Friday, September 30, 2005

Danish Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen retracts his statements on war against Muslims, after causing a stir in his cultural canon committee

Copenhagen Post:

Culture Minister Brian Mikkelsen has apologised for his statements that a canon of the country's cultural heritage would serve as a tool to fight the influence of Muslim culture.

The statement upset the work of the canon committee and several members threatened to resign, national broadcaster DR reported.

Mikkelsen wrote on his ministry's website, that the cultural canon had no ties to any political party.

'I would also like to reject any attempt to link the cultural canon together with the right-of-centre cultural struggle, which deals with fundamentalism versus democracy. I see the non-political element as one of the cultural canon's finest qualities and have no intention of placing it inside a fixed political frame,' Mikkelsen said.

Despite a crisis meeting on Thursday to resolve differences, tensions remained high between Mikkelsen and the canon committee, appointed to create a canon of 84 Danish cultural works in areas such as architecture, film, and literature.

Several members of the committee threatened to abandon the project after Mikkelsen's statements at the Conservative Party's national congress.

'In the middle of our country a parallel society is developing in which minorities practice their Middle Age norms and undemocratic mindset. We cannot and will not accept this,' Mikkelsen said in his speech over the weekend, adding that the canon should be used to promote Danish values, 'because not all values are equally good'.

One of the committee members who threatened to leave, professor Erik A. Nielsen, said he had decided to stay on after learning of the minister's statement.

'I have put down my gun,' he said. 'Brian Mikkelsen's statement is something as rare as a retraction from a minister. I think this is as far as a minister can be expected to retreat.'

Minister's Muslim culture comments upset canon work


Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats