It's been a confusing weekend. Ahmed Akkari was caught on candid camera making death threats against Syrian-born MP Naser Khader, but now he claims it was only a joke. And we all know how much Akkari loves a little joke.
Ahmed Akkari
"Taking fun as simply fun, and earnestness in earnest
shows how thoroughly thou none, of the two discernest." (Piet Hein)
Akkari with a cartoon of Khader: "But this here is only a joke."
Cartoon by Rasmus Sand Høyer

Khader was reported to have had a break-down and to have gone under ground, but according to his own homepage (Danish text): "There's a lot of speculation about my situation right now. But let me make it clear: I have not gone under ground and neither have I broken down. I need to collect myself after several months of stress, and I need to be together with my family."

On the same candid camera, Abu Laban was quoted for talking about a `Martyr Action' Plot

Danish imam Abu Laban made the comments to an associate in Arabic in front of a French cameraman they knew didn't understand the language, Danmarks Radio said. The conversation was recorded by a hidden camera, the broadcaster said. In the conversation, Laban talks of a person who ``will create complete havoc and conduct a martyr act,'' Danmarks Radio reported, without specifying whether the threats were made against a particular country.

However, the double-tounged imam was able to explain it all in a tour-de-force of double-talk: Martyr-action is just an expression (Danish text, my translation):

Reporter: According to the TV-clip, you said he would wreak havoc?

Abu Laban: That is to make a story out of nothing. If your son is insubordinate and don't want to sleep or go to school, you may say, you'll break his neck if he doesn't do as you tell him. But that's just an expression one employs.

Reporter: You used the word martyr-action. That sounds as a terror-action?

Abu Laban: But if the television had consulted me beforehand, we wouldn't have had to discuss it here. Then the case would have been closed.

Reporter: So you can say with certainty that it wasn't a terror-action he was talking about?

Abu Laban: Would you invite people to discuss terror on a cafe? There was a journalist from France. Everything was open. Nothing was secret. There is no reason to exaggerate the meaning.
Rasmus Sand Høyer
An Indian minister has promised 10,000,000 dollars and the assassin's weight in gold, for killing the cartoonists.
Cartoonist's wife: "Can I be sure that the man really has the money?"
Cartoon by Rasmus Sand Høyer

Reporter: But isn't a martyr-action a terror-action?

Abu Laban: If one says one wants to »blow up this meeting«, it means that one wants to stop the meeting. Not that one wants to explode people. I'm not a terrorist. The media should stop this. Everything is being translated as if we work with terror, and that isn't true.

Reporter: If this had been about a terror-action, what expression would you have used then?

Abu Laban: If we are told about this kind of things, we know who are in charge of security in Denmark - that's the police - and then they would be informed.

Reporter: Did you consider informing the police at that time?

Abu Laban: There is no terrorist. This is fantasy and an illusion of what can be heard on the tape.

Reporter: What happened to the person you spoke about. Did he get a meeting with Amr Moussa?

Abu Laban: I have tried to ask other people about this, but there are so many people who have went to Egypt, so I don't know.

Reporter: From where had you heard about this person?

Abu Laban: We are so many people who hear so much.

Reporter: Did you think, that what he was going to do, was a good idea?

Abu Laban: That's people's own business. Why should I interfere? This is a free country and people can do as they please and meet whom they want to. Everybody has been much engaged since the cartoons were published.

Reporter: What was the name of the person you spoke of?

Abu Laban: Believe me: I have just returned. I don't recall. I'm trying to remember. Maybe, when I see the clip from TV, it will appear to me.

Confused? Well, yet another spokesman for The Danish Islamic Community, this time it was Kasem Said, said that Akkari was removed as spokesman. On the other hand Akkari said to Jyllands-Posten (March 26, page 4) that he's still spokesman. On the other hand (or is it third hand) I stumbled over this interview where Akkari denies being an imam:

Q: I have read you are an imam?

A: No, I am a spokesman for 27 organisations. I am a Danish citizen, I have some theological background, but I am educated in sociology and pedagogy.

And don't get me started on the conference in Bahrain - and which imam wanted to stop the boycott and which imam wanted to continue it and whether the conference was a success.

I saw Abu Laban on dr.dk when he said "there is no threat"

His body movements strongly indicate he lies, as on two other occasions on the long movie of France 2
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