|Associated Press - Udland 13-03-03 14:56:00
United States in Guantanamo Bay said in an interview before
he left Denmark that Muslims can wage war if they're
In a 27-minute interview to be broadcast Thursday night on
Denmark's DR2 channel, Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane, said a
Muslim «should be good to everyone, children, women,
elderly, Muslims and non-Muslims, everyone who deserves
But he said it is «totally different» for those who
don't deserve it, including Saddam Hussein and former
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.
«The only moment Muslims can go to war is when someone
attacks them,» Abderrahmane said in the interview
videotaped in April 2000 by two art students in Aarhus, 200
kilometers (124 miles) northwest of the capital,
The students, Nikolaj Kilsmark and Nynne Haugaard,
|solved, then one has to defend oneself because Islam say so,» Abderrahmane said quietly. «You just can't turn the other cheek.» When Denmark said in January 2002 that a Dane was arrested in Afghanistan, Kilsmark and Haugaard, who edited the footage to 27 minutes, didn't know it was Abderrahmane. Both the Danish government and U.S. authorities have refused to identify the man and haven't made public details
of his arrest. Approximately 650 men from 43 countries are being held at the U.S. naval base in eastern Cuba. All are accused of links to the al-Qaida terrorist network or Afghanistan's fallen Taliban regime.
Meeting Slimane, is - like other of our projects growing out of another one.
In our first project Mapping Gellerup in 1999-2000 we made interviews with people being representatives for a community or a group of people in Gellerup outside Aarhus - DK.
It was through a Muslim society we meet Slimane in the local bazaar. We were looking for someone to explain about Islam for the video library in our project.
We had a very interesting interview with Slimane in our garden house in Gellerup - talking about religion and football among other things....
- And then some years later - we acknowledged that Slimane was held imprisoned in American prisoners camp at Guantanamo on Cuba.
To drag some attention to his case before it was to be discussed in the Danish parliament - we broadcasted the interview on national television. The ministry of foreign affairs did not want to have Slimanes identity known to the Danish public – most likely due to some kind of agreement with U.S.A with whom Denmark participated in the war in Iraq.
Many were of the opinion that the Danish state did not do enough to get this Danish citizen out of Guantanamo .
It was known to all the Danish media, that we were having this interview with Slimane. Several journalists warned us that the ministry of foreign affairs most likely was about to contact us in order to confiscate the tape. For a week we stayed under ground.
We were very unsure what to do. We had no chance of asking Slimane about his opinion. We chose to show the 26 minute long interview as means of putting pressure on the Danish government by creating publicity about the case.
We had promised Slimane and others participating for the videolibrary project in Mapping Gellerup, that the interviews were not going to be cut up in small statements and quotes. We wanted to keep that promise.
The Cooperation with the Danish National television was difficult. We wanted the full interview to be shown - representing the person Slimane – Not only quotes directly about Islam and politics as all the media wanted.
Being accused for terrorism there is a lot of focus on your personality and even jokes about football become important when people try to judge if you might be guilty in such.
We ended up broadcasting the interview with Slimane on the Danish DR2 channel in its full length followed up by half an hour of discussions with national politicians.
A part of the written contract with DR - was that they were not allowed to broadcast quotes from the interview in future programmes. Some month after - on the day before Slimanes return to Denmark - DR decided to do this anyway in their daily news programme. This was a very unpleasant situation. If Slimane wanted to return as anonymously as possible to Denmark – this was spoiled completely by DR.
DR tried to keep us quiet, by sending us a cheque on the amount it would cost them to broadcast the clip if they had our permission to do so. They did not have this permission and we didn't want their money.
– Head of news in DR admitted that this was a wrong act by DR to broadcast quotes against written agreement and apologised to both Slimane and us.