Monday, February 12, 2007

Why Thank You Kindly, Mr. Pappas

Jason Pappas, at Liberty and Culture, has some nice things to say about Gates of Vienna.

Over at Gates of Vienna, the dynamic duo has been blogging on the anti-Islamic resistance in … Denmark. There may be those that would write-off Europe as hopelessly submissive in the face of the Islamic threat (i.e. Mark Steyn) or fearful that Europe will become a repeat of the 1930s (i.e. Ralph Peters). A more likely course of action is emerging in Denmark.

Imagine being favorably compared to Mark Steyn! Obviously, “Liberty and Culture” is a most discerning blog. Umm… could somebody tell Mark Steyn?

I do declare, “dynamic duo” is going to swell my head, Mr. Pappas.

I don’t know remember exactly we stumbled upon that remarkabley idiosyncratic country. It must have been when I first read the review of Queen Margrethe II’s biography. Last time I checked, the book is still not available in English, unfortunately.

This is an amazingly forthright woman. Back in April, 2005, she was saying out loud what others were only able to whisper: [emphases are mine - D]

COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II warned against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Denmark and the world in a new book out on Thursday, saying people must on occasion “show their opposition to Islam”.

“It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and very lazy,” she said in the authorized biography “Margrethe” written by journalist Annelise Bistrup.

While she did not specifically refer to fundamentalism, she spoke of “these people for whom religion is their entire lives”.

“We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance,“ she said.

And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction,“ added the queen, who has reigned since 1972…
- - - - - - - - - -
Denmark has in recent years been accused of fuelling xenophobic tendencies after implementing a slew of measures aimed at curbing immigration. The government has argued that it wants to focus efforts on improving the assimilation into Danish society of immigrants already in the country.

Queen Margrethe, who professes a knowledge of Islam due to her interest in archaeology, said it was “natural that young Muslims would be attracted” to the faith’s absolute values and seek refuge in religion “as they are cut off from our community because of their lack of (Danish) language skills.”

“It’s not just a matter of speaking and understanding” Danish, she said, but also “understanding the language’s codes, and we have to help them.

[Calling Queen Elizabeth, calling Britannia’s Majesty. Come in Your Majesty, come in. Hellooo?? Anybody home?]

Though not by design, we’ve been in a Denmark groove ever since. Of course, they did put themselves on the map with “those” cartoons. And now they’re determined to push the envelope with their novel traffic control ideas.

A strange and wonderful place is Denmark — not a place for the faint-hearted.


James Higham said...

I enjoyed my time in Denmark. They're definitely free thinkers over there. And they love Princess Mary from Australia.

Dymphna said...

Mr. Higham--

As well they should! What a nice dip in the gene pool: she's of Scots parentage which is a most compatible mix with Danish DNA. Their children are blessed (a second child is due in May).

Of course, following an act like Queen M. will be a challenge, but Mary has youth and beauty and she shares her mother-in-law's charm. I hope she has that same forthright grace.

And isn't it nice to have a rôle model like this rather than Diana, poor soul? Or our own dear Brittany Spears. Young Danish girls are fortunate.

You reminded me that I felt sorry for Bush when I saw how his daughters dressed when on public visits with him. I particularly remember a visit to Walter Reed to see the soldiers. It made me wonder: Laura Bush is a strong woman, and no doubt Bush grandmere has definite opinions on proper dress. But those girls were attired in that trash mode so common among young women their age who don't know any better. It was sad to watch.

Appearance matters: even if they only consider it a diplomatic "costume" and not clothes they would ever wear on purpose, I think the children of sitting presidents owe their father the respect of dressing in a manner commensurate with his office.

Obviously, Princess Mary was "Raised Right" as they say around here.

Asger Trier Engberg said...

Coming from Denmark it is a little strange to have all this praise showerede one.

Especially because we are fighting a fight that seems so unequal - to rescue Denmark we basically have to fight the UN, EU, Sweden the Islamic fascism and what not.

So at one hand we win a lot of praise - and on the other hand we fight Davids fight against a horde of Goliaths.

But then again, perhaps this fight seems so symbolic to so many, because it is a repetition of the way the men from the north like to fight - we simply refuse to give away our freedom.

And the fight, is like a symbolic bell tolling in the depth of the northern man psyche - ¨we are threatened - it is time to rally, and defend home¨

Jason Pappas said...

I, too, hold Steyn and Peters in high esteem. So the compliment was intended. Sometimes writers can “miss their mark.” I so sympathize with Steyn about the state of the culture in Continental Europe. I worry about Europe’s ability to deal with the threat, which given that the malignancy has appeared there sooner and is far deeper than in America, it’s a problem Europe will have to face first. However, while I worry, I try not to be a defeatist. Being aware and alarmed should mobilize -- rather than demoralize. I’d like to think that Steyn (and Peters) exaggerated to provoke.

In any case I hope they read your blog as talnik believes. In my first few months I criticized one well known writer for not being “tough enough” on the enemy only to get a free one-year subscription so that I could see the error of my ways. I was convinced! Mark, Ralph, you can e-mail me my subscription … books appreciated, too!

Mikael said...
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Pastorius said...

Let me also say that, while I also hold Steyn in high esteem, I have a problem with his fatalism, or defeatism, or whatever you want to call it.

And, I agree with Jason Pappas that Baron and Dymphna see the situation with more nuance, and more hope, and for that, I appreciate them.

I think much of Steyn's work may be device more than actual belief, if that makes sense.

In other words, I think he is building a case over time.

But, I think he ought to be wary of the impact of his words.

Ultimately, he is one of the generals (in absence of true Generals in Europe), and he needs to understand his responsibility in leading the troops.

You do not go into the locker room at halftime and tell your team, "All is lost. There is no way you can win this game."

Thanks for coming up with game plans, and providing hope, you guys.

U3 said...