Mange terroristorganisationer har frit spil i de europæiske demokratier.
Austria bans the Islamic organization The Muslim Brotherhood – should Denmark do the same?
Many terrorist organizations have free rein within European democracies.
Austria has recently banned the Islamic organization The Muslim Brotherhood. In all Arab-speaking countries – except the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Yemen – the fundamentalist Islamist and political organization Hizb ut Tahrir is banned.
There are many groups known for Islamist ideology and terrorism. This blog does not distinguish between small ideological differences between the groups. The groups I am interested in here are those who agitate for the legitimacy of using undemocratic means, such as intimidation, violence and murder, when it comes to promoting their messages.
I hear again and again the argument that it is not possible to fight against a strong ideology without offering an alternative. The absolutely absolutely liberating alternative we have in Europe is also what makes us weak, namely our democracy.
Because in Europe we can speak, think and act freely – within the democratic and legal rules of the game, of course. This makes it possible for those who want another unfree society, where freedom of speech, equality between the sexes, etc., etc. are kidnapped, can have fairly free opportunities to advance their horrible ideology.
These organizations do not ask questions within the framework we are used to when discussing our disagreements with each other. Where there is fanatical fire in the eyes, the urge for fanaticism lies and lurks.
Should we follow Austria’s example and make it a criminal offense for these deeply undemocratic groups to operate? Germany has done something similar, however, their focus was to hamper economic activity.
How can we, by democratic means, meet undemocratic forces that would crush everything that does not conform to their sick ideology if they had the opportunity?
The truth is, we can not. At least not if we do not want to compromise on the freedoms that are the epitome of democracy itself. Inhibiting their right to speak out would, in a way, be the same as their goal when they want to shut up opponents of their ideology. But we can do something else.
We can take cases to court when we believe there is evidence that the groups are breaking the law. And we must do that. And then we need to be careful about what legislative changes we introduce or remove in relation to whether they can be used against our democracy and have the opposite effect of what they were intended.
But our strongest weapon is that there are more democratically minded people in Europe than the opposite. Perhaps one day it will become necessary for more European countries to follow the example of Austria. I hope not.
I am aware that this attitude could have catastrophic and disturbing consequences. If the European countries, and thus of course also Denmark, do not manage to sell the product, and show what a fantastic liberating life, democracy holds opportunities for, then the alternative is that undemocratic forces at some point win, and that it will be the democratic rules that make it possible.