Screen grap from TV2: Ahmed Akkari, former imam, former spokesman for the Islamic society
No, you don't need to check your calender, this is not April Fools' Day. Ahmed Akkari who was one of the instigators behind the Mohammed Crisis - traveling around in the Middle East with fake Mohammed cartoons - now regrets his actions.

Here's a sample of today's news media (all Danish text): Akkari: Muhammed-tegningerne var ok (Akkari: The Mohammed cartoons were OK - Jyllands-Posten), Jeg skylder måske hele Danmark en undskyldning (I owe maybe all of Denmark an apology - TV2), Ahmed Akkari: Muhammed-tegningerne var i orden (Ahmed Akkari: The Mohammed cartoons were all right - Kristeligt Dagblad), Ahmed Akkari beklager sin kritik af Muhammed-tegninger (Ahmed Akkari regrets his criticism of Mohammed cartoons - JydskeVestkysten), Akkari: 'Jeg var ung og naiv' (Akkari: 'I was young and naive' - BT).

It seems a few years on Greenland has cooled his hot temper, and he now appears older, chubbier and wiser. He has cut his old connections with the Islamic society, cut his beard, and is in the process of divorcing his wife in Lebanon.

Akkari now stands up in order to warn against the danger of radicalization. He tells about his upbringing in Denmark, how his father wanted to stay outside the big cities to avoid influence from radical elements, and how he was himself enticed when he went to high school in Aalborg.

Let me quote (and translate) a bit from this article: Tidligere imam fortryder sin rolle i Muhammed-krisen: Nu forstår jeg tegningerne (Former imam regrets his role in the Mohammed crisis: Now I understand the cartoons - BT):

Since