nyd og vind med samme sind: Rusland blæser på regler for acceptabel opførsel

Så er den olympiske fakkel slukket. Mon ikke Rusland snyder resten af verden, sådan som de gjorde under legene, og åbner ild trods Vestens bøn om diplomati?Så er den olympiske fakkel slukket. Mon ikke Rusland snyder resten af verden, sådan som de gjorde under legene, og åbner ild trods Vestens bøn om diplomati?

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Cheat and break the rules to win: Russia’s unacceptable behavior at the Olympic games, and in Ukraine

The Olympic torch has been extinguished. I wonder if Russia plans to deceive the rest of the world, as they did during the Games, and open fire despite the West’s plea for diplomacy?

The Olympic Games in China have been marked by scandals. In particular, the story of the 15-year-old Russian figure skater who tested positive for doping has attracted attention. Despite warnings from the Olympic officials, Russia coldly and cynically repeatedly breaks the rules of accepted behavior without regard to human cost.

Because of doping at the previous Olympic Games, Russia was not allowed to compete as a country at this year’s Olympic Games. Instead, the country’s athletes competed under the name The Russian Olympic Committee. What a charade! They should not have been allowed to compete at all!

Contrary to the intention – namely that Russia would have learned its lesson and competed with clean athletes without illegal drugs in their blood – they have once again been caught red handed.

For weeks, NATO, the EU, and the US have tried through diplomacy to appeal to Russia not to invade Ukraine. To show the world their dominance of the agenda, Russia has used various gimmicks, such as an ultra-long table and, and controlled the discourse when meeting with various diplomats.

I wonder if Putin would dare to act the way he does if the United States had a stronger leader and NATO and the EU, primarily Germany with its foot on the gas brake, sent a stronger signal? A signal that a country’s sovereignty is inviolable – and that the consequences of violating this would be met with other measures than  economic sanctions.

Time and again, leading politicians have pleaded and asked to be in audience with Putin. Reports have been prepared, press conferences have been held. Russia has made one demand after another. Demands that have been treated as if they had any right to be taken seriously; demands that have given Putin time to place his forces strategically while at the same time sending bot messages and paralyzing the digital infrastructure in Ukraine.

The way the West interacts with Putin is fundamentally unacceptable – because Putin is doing exactly the same as the Russian team did around the poor 15-year-old Olympic figure skater –using the system to the extreme to gain time and get his agenda through.

Of course, war should be avoided if possible. But Russia has made the West accommodate his whims and fancies in a way that clearly shows that there is no fear or respect when it comes to the consequences of a potential invasion.

Putin says he is not planning to invade Ukraine and that he has withdrawn his forces – but when it comes to Putin, one must close one’s ears to his propaganda and look at what he is actually doing. I wonder if he at any time actually was open to a diplomatic solution?

I wonder if Putin would dare to act the way he does if the United States had a stronger leader and NATO and the EU, primarily Germany with its foot on the gas brake, sent a stronger signal? A signal that a country’s sovereignty is inviolable – and that the consequences of violating this will be met with other measures than sanctions.

The Olympic torch in China has been extinguished. Once again, Russia left its mark on the “games” – and won medals that for them count more than fair play. I fear that a fire will soon spread in Ukraine, while Putin is deceiving the world: cheating, and breaking the rules to get what he wants.

Børnene er de konservatives næste angrebsmål

Ny lov skal forbyde skoler at tale om kønsidentitet. Men hvorfor kan vores unger ikke være det, de er, uden at vi føler, at vi har en eller anden ret til at vende tommeltotten op eller ned?

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Identity politics: The Republican Party is targeting our children

Florida´s new law will ban schools from talking about gender identity. But why don´t we allow our kids to be who they are without feeling we have a right to judge?

The state of Florida is known for sun, sea, retirees, and Cubans.

Now, the state is introducing of a “Don´t Say Gay”-law which would ban any talk of LGBTQIA+ people, sexual orientation, and gender identity in schools.

