Danish Muslim leader, Ahmad Akkari, regrets role in rage over Muhammad cartoons

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A Danish Muslim leader who seven years ago travelled the Muslim world fueling the uproar over newspaper caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad is back in the headlines in Denmark after doing an about-face on the issue.


Once a leading critic of the Danish cartoons, which sparked fiery protests in Muslim countries, Lebanese-born Ahmad Akkari now says the Jyllands-Posten newspaper had the right to print them.

His unexpected change of heart has received praise from pundits and politicians in recent weeks, though some question his sincerity. It has also disappointed some in the country's Muslim minority who were deeply offended by the cartoons.

Akkari, now 35, was the spokesman for a group of imams who led the protests against the drawings in Denmark. They travelled to Lebanon, Egypt and Syria to elicit support, saying the Danish government wouldn't listen to their concerns.

Their journeys helped turn the dispute into an international crisis. Dozens were killed in weeks of protests that included violent attacks against Danish missions in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Tiny Denmark found itself on a collision course with the Muslim world — something Akkari now regrets.

Written By: Jan M. Olsen And Karl Ritter
continue to source article at ctvnews.ca

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  1. The interesting thing is he came to doubt his fundamentalist beliefs. That is what lead to his change of heart. If Islam is just another religion, it has no right to make the speech of others conform to its beliefs.

  2. No doubt he will write a book about his de-conversion (or frustration at keeping a disorderly beard) from radical Islam; start a “think tank” on Islamic radicalization and how to counter it; become a TV expert on the matter; and, get invites to insider-group dinner parties and all manner of government subcommittees investigating ways to “reach out” to the Muslim community of Denmark, especially it’s young and disenfranchised men.

    Cynical much?

    Me? Never!

    • In reply to #2 by RDfan:

      No doubt he will write a book about his de-conversion (or frustration at keeping a disorderly beard) from radical Islam; start a “think tank” on Islamic radicalization and how to counter it; become a TV expert on the matter; and, get invites to insider-group dinner parties and all manner of governme…

      And there would be nothing wrong with that. In a country the size of Denmark, one doesn’t become rich by being a national media celebrity, so nobody would do that for the money. The fame he might possibly enjoy is easily countered by the criticism he gets from the other side.

  3. from the article,

    Michael Ulveman, who was an adviser to then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Ramussen during the cartoon crisis, also expressed doubts about Akkari’s sincerity….
    “I think Ahmad Akkari should go on al-Jazeera and tell the Arabic world about his new realization. That would have real value for Denmark and the freedom of speech. And convince many of us about the depth and reach of his reorientation.”

    That would be Ahmad Akkari’s way to show his integrity.

  4. It’s normal to be embarrassed by our behavior or beliefs and decide to change our minds and take a different course. If he was at all sensible before then maybe it was especially embarrassing for him to realize he may have contributed to death threats being made against a perfectly ordinary person for the unremarkable crime of doodling. I don’t think he really needs to do anything to demonstrate his sincerity now, someone should have been asking him that when he was rallying for violence. -it boggles

  5. Is this perhaps the chap who in order to stoke up the “rage” added an image which did not exist in the original cartoons? Namely, the photograph of the French competitor in a pig squealing competition who was wearing an artificial pig’s snout? If not, does he know the individual who did so?

    At least he would appear to have extricated himself from the mass hysteria his particular dogma is prone to by escaping to the Arctic; is that what it takes?

    Every time the Islamists fly off the handle it causes me doubt the sincerity of their convictions and suspect that they are being manipulated to serve the ulterior motive of their leaders: political power.

    When a person is secure and sincere in their knowledge of a given subject they’re able to take part in rational discourse.

  6. …..” He said he’s still a practicing Muslim but started doubting his fundamentalist beliefs after a 2007 trip to Lebanon, where he met Islamist leaders. ‘I was shocked. I realized what an oppressive mentality they have,’ Akkari said……….

    I would be more interested if he put something on YouTube describing in detail was this ‘oppressive mentality’ was. THAT is what is important here. So that others could read about it, and see what caused his change of heart. A sort of road to Damascus event, even if he only got as far as Lebanon.

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