I’ve been thinking for days about writing a post on the conference held by Hitzb-ut-Tahrir a couple of days ago at no other place than the heart of Danish Cultural Institutions, The Royal Library.
The Royal Library had been under a lot of pressure from the public and had also received a letter from the Culture Minister himself, – (former Foreign Minister), – asking them to “rethink” their decision, which was based on the following reasoning: Hitzb-ut-Tahrir is a legal organization in Denmark, so they have the same democratic rights as everyone else to make use of the prestigious facilities at the library and express themselves freely..
Now, – before I finish this story about Hitzb-ut-Tahrir and the status and fate of freedom of expression in our little kingdom, I should tell you, that this post will suddenly be turning into a game of chess..
I like to think of Denmark as being at the forefront of the battle for freedom of expression. However, the will to stand up for anyone’s right to express themselves freely regardless of the absurdity of the words expressed is being put to the test constantly. Just today, I believe, Lars Hedegaard, President of the local and International Free Press Society, is on trial for hate-speech against Muslims, and we are all holding our breath.., – is he really going to be convicted, while, at the same time, Hitzb-ut-Tahrir is arguing for the Khaliphate, and more or less directly inciting to kill Danish soldiers in Afghanistan, at the Royal Danish Library ?!
Of course this “conference” has outraged a lot of people, and a counter-demonstration was arranged. Personally, I don’t find these lunatics worthy of all the attention, but lo-and-behold, not one, but EIGHT ministers turned up at the demonstration:
I guess they must consider Hitzb-ut-Tahrir to be a real threat to democracy and basic human rights..
(Picture copied from Semit.dk
I find this slightly hysterical myself, although the group has gathered as many as 1000 + supporters at earlier demonstrations, but my opinion is, that even if they did pose a real threat, I would still defend their right to express themselves freely !
As far as I’m concerned, they can ALL express themselves freely, – Orthodox Islamic, Christian, Jewish lunatics, scientologists, conspiracy theorists, far- left utopists, nazis, nihilists, holocaust-deniers.., – (yep, even those too !), Ahmedinedjad, Chávez.. # ; – ) , – and continue the list yourself…
Thank God then, that the director of the Royal Library had the guts to stand up for the rights of this un-democratic organization that we totally despise, – only then can we honour the attitude of Voltaire:
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it“
Well then, I hope to have stated my position clearly, which was my main objective, but I wish I could have written about this event more extensively, – I think it deserves it, as it appears to be a critical time for all of us, when it comes to the fate of our basic human rights, especially the right to express ourselves freely..
But somethin’ else got in the way, that has also got to do with “position” and culture, namely the yearly Chess Tournament at wijk aan zee. I’ve spent quite a bit of time following some fascinating games, one of the best being the game played yesterday between world’s highest ranking, – Norweagan wunderchild Magnus Carlsen and American /Japanese Hikaru Nakamura, who up to that point was leading the Super-Grandmaster Group ahead of reigning World Champion, Indian Viswanathan Anand.
So I’d like to entertain any chess-fan with this position from the game: (Carlsen is white.)
– black to move: Should black
Queen grab the pawn on d5.. ?
The game continued:
28…. Qxd5 ??
29.Bxh6 !! gxh6
37. Kg2 Kxd3 38. Kh2 h3
38. Kh3 Kc3 39. d4 Kh4
39. Kxh4 Kxb4 40. d5 Kg5
40.Kg4 a5 41. d6 Kf6
41. Kf3 Kxb3 42. d7 Ke7
43. Kf3 a3 44. Kg3 Kd6
44. Ke3 a2 45. Kf2 Kd5
47. Kd2 Kb3
0 -1 48. Kd3 Ka3