Have we learned nothing?

I hate to say it, but even if you close your eyes to something and bury your head in the sand, what you try to not see is still there. If we deny young people an opportunity to share their thoughts, it will have a catastrophic effect on mental health for these vulnerable young people.

All young people need to have an opportunity to talk about and explore their identity. My own teenage daughter is one of them. At her school, there is a Rainbow Club every Thursday after school.

For a long time, my daughter thought she was ace, (asexual). She wore the purple flag, wore purple clothes with sequins on the jacket. I had a feeling it was rooted on the fact that she was not yet ready to talk about the topics that her tween friends were starting to talk about. But I kept that assumption to myself. Instead, we talked about identity and about finding out who you are.

Recently, our daughter told us she is no longer an ace. She now thinks boys are rather interesting. She still attends Rainbow Club, because of the atmosphere and because many of her friends go there.

Why can´t our kids be who they are without us feeling we have a right to judge? And why can we not be open to the fact that their identity is fluid, and that we just have to hang on and follow along on the sidelines? Why is it more important to be able to understand their identity than to make them feel accepted?

It may come as a surprise that Florida is bringing a law like this up when a 2021 Gallup poll shows that 70 percent. of all Americans are in favor of gay marriage.

But the governor of the sunny crocodile state has big political ambitions, and the political climate is such that members of The Republican Party is trying to see who can have the most extreme mindset. Never mind the LGBTQIA+ casualties when trying to bring the discourse of identity back to the 1950s.

A few months ago, I spoke with a Danish friend who lives with her wife and their two daughters in a state in the middle of the United States. »Pearl, Triangle and Square. I don´t understand! Are they dressing up, are they men or women !?”, she asked.

“I had no idea what some of the abbreviations stood for and I did not understand why it was so important. Time and again, I had to say, “Hey, I’m on your team, don´t direct your frustration at me” to my daughter.

“Does it matter?” I replied.

“They are trying to figure themselves out and this way frankly seem pretty harmless to me. Isn´t it amazing the way they are able to talk about identity in a way our generation never was?”

Even for my friend, who, is in the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s hard to understand the identity markers this generation of youth use. As humans, we are weary, maybe even resistant when we encounter something other, we do not understand.

That’s how I felt myself. I still regularly make “mistakes” and then reap a glimpse of contempt from my daughter, who makes me understand that I have messed up. I had no idea what some of the abbreviations stood for and I did not understand why it was so important. Time and again and again I had to say, “Hey, I’m on your team, don´t direct your frustration at med” to my daughter.

But this is important for young people. And it’s deeply personal. For them, it’s about many things, but it’s also about them having a need to see that we as adults respect them as individuals.

We do not have to understand to respect. Our generation does not have to stifle young people’s need to talk about and find their identity – it is not a threat to us. In fact, it is not about us at all.

Children and young people must be met with openness. All children deserve love, empathy, respect, and protection – even if they do not fit into a box we understand. Everything else is heartless.

And yes, it is important what’s going on in Florida. Just like it is important to know that the state of Texas has introduced abortion rules that make it virtually impossible for a woman to terminate her pregnancy.

Because when you little by little systematically deprive citizens of their rights, the strategy starts with minorities. It makes sense: The likelihood of the surrounding society, those with the privileges, likely won´t react.

But even if a law that deprives a group of people of their rights does not affect us personally, we must respond. Because it’s the right thing to do – and because maybe next time it’s our turn to lose a right.

Hvem deltog i kupforsøget i USA for et år siden? Et overraskende billede tegner sig

Helt almindelige amerikanere er villige til at ty til vold.

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Who participated in the insurrection a year ago? The answer might surprise you

Ordinary American citizens are willing to resort to violence.

“What the fuck is going on?” Those were the first words I heard when my Danish friend called me on January 6 last year. We were on opposite sides of the globe and were both watching, paralyzed by the images on our TV screens.

