By Helen Latifi
February 27, 2008 — Has the tiny Kingdom of Denmark once again got itself into major foreign policy troubles? Possibly…
Several countries and Muslim scholars have, over the past few days, encouraged people to boycott Danish goods. But I have had enough of the double standards that characterize some Muslim countries. On the one hand, they receive millions of dollars from Denmark, and on the other, they encourage a boycott of Danish goods, as Sudan has done. So my appeal is this: boycott the boycott!
Although I believe that republishing the cartoons was an unnecessary provocation, and that you cannot attribute wrong-doing to our particular religion, as a lot of Danish newspapers did on purpose, the situation is seized upon by individual Muslim countries to distract attention from any national crises or conflicts. Last time around, we saw how the Egyptian government spearheaded the boycott craze in order to snatch votes from the Muslim Brotherhood in the upcoming elections. This time, we see how Sudan has taken the front row, why is this? Perhaps to make us forget certain national atrocities taking place in that country as I write these words?
If you choose to boycott, why not boycott American and British goods, since both countries still hold occupation troops in Iraq? Why not boycott Sweden due to Lars Vilk’s drawings? Why did Sudan not boycott British goods in response to Gillion Gibson’s naming of the teddy bear? There are many more examples that one could raise.
During the cartoon crisis “version 1.0”, Hamza Yusuf said, on his visit to Denmark, that you cannot punish a country collectively, if someone in that country has committed a crime, and that these were not the ways of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh).
Consequently, my appeal is for people not to boycott Danish goods, but instead to boycott the boycott!
The author is muslim living in Denmark. For more visits her blog: www.helenlatifi.wordpress.com