Singaporean Professor Criticizes Danish Handling of Mohammed Crisis

The way in which Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the newspaper Jyllands-Posten handled the crisis, which erupted following the latter’s publishing of 12 controversial drawings of Mohammed, continues to draw criticism from various parts of Southeast Asia.
According to Professor Rohan Gunaratna from Singapore, one of Asia’s leading experts in Islamic terrorism and extremism, neither the Dansih Prime Minister nor the Danish newspaper grasp what it means to live in a global community.
The Singaporean professor has told local media that he thinks the offending Mohammed drawings and the following Danish reaction to them have strengthened the extremists in the Islamic world. He accuses Denmark of making the mistake of thinking that the country is an isolated village, when in fact it is (part of) a globalized world community.

Praises for Arla Foods

Although criticizing the Danish government and the responsible newspaper, Gunaratna praised the Danish dairy company Arla Foods, who has been one of the worst-hit companies in the subsequent wide-spread boycott of Danish goods in the Middle East. In Gunaratna’s view, Arla Foods has acted wisely by running recent ad-campaigns in Arabic countries, in which the Danish company has distanced themselves from the drawings as well as expressed an understanding for the Muslim anger.
Professor Gunaratna points out the importance of companies exercising their own alternative foreign policy campaigns when their government lets them down, as he believes the Danish government has in fact done in the case of Arla Foods.

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