The images on the screen showed thousands of aggressive people, many with Trump flags and in military-like attire, hammering at police officers, smashing windows and doors and forcing their way in to the Capitol building, where the crowed went howling and screaming from corridor to corridor to find prominent politicians’ offices. That day, both civilians and police officers lost their lives.

“It will be ok. The American system is strong,” said my former colleague when I spoke to him a few minutes before the conversation with my friend in Denmark. He is an elderly gentleman, and he served at the University of Washington as a professor of history for more than 30 years. I had called him crying, hoping to hear some calming words from this experienced man – I needed him to say that America would be ok after this.

Who went to Washington DC that day when the situation went crazy and people stormed Congress?

Contrary to what one might think, many of the rioters were citizens without extreme right winged leanings. And that fact is scary.

It turns out that those who behaved most violently on January 6, 2020, were not people on the authorities list of threats. Most have never committed a crime before. They were our neighbors, active in their churches – ordinary Americans. In other words, they do not fit the profile of a typical extremist.

But they believed, were completely convinced, that Trump won the presidential election. Their sense of justice had suffered a setback. And so they felt violence was ok.

If ordinary people feel that they have the right to use and react with violent, anti-democratic methods when their sense of justice is violated, then we are potentially facing a huge problem in the future.

Despite the fact that this feeling of injustice and election fraud was rooted in conspiratorial beliefs, the events on that horrible day in January last year, show us that this or a similar attack on our democracy could happen again if an election result goes against some people´s preference.

How long do we have a democracy if various private individuals feel they have a right to violently oppose democracy – even when there is no, as in absolutely none, zip, zero, evidence for their claim of fraudulence?

Since the attack on democracy a year ago, conspiracy theories have not diminished. On various electronic platforms, multiple outrageous conspiracy theories thrives. In these lonely Corona times it might be understandable that some people can fall into a black hole and be trapped and sucked in to such a universe. After all, we all need a sense of community and on a certain level, these groups offer that – however sick they are in their mindsets. But who bears responsibility and who do we hold accountable for the threat to democracy?

In the United States, economic means create power. At the same time, political decision-making processes moves at a snail’s pace. Meanwhile, social platforms are making money, and the conspiracy theories people are willing to believe in are becoming more and more insane.

To put it mildly, it has been an uncommonly ugly sight to see politicians compromise on democratic principles instead of showing the people that they are working to make the democracy they claim to be fighting for stronger and make sure nothing like we saw last year will ever happen again.

Whether it’s a right-wing Trump extremist, a hard-working UPS worker, or a young man looking for an adrenaline rush that took part in the terrorist attack on Congress and US democracy last year, the fact is that they need to be prosecuted – every single one of them.

Because everyone has an individual responsibility, and one should be held accountable for one’s actions – even if one regrets or was caught in the moment and did things one would otherwise never have done.

The investigation process is underway, but it is moving far too slow, and it is important for the surrounding community’s belief in the system to get a feeling that the justice system and democracy work – preferably before the next presidential election.

We cannot forget, however, that the main culprit for the attack on the US election process is Donald Trump – and he must be held responsible for having used ordinary citizens as puppets in his attempt to overthrow democracy in God’s own country.

Hvor længe vil verden se på, at Rusland og Kina systematisk smadrer enhver demokratisk proces?

Ruslands og Kinas stormagtsintentioner bør få omverdenen til at reagere.

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How long will the world watch while Russia and China systematically crack down on any democratic process?

Russia and China’s aspirations for being superpowers ought to make the world react.

These are dark times for democracy in Russia and in China. Every day the systems use their tight grips to ensure that people are forced into a life without the right to think, believe, and express themselves freely.

Yesterday, it was announced that Russia is closing Memorial International, an organization that maps human rights violations. The organization has been seen as a key part of Russia’s development in a democratic process.

