmark promotes animal welfare. Think of the debate around animal transport around Europe. In this context it is hypocritical to force patients, visitors and staff in public hospitals to eat meat from animals that have suffered unnecessarily. Next we will have hospital kitchens where pork is completely banned out of respect for Muslims.
So my call to the many sensible Muslims during their holy month is this: Cease your demands for special treatment, and instead give a big thanks to Denmark and the other countries that support democracy and prosperity in your countries of origin. You have much to be grateful to the West for. Yes, even the USA, which is the nation that has spent the most money, and sacrificed the highest number of her young men on the battlefields of the Middle East so that men and women in those countries might enjoy freedom.
Would you have done the same for us, if the world had been different? Would you have given us shelter, welfare payments and pensions, and would you have served roast pork in your hospitals, out of respect for us?
Muslim demands for special treatment are every bit as absurd as if I demanded to be served only halal pork.