And now a view from a Danish citizen about his country's Constitution.
Islam violates our Constitution
WeekendAvisen March 2008
By Mogens Rukov
The great tolerance being displayed in Europe these days is extended towards Islam.
Islam is being recognized, and Muslims are awarded full citizens' rights. Tolerance has never been greater. But this period in time can be compared to the late 30's, where the leading nation, Great Britain, spared no effort to accommodate the megalomaniac plans of Hitler. Back then, tolerance was a political decision. And it was a gigantic political misunderstanding, which led us directly to WWII.
At present, tolerance is culturally determined and well founded in public opinion. Very few Europeans are in significant disagreement with this policy, that faith is a private matter for the individual. And relative to this notion - shared by the author of this article - the tolerant attitude towards Muslims is a matter of cause. But is this also the case towards Islam?
Islam is a law religion, to a much greater extent than any other religion we know of. And utterly incomparable to the Jewish religion that is also called a law religion by some. The Islamic law of faith, Sharia, is also the civil law of Islam. The main offering of Islam is to replace other legal systems with Sharia. As a Danish speaking imam stated recently: "You request me to condemn stoning of women, but what can I do, when my god demands stoning of women?" ...
... What we are finding is that it cannot be the same god in the monotheistic religions, but actually radically different gods. ...
... But now some strangers arrive and demand that we replace our legal code, our understanding of law, our legal consciousness, in part or in whole, piecemal or completely, step by step or by leaps and bounds. I decline politely but very firmly. Would I then be intolerant? ...
... Tolerance is a double security, it goes both ways. It ensures the existence of the minority, and it ensures the law and order of the majority.
This is still the way things are
And in particular as it pertains to matters of faith. For this reason, no open freedom of faith is given. Freedom of faith is not, as people of Islam and their proselytes would claim, a carte blanche of free faith. The intelligentsia, some politicians, journalists and Muslims are practically jumping over each other to open the gates for a counter-culture, a different culture, a culture in radical opposition to the Nordic, Western, democratic.
They are applying a means: The Danish constitution. According to the constitution, they claim, there is freedom of religion in Denmark, including freedom for a faith like Islam. This is a fallacy. They do not understand the sense of tolerance, which means upholding and furthering law and order. They have not read the relevant articles of the constitution on freedom of faith, they are calling upon. I was myself surprised reading them.
A faith freedom permissive of a counter-culture like Islam does not exist in the Danish constitution. It is simply not open to it. The constitution has, for sure, an article about freedom of faith. But this is a conditioned freedom. The freedom is not open and hollow. The condition is, that the religion is of such a construct that "nothing will be taught that contradicts decency and the public order." It is specific that nothing of the kind must be taught. If a mosque teaches stoning of women, distrust in democracy, disdain for adherents of other faiths, permission to kill them, Sharia etc., then this mosque is not covered by the articles on faith freedom in the Danish constitution. ...
... The entire article 67 of the Danish constitution reads: "Citizens have the right to unite in societies to worship God in the way that matches their conviction, provided that nothing is taught or done in violation of decency or the public order."
This point of view is elaborated in further paragraphs, where it is also stated that nobody may, due to matters of faith, be excepted from their normal duties as citizens (article 70).
This excludes Islam. Islam has an alternative notion of decency and public order, a notion that contradicts that of the Danish constitution. The humanitarian ideal that our constitution is based upon is being undermined and rejected by Islam. Not by Islamism, not by any radical interpretation of Islam, by Islam proper.
We have to extend our tolerance. Not to accommodate Islam, but to make sure that it really safeguards what the American social scientist Lawrence E. Harrison sees as the foundation for the Nordic development of society: "The most important force behind the Nordic development is culture - values, convictions and attitudes - that further democracy, social justice and creativity."
Mogens Rukov is director of the script authoring department of the Danish Movie Academy.