Russia takes down and poisons political opponents, but they do not refrain from attacking critics of their system within their own borders. We regularly hear that advocates of freedom of speech are poisoned in European countries, such as Germany and England.

China exposes its people to one monstrosity after another. Forced sterilization, labor camps for groups that believe and think something other than the communist regime wants them to, known and lesser known women and men who disappear from one day to the next, etc.

But China has also given the world a prime example of how to introduce totalitarianism in record time.

Developments in Hong Kong give a clear picture. In 11 months, more than 50 organizations, political parties, media groups, churches, youth organizations, pro-democracy movements, etc. have been dissolved. Even Amnesty International has had to close down.

What got to me was a story about an organization of lawyers who have been working to promote democracy since 2007 are among the groups that have had to close down this year. Why? Because this clearly shows that China’s methods are systematically aimed at groups that can provide support to those who work for democracy.

The formula works, China keeps on pushing their agenda. Russia does the same. If I was Taiwan or Ukraine, I would be very nervous – especially since there is no indication that the rest of the world intends to respond to either China’s or Russia’s aggressions.

The United States, the United Nations and several European countries have condemned the two countries behavior and imposed diplomatic boycotts. But is that enough? Diplomatic boycott is a clear symbolic tool, but it is far from enough when powerful nations use their anti-democratic muscles and hammer peaceful measures into the ground.

So is it not rather naive of the surrounding world to think that two huge nations with dreams of great power will stop and ´only´ force measures through, that is aimed at their own populations?

China and Russia have enormous economic and resource power. Is that why the world does not dare to react? Or do democracy and human rights not really mean much to us, as long as we ourselves enjoy living in free conditions? That is a dangerous attitude, because developments in China and Russia have shown that the rights we take for granted can disappear from one day to the next.

How long has the world been going to look at anything more than a shrug?

Danmark bør følge USA og lave en diplomatisk boykot af OL i Kina

Sport og politik har altid været blandet sammen; at påstå det modsatte er et privilegeret og mageligt standpunkt.

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Denmark should follow the United States and make a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics in China

Sports and politics have always been mixed together; to claim the opposite is a privileged and leisurely position.

You are overreacting – that´s never going to happen!

That was the reaction I was met with in Denmark a few years ago. I was on vacation in Denmark and the discussion I was engaging in took place in a Copenhagen kitchen – far from China and the USA. I claimed that China was dangerous and would soon gain economic power to the extend that the world would not dare to go against the country when it violated human rights.

And here we are. The United States and other nations has announced a diplomatic boycot of the country – they will cheer for their athletes but will do so from home. That decission is the right thing to do. I would prefer that the Olympics were not held in China at all, that the whole world would boycott the event. But that is not going to happen, so the next best thing – a diplomatic boycott – is an important strategic signal. For China is not part of the club when it comes to human rights, and Western democracies must dare to say thta out loud.

The United States is signaling that China’s views on human rights and the treatment of its own citizens are unacceptable. America refuses to send an official diplomatic signal that would legitimize the regime. It may result in consequences in relation to trade agreements, environmental negotiations, etc., but it is a question of integrity – and Denmark and Europe aught to stand up for the human rights they claim to fight for.

The sports world is full of corruption. Again and again we learn about shady deals, where huge sums of money change hands, and holding sporting events are dependent on what sums a country is willing to slip into the pockets of a decision maker. That is unfortunately the way things are, and if we are being honest, we know it – even if we would rather close our eyes and comfortably sit back on the sofa in front of the TV screen while watching the athletes.

To claim that sports and politics have nothing to do with each other is a privileged stand point. And what’s more, it’s so unsympathetic and distasteful that I have a hard time finding a vocabulary suitable for the printed press to describe it.

