‘Response to Copenhagen attacks will be more Islamophobia, right-wing push’

Forensic investigators are seen at the site of a shooting in Copenhagen February 14, 2015 (Reuters / Liselotte Sabroe)

The response coming out of Denmark following the shooting incidents is likely to be “violent” and supportive of Islamophobia and the marginalization of the Muslim community, Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, told RT.

RT:Do you
applaud controversial artist Lars Vilks continuing his work? Or
do you think he is being foolish?

Gavin MacFadyen: He has every right to do what
he does. People don’t have to like it. But, you don’t want to
stop what you are good at, what you are paid to do, and what is
not a horrendous assaults on other people just because of
threats. In that sense, he was completely legitimate in going

RT: Do you think a red line should be drawn
for journalists and cartoonists, in respect to their work like
this, for fear of offending others?

GM: No, you go and do what you feel you have to
do. There are some examples of this that I would not be prepared
to defend – anti-Semetic attacks, anti-Muslim attacks. If they
are social and ethnic in character, I find that particularly
offensive. People have a right to do it, but then they can have a
right to expect protest as, well. In a sense to understand that
other people won’t like it and take action against it. However,
they have a right to do it, absolutely.

RT:France and Denmark have called it a
terror attack. What do you think will be the international
reaction to this? After Charlie Hebdo, people claimed there was
more Islamophobia and we saw a tougher stance on terrorism. Do
you expect the same? Or perhaps we get a fuller debate about the
cause and the root causes of it too?

GM: I wish we would, but I suspect not. As you
suggested, we are going to see the same kind of response again –
non-subtle, violent response, [and] increasing amounts of
Islamophobia. The right-wing will put significant pressure on the
conservative governments in the West to do harsher things to that
community. So the worry, of course, is the event; but the
secondary worry is that…the right-wing in most countries will
use this to justify their racist and chauvinist views, which so
far they haven’t disguised at all…

RT: What sort of debate would you like to

GM: We tried to organize a meeting about the
Charlie Hebdo affair in London, and one of the things we found is
that no venue would accept the subject, unless you are prepared
to spend an enormous sum with private security. It is having a
horrific affect on the ability to discuss anything and that is a
bad news situation.

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