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Ben, for the umpteenth time, it's Jyllands-Posten not Jyllens-Posten. Jylland is the southern peninsula where the paper is based.

Otherwise, the letter gets is basically right; although one may argue back and forth about the real level of "anti-immigrant and anti-Islam sentiment" in Denmark. There is probably more anti-Islam sentiment in the US, for example, but the muslims there are better integrated. Then again, they have often stronger roots in the country and many live in "ghettos" like Dearborn, Michigan.

Also, it is of course debatable whether 180,000 is a "very small number" in a population of 5,4 million. At least it's not perceived as such when they are mostly concentrated in the cities.

The Danish national identity is ethnically "thicker" than for instance the Norwegian. Although Danes fondly accuse us of excessive nationalism, our nationalism is arguably more vested in symbols like the National Day and the flag. If you avail yourself of these and speak the language well, you're largely there. The Danish identity is more tied to an elaborate urbane/hedonistic culture, complete with a characteristic joviality, which is harder to emulate. Also, there is a certain xenophobia that might stem from the Danish experience of losing just about every war they have ever taken part in. This gives a fertile soil for operators like Pia Kjærsgård, a kind of female Jürg Haider, or at best, Haider light. But enough of this.

The radical imams have been busted for over a week. I can add that they also reportedly led their contacts to think that Jyllands-Posten is owned or controlled by Vogh Rasmussen.

As I said in another comment, these people are as much a problem as anyone. They genuinely abhor the country in which they reside and make no bones about it, while often taking advantage of the language barrier to hide their condemnations of the ethnic majority. But try to convey such nuance to the PC-mongering US leftist blogosphere these days. No, it's all about the racist Danes, bigots every one.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2006 at 10:38:59 PM EST

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