Because if you claim that you “just” want to sit and scroll in front of the screen and enjoy watching your sport without supporting a diplomatic boycott, you are de facto supporting a regime that has millions of human lives on its conscience. People who, for one reason or another, do not agree with the regime – and pay a hefty price for their desire to think, speak, and believe freely. If you do not take a stand, you are essentially contributing and supporting and thus partly responsible.

But if it does not worry you or touch a string in your human right spoiled universe far from a world where athletes disappear and people are sent to labor camps if they do not show the right loyalty to the Chinese government, then just take a bite out of your pizza slice and down it with a sip of microbrew beer while cheering on your Danish homeland.

We have a responsibility, and we can not just turn our backs because it is convenient for us. Denmark has not yet sided with democracy and human rights in the issue of the Olympics in China. Who knows, maybe the country will one of the next few days – but I wonder if the politicians would have given it a second thought at all, had it not been for the United States stand?

Until a decision is made, Denmark signals no hesitation in sending princes, politicians and diplomats to a dictatorship without respect for human life and the rights of the individual.

Tillykke med kvalifikationen, Danmark …

Den bedste måde at fejre fodboldslandsholdets succes på er at blive hjemme.

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Congratulations on qualifying for the soccer World Cup, Denmark …

The best way to celebrate the success is to stay home.

I am proud when Denmark is doing well. When an American audience did their best to shout Rune in the US Open match against the tennis giant Novak Djokovic, I got chills. When Denmark is highlighted for its green initiatives, or when the national soccer team qualifies for the World Cup, I beam with pride.

The problem is that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be held in the state of Qatar, a dictatorship.

And before you say, “Now let’s just enjoy some draft beer and some ´ball and not mix politics into the picture,” then think about your integrity. It is too easy to abdicate responsibility and focus exclusively on one’s own need for entertainment and overlook the strategic interests one thereby supports.

Denmark is usually quite busy telling the rest of the world how amazing our Danish values ​​are. But is there any substance to that if we do not stand up for them when they matter?

I understand, that the easiest thing would be to abdicate all responsibility and without the slightest distaste enjoy the Danish national sport in front of the screen at home or at the nearest sports bar.

There is a lot in the world I would like to close my eyes to. But now that we know what is going on in the host country, we can not just sweep the conditions off with the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s words: “We must separate foreign policy and soccer. And tonight we celebrate soccer, and we will do the same at the World Cup.”

How can we close your eyes and enjoy the game as the Danish football team run around at a stadium that has claimed the lives of thousands of immigrant workers in the construction process? Can one support an event held in a country that does not hold democratic elections and treats girls and women as inferior, lesser beings?

Well, in a little while there will be a Winter Olympics in Beijing, so should we boycott that one, too? Yes, we have to!

Make no mistake. When we say that sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics should not be political, then the regimes where these events are held claim the exact opposite. We allow them to show all their bells and whistles to promote their ideology and worldview as we cawe and submit – how does that make our democratic worldview look?

Telling the world how how amazing our Danish values ​​are comes with a responsibility. Those words mean nothing if we do not stand up for them when it truly matters – even if it means we can not follow our beloved sport.

If we can not stand up for who we are and what we represent for something as simple as a sporting event, then it sounds somewhat hollow when we self-righteously tell countries all over the world that they must stand up for democracy and human rights.

(Partly Google Translate)

Østrig forbyder den islamiske organisation Det Muslimske Broderskab – bør Danmark gøre det samme?

Mange terroristorganisationer har frit spil i de europæiske demokratier.

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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.

(Google translate)

Er Europa ved at blive som USA, der lader lobbyister knægte frihedsrettigheder?

Velorkestrerede kampagner arbejder for at begrænse rettigheder for kvinder og LGBTQ.

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Is Europe becoming like the United States when it comes to the power of lobbyists changing fundamental freedoms?

Well-orchestrated campaigns work to limit the rights of women and LGBTQ.

Yesterday there was a knock on my door. Outside stood a man who told us he had grown up in our house that his father had built when he was a boy. We invited him in and showed him around. It was a very touching and emotional tour – for him, but also for me.

