Price of an open society “is one we gladly pay”, says visiting Danish minister

Many of the climate-change related impacts occurring in the Maldives appeared to be problems “of planning and capacity building”, visiting Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Søren Pind told Minivan News.

The Danish delegation yesterday toured the islands of Fares-Mathoda and Thinadhoo in the south of the country, both of which are suffering from flooding due to poor drainage, and signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNDP to provide assistance.

Pind said that as a Development Minister it was also very interesting to see first-hand the challenges faced by a country following a transition to democracy, “such as the fight between those who wish to go backwards and those who wish to go forwards – and it’s not always possible to tell the difference.”

Pind noted that Denmark had only adopted a parliamentary democracy in the early 1950s, after a process “that took us 100 years. We had a nasty fight in 1870-1901 between the king and those who wanted a new democratic government.”

Scandinavian countries such as Denmark regularly top human development indices. The country has the highest level of income equality, and in 2006 to 2008 was ranked “the happiest place in the world” by Forbes magazine based on indices of health, welfare and education.

Growing radicalisation

Pind acknowledged that in the years following a transition, “of course there is a threat to democratic stability. I asked President Nasheed and he said he sees radicalisation as a key challenge.”

The way to counter growing radicalisation, Pind suggested, was to foster and promote “open society – civil institutions, NGOs, people fighting for gender rights and freedom of speech – these things counteract the same very conservative thinking that benefits from that prerogative.”

And if a society was found to be going backwards and not forwards, “identify those forces of destabilisation”, he suggested.

Radicialisation, Pind noted, was not a problem unique to the Maldives. “All these countries I’ve visited recently – Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia – all their politicians are talking about this, and referring to some sort of ‘foreign influence’. It seems to be a common problem.”

Pind said he found it sad that concepts such as education, free media “and the whole idea of inalienable human rights” had become a religious issue, “when I have heard people who know Islam say this is not a religious issue, but a political one.”

Asked how he felt the Danish government had handled the issue of the controversial cartoons published by one of its newspapers, Pind said Demark had “never seen it as a confrontation with Islam.”

“But we had to face the fact that one man had drawn cartoons that were published in a major newspaper. We had a hard time explaining that in this country the government could not interfere with the media. That is the price of an open society, and we pay it gladly.”

The Danish delegation – including Pind and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Dr Lykke Friis, visited the Maldives to announce funding of climate mitigation programs in Kenya, Indonesia and the Maldives as part of its US$40 million ‘fast-track’ climate change initiative, but showed a strong interest in other matters affecting the country.


17 thoughts on “Price of an open society “is one we gladly pay”, says visiting Danish minister”

  1. Danish, the anti Islamic state, what they call democracy ? To take Muslims rights. these people are one eyed Satan who can see only them self. what about the killing the forward looking people are doing in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan. are those people killed by you forward looking people are not humans? Anni has a hidden agenda to make Maldives a barbaric, in-morel state like west. the western got development after drinking blood of Africa and Asia by colonizing for decades. hope this will be viewed under so called freedom of speech

  2. Ibn Mahudy,

    If you seriously, honestly think Denmark is a barbaric, 'in-morel' state that is 'killing' people in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, while drinking African blood... you really need to stop listening to Mullah propaganda. And maybe get a geography lesson about countries in the world other than America.

  3. Very true Mahudy.

    Specially this Danish government who supported the "pictures" prophet Mohamed (PBUH). Does these anti-islamic states think that they can change our minds by giving a small amount of money like 11 million? NO go home with that money. Rather spend that money on your missionaries to spread their untruth words.

  4. Kassim and Ibn Mahdy: May Allah save you from the tremendous ignorance you just revealed yourselves to be in.

  5. @Ibn Mahudy
    i think is time to visit Psychiatric doctor for you/if you will more listening
    crazy fundamentalist idiots it is straight way to madness

  6. Ibn Mahudy and Ahmed Kasim - typically brainwashed and not thinking on their own.
    There we get millions, and they want to reject them from a country that has clearly fought the long struggle to democracy and succeeded.

