Scope-creep in Denmark

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Blog post on OpenDemocracy
By Jacob Mchangama

It takes vigilance to prevent the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen from exacting not only the lives of two innocent people, but also the freedoms and human rights enjoyed by Danish citizens.

It began so promisingly. Forty thousand people of all ethnicities, religions and political persuasions gathered peacefully to unite against the extremism that had just claimed the lives of two people at a free speech debate and a synagogue in Copenhagen. The speakers included prime minister Helle Thorning Schmidt, who stressed that “We are determined to stand watch over our values. We insist on protecting our freedom”. But the political reaction to the attacks on February 14 is difficult to square with the sentiments displayed by civil society and leading politicians at the mass memorial. In fact, the Danish government’s most concrete response has been the proposal of a series of measures that will undermine the very values that they insist terrorists will never succeed in displacing.  

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