I have met his father several times. He’s of the old school – Republicans, voted passionately for Trump, believes that women belong in the home, that it is their most important job to look after children. That was what we discussed when we bought the house.

Now the son was standing in our living room. Tears flowed as memories washed in over him. He told of his childhood, which had been good and safe. But he also told of a father who had never accepted him. The son was a high school teacher, something his engineering father certainly did not find appropriate. And the man in my living room had also never gotten his father’s acceptance when it came to the man he loved.

I’m so angry. Angry on behalf of this man, angry at my own, angry at the parents who can not figure out to love the child they are having, but can only accept their child if it fits in a box they can understand.

Here stood a man who was some of the most sensitive, reflective, and pleasant. And still his upbringing and the prejudices of society persecuted him.

I know it well, I myself grew up in a family that could not accept who I was and the choices I made. And I also know how it will probably always sit in one, even when one has found some kind of peace with family relationships.

Here in the United States, not all areas are equally easy to live in if you belong to a minority. For example, it’s easier to belong to the LGBTQ community in the larger cities of my state, Washington, our neighboring state of Oregon and, of course, California, than it is in some of the states further south.

There are places where it is decidedly dangerous to belong to the LGBTQ community. And there are places where it is decidedly dangerous to be a woman if you should want an abortion. There are many who want to kidnap the rights of women and minorities.

But why am I telling you now? Can Europe not be totally indifferent to what is going on here in the United States in terms of women’s and LGBTQ rights? Not quite. For perhaps Europe is heading in the same direction.

The EU is full of interest groups and lobbyists trying to advance their own agenda. It is, so far, fine, part of the democratic process. But now the report “Tip of the Iceberg “, which describes the period 2009-2018, shows that there are two areas that well-organized interest groups have joined together to promote – namely abortion resistance and resistance to LGBTQ rights.

I often get the feeling that in Denmark there is a belief that the fight for rights for women and sexual minorities is long over. It is quite nice that this is the case in most circles in Denmark. But it’s just that Denmark is, firstly, an infinitely small country and, secondly, part of the EU.

Abortion resistance, antifeminism, anti-immigration, anti- LGBTQ, antisecularization. The groups working for that kind of caveman mentality are getting stronger and stronger. As in the United States, they use reliable names that contain words such as “family,” “freedom,” “dignity,” and “human rights.” The view of society is, however, that LGBTQ rights and abortion resistance are their central focal point.

Here in the United States, the right to abortion is under pressure in several places and in several states, including In the state of Texas, it is almost impossible to have an abortion, because how many people know they are pregnant before you can hear heart sounds? Young women are terrified of getting pregnant, the men are, as usual, no one to take care of. Even if the pregnancy is due to incest or rape, there is no pardon. Time and time again, lawsuits are being filed to advance an agenda that makes it more difficult for women and minorities to make free choices. Maybe the EU is on the same course?

The level of our rights can be read in how women and sexual minorities are treated. The rights are not secured, they are constantly under pressure, and we must be strong when it comes to defending what we stand for.

Karen Melchior, Member of the European Parliament for the Radical Left, was interviewed on P1’s “Orientering” on 20 June on this topic. She points out that the situation calls for action, that we react before the rights are violated, as we see attempts at in Poland, among other places.

It’s really quite simple. As Melchior said in the program: “This is not something we can see through fingers with, or something that goes over by itself. If we believe that there should be equal rights, no matter who you love or who you are, that women should be allowed to rule over their own bodies, then that is something we will have to fight for. “

The narratives supported in these campaigns are directly drawn from the rhetoric we know here in the United States. They did not arise spontaneously in the religious department of the EU. It is naive to think that lobbying is an expression of cultural differences in Europe. On the contrary, it is a well-organized campaign. It requires a counter-campaign.