  7. Ibn Mahudy and Ahmed Kasim - I wonder how anyone will take you seriously with that Mullah propaganda.

    Nevertheless, the Danish must remember that they are here to help us in mitigating climate change, and should not try and mess in our internal affairs (freedom of speech, religion, etc). Those are issues that we ourselves have to solve.

  8. Xa-yanu, who decides the issues we have to solve ourselves? Systematical abuse of human rights surely is an important enough issue where we could use some outside help?

  9. Hey Ibn Mahudy! If you are so desparate to become an Arab why not leave this place to Dhivehin and go to Arab Karaa

  10. Aren't we all humans regardless of whether we have labels such as 'Maldivian' 'Danish'? If human rights are abused anywhere, isn't it the duty of all humans everywhere to set things right?

  11. @yameen Denmark had 545 of its solders in Iraq war at the peak and Afghanistan war 730. i was talking about people like you, one eyed Satan. you cannot see the facts. when Danish want pay price for the open society, they are referring to the openness as in western country. which we Muslims will be paying a higher price to be more morel humans. please see the links for your reference.

  12. @Yameen,

    I wonder what u call extremist? or Extreme? Pleople who fight for their home land when invaded by foreigners who come and invade for protection of Oil Companies are extremist? Fundamentalist? Pleople who try to protect their wife and children and future generations from Alcohol and Gambling or Prositution is called Extremist? People who stand up for their rights when denied from wearing their decent and modest hijab or expressing their opionion when their beloved prophet is been mocked or slandered are extremist? People who are denied of a place to pray are extremist? I wonder what kind of twisted and stupid mind you guys are having!! Let me tell and ur like minds in these civilisations (wether in Saudi or USA or Danish) are far from civilised..rather I would call them babaric animals..who can't even clean themselves until very recently and even now! Sick people you are!

  13. Ibn Mahudhy,

    What has Denmark ever done to you?

    I'm a Maldivian, and I've never seen or heard of Denmark doing anything against me or my people.

    On the contrary, when President Nasheed announced that the Maldives was too broke to attend Copenhagen, they even generously stepped in to make sure we avail of funds that'd help us attend.

    Apart from that, Danes are among the most advanced societies in the world. Their people enjoy a standard of living that is admirable, and enviable.

    Admiration in my case, envy in yours.


    Who invaded your country, again?

    These imagined grievances of yours are simply Mullah propaganda. Wait. I'll prove it to you.

    How come of all the suffering people in the world, you're so vastly 'knowledgeable' about 'oh those poor palestinians! DEY RAPED OUR SISTERS! KILLED OUR BABIES! BOMBED US!'

    Do you also seethe with anger towards the Turkish over the Armenian genocide? Do you spend days discussing with your Mullahs about justice for those suffering Rwandans?

    Do you go on multiple internet forums and scream in anguish over the continuing genocide in Darfur - an area the size of France, that has seen about ten times the casualties than in Palestine in the last few years?

    Do you weep your heart out over ANY of this? In fact, has any of this crossed your mind even once in the past week, month? Year?

    Your continued anguish and hatred of the West serves NO PURPOSE for you. It does you no good. So why do you do it? Wait. I'll tell you that as well.

    Your hatred for the 'evil' Americans and 'evil' Danes is of no consequence to you, but they're valuable for the Mullahs. This imagined suffering and victim complex is what drives people to mass murders for their political mullah masters.

    This 'BOO HOO HOO! WE HAV BEEN WRONGDEZ!' mentality is exactly what makes an otherwise perfectly normal islander from a coral island go and murder strangers in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    I do not agree with quite a few American foreign policies. (Neither do many Americans, apparently)

    But some of us slightly civilized folks can express our disagreements politely, and go ahead with our lives.

    To go and butcher innocent strangers and fight somebody else's war? Barbaric, who?

    Finally, I must say I found this following line hilarious.

    "People who stand up for their rights when denied from wearing their decent and modest hijab.."

    Are you complaining about people's hijab rights in faraway countries? Do you know what clothing rights the Maldives gives to non-Muslims? Prison garbs.

  14. @safari
    you are an extremist because you just called yameen satan. may allah save you from the depths of Hell for your inhuman extremism.

  15. @ibrahim
    we know u are not a Maldivian! we know u are a zionist in Maldives! so don't pretend u are a Maldivian. .u are a satan worshiper!


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