May 8, 2007
Chief Editor David Trads
1432 København K
You have published a number of factual errors in an article today in Avisen.dk, titled “Armed network wants to stop Islam in Denmark,” by Rune Eltard. We demand a retraction and apology immediately that specifically corrects the following inaccurate statements from the article, as translated into English here.
|1.||In the first sentence, Eltard writes: “With loaded guns and support from abroad a newly founded extreme right network wants to set the agenda in the debate about immigration.” Since we are the “support from abroad,” this implies also that we are providing “loaded guns” and that we are supporting an “extreme right network.” The simplest due diligence would have sent you to our website, where the text states:|
“We are a big tent organization — Non-partisan, non-discriminatory, and open to all who are ready to join with their fellow citizens in the mutual defense of human rights and constitutional liberties. Our members encompass many religious beliefs, including Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, apostates, agnostics and atheists, all races, ages and genders, at least 21 nationalities, and a wide range of opinion on political and social issues.”
Our policies specifically reject violence of any kind, and require our members to work within the laws of their nations.
|2.||In the second sentence, you state “Danish Muslims have a new enemy.” In a following paragraph you write about Vigilant Freedom, “This organization gives support to Islam-critical movements all over the world.” It is a malicious, inciteful and false libel to imply that we are the enemy of Danish Muslims. We are indeed critical of the terrorist, imperialist aspects of Islam, particularly its apartheid policies towards women, but not of all Muslims. We support and work with Muslim groups who are determined to bring Islam into the modern era, to reform it, and to fight against the fascist and totalitarian aspects of Islamism. We are certainly against the imposition of sharia law in our countries, against jihadists who threaten lives and property, and against terrorism. We think that makes us a friend of peaceful, assimilated Muslims worldwide, including Danish Muslims.|
Finally, we are surprised to hear that your newspaper considers these positions extreme right wing: support for equal rights for women instead of Islamist female apartheid, the right of gays to live and not be killed under sharia law, the right of Israel to exist, the right of financial institutions to charge interest, the right to follow the rules of constitutional law over religious sharia law, the separation of church and state, the right to free expression and many other traditional liberties. Most Danish citizens and people worldwide value those rights, and do not dismiss them as extreme right wing. Apparently your newspaper prefers the subjugation of women, murder of gays, beheading of Christians, elimination of capitalist institutions and all banking systems, destruction of Israel, dominance of the state by councils of imams, and other policies that you apparently consider “moderate” — or perhaps you prefer to characterize those policies, and your editorial position as “liberal”?
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In addition to the inaccurate statements about our organization, you have also maliciously misrepresented and libeled the organization SIAD and other organizations in the anti-jihad movement. Like all the groups in that movement and many others opposing extreme Islam worldwide, we support only non-violent and legal means of protest and assembly. However, we understand, given the attacks on constitutional liberties by Islamist totalitarian groups, why some people feel very strongly about defending their civil liberties from sharia laws.
We demand that you publish this retraction in your newspaper, in Danish:
The Center for Vigilant Freedom encompasses a wide range of opinion on political and social issues and does not support extreme right networks. The groups it supports politically in Denmark, such as SIAD, are not right wing. We apologize for the error.
Please notify us as soon as the retraction has been published.
I’ve just heard that Mr. Trads has replied to CVF by email, and indicates that he will respond in full tomorrow. Stay tuned.