Never let it be the case that in 50 years there will be a man in my living room crying because he has had to fight a battle to be who he is and love who he does. And never let it be the case that women’s hard-fought rights are trampled underfoot with the pretext that fewer rights are rooted in a cultural-religious context and must therefore be respected in accordance with an ideological female vision of darkness.

(Google Translate)

Hårdere straffe vil kunne få terroraspiranter på andre tanker

Hvis folk med terroristdrømme havde udsigt til årtier bag tremmer, når de sad og planlagde død og ødelæggelse, kunne det være, at trusselsbilledet i Europa ville se anderledes ud.

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Tougher prison sentences would make terrorist aspirants think twice

If people with terrorist dreams had the prospect of decades behind bars when they sat and planned death and destruction, it could be that the threat picture in Europe would look different.

Two days ago, a young man of 20 years was arrested at the airport here in my state, Washington. The man was on his way from Seattle to Amsterdam and from there wanted to move on to the Middle East to fight for ISIS.

Earlier , a mosque had tried to de-radicalize him, his mother had repeatedly approached the FBI, and he had been excluded from social media due to his updates.

The FBI has been keeping a close eye on the man’s internet activity and activities since November, after the mosque approached him the same month, saying the man had chatted with ISIS members and watched propaganda videos on the mosque’s computers.

Now the members of the mosque who reached out to the authorities have been proclaimed heroes.

The man is charged with providing material assistance to ISIS, and for that he could end up behind bars for up to 20 years.

The United States is known for its harsh punishments. One can discuss which offenses deserve harsh punishments and which do not. We have that discussion all the time here.

But when it comes to Islamist radicalization, there is consensus that such dark forces should have such harsh punishments that others are deterred before they start playing with the idea of ​​cutting off the heads of people, pushing homosexuals out of buildings, blowing up innocent people. air and fight democracy.

As the homogeneity of Europe changes and a religion with fundamentally different values ​​is now a part of every European country, so there is no longer a consensus on what is morally and ethically right and wrong, one might consider similarly harsh punish when it comes to this type of crime – also in Denmark?

(Google translate)

Forstår vi i Vesten, hvor skrøbeligt demokratiet er, og hvor meget det skal passes på? Jeg har mine tvivl

Kæmp for demokratiet, det er en minoritetsstyreform. Det nyeste eksempel på diktaturets fremfærd kommer fra et land, der ligger meget tæt på Danmark.

Læs hele bloggen her:

Do we in the West understand how fragile democracy is and how much we need to do to protect? I have my doubts

Fight for democracy, it’s a minority form of government. The latest example of a dictatorship’s conduct comes from a country that is very close to Denmark.

Perhaps the hijacking of the plane in Belarus’ airspace with journalist and system critic Roman Protasevich (on his way from one EU country, Greece, to another, Lithuania) on board has helped to open the eyes of people who do not normally allow themselves to be greatly influenced by the rise of dictators.

Because that’s how authoritarian systems work – look at China, look at Turkey, at Russia, Belarus – the list is only getting longer at the moment. These countries do not respect international territory, they do not respect human rights and conventions, they assassinate, poison and computer hack into power and influence – even outside their own territories.

Why is it now at all interesting what is happening in Belarus? In general, it is shameful and alarming when undemocratic regimes are allowed to terrorize their peoples, but at a geopolitical level, the events in Belarus also have major political consequences in relation to Europe.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus’ dictator, could not have acted as he did without Putin’s blessing. And as you know, Putin himself does not shy away from any means when it comes to sending signals to his political opponents. He does not go out of his way to take bits of surrounding countries (Ukraine) or poison Russian citizens who are in western, democratic territory in e.g. England. If Putin keeps getting away with his behavior, how many surrounding and former Soviet countries are sitting and trembling? And how many forces within Europe’s democratic countries do not sit and take notes in relation to how easy it is to intimidate themselves to power and submission?

That’s part of the danger. The complete lack of respect for the form of government that exists in countries outside and within their power. And this is where it gets interesting. For how do democratically governed countries react, not only on a political but also on a personal level, when their borders are exceeded and the despots behave as they please?

Until now, we have seen condemnations from political leaders when political opponents have been poisoned and killed within the borders of their countries. The events in Belarus, where we have seen an unprecedented aggression and lack of respect for citizens on the way from one EU country to another, show that the reactions that such actions have so far met have not deterred either Putin or his nod doll Lukashenko.

Democracies are in retreat, and democratically governed societies are a minority in this world. What are we going to do to protect the form of society that is in favor of equal rights for women and men, for freedom of expression and for the right to disagree with those who have access to weapons?

It may sound fluffy, but nonetheless it is true: Democracy is only as strong as the individual citizen. All things considered, this is exactly what the democratic model is about: that each person has a voice that they can (relatively) freely express without fear of life and (family members).

All over the world, dictators and authoritarianism are on the rise. Most recently, Samoa’s newly democratically elected leader has been greeted by a locked parliamentary door. As if that in itself should be a legitimate way to deal with his election defeat in order to cling to the stool of power. This year alone, we have been following the anti-democratic events in Hong Kong, Myanmar and now also in Mali.

But not all dictators lock the parliament building or occupy the top leadership stool in a military coup. Some are working to fight democracy from within. We see it in Turkey, we see it in Europe, and we saw it in four horrible years with Trump. Fortunately, it did not succeed in overthrowing democracy here in the United States, but it was close.

Maybe it’s because in my own micro level I have fought for personal freedom when I finally wrestled myself free from Jehovah’s Witnesses and regained the right to my own voice that I become so utterly discouraged to see democracy under tremendous pressure . Maybe it’s because I, as a resident of the United States, saw how Trump deliberately and actively eroded democracy from within and with his corrupt attempts tried to cheat and intimidate himself into power. Even if one does not follow the events of the world closely, it became abundantly clear to the world how fragile democracy is, with the attack on the Congress building on January 6 this year, the very symbol of American democracy.

But if we only have attitudes to issues we have close to life or in our backyard, and do not react actively when we see signs that democratic values ​​are being challenged – then we can be 100 per cent. sure that the life of relative security with the democratic, western values, generations before us has fought so hard for whether adding time is a thing of the past.

If we want a democracy, then we must have facts, not propagandistically spun lies, that serve the interest of a ruler. And if we want facts, then we must have someone to report on what they see and experience. And if we want someone to report what they see, then they need to be present where the events unfold. It does not want authoritarian regimes, therefore their journalists are in prison or in exile in Hong Kong, in Russia, in Saudi Arabia and in many other countries. And if leaders with authoritarian ambitions do not use such methods, then they incite hatred against journalists, as we see in Brazil, or, as in the case of Trump, they consistently mention the media, reporting in a way they does not like fake news – and it may be the beginning of something as dangerous to democracy as throwing its political opponents in jail.

Freedom of the press is freedom of speech, the two are closely linked. And freedom of speech is one of the fundamental pillars for democracy to work. If we buy into it or accept the state of things and shy away from it, then the reality we do not get reported does not exist, does it? And if we allow it, we have de facto agreed to live in undemocratic conditions with a manipulated reality.

That is why we must fight for the freedom and democratic rights of all of us – even if the abuses seem to us to be so far away that they have nothing to do with us.

Before we know it, undemocratic forces can weaken democracy from within, made possible by our own democratic processes – and Danish indifference. If we do not shout and react, we will be suffocated – whether it is physically or mentally, then the result is the same. Violent regimes and dark forces take over, sometimes without having to loosen a single shot.

It is up to us how much we want to let those who rumble out there with bullying methods, assassinations and kidnappings and a deliberate attempt to influence democracies get away with it. How far will we let their authoritarian regimes pull in on our monopolies and shake the norms we have fought for?

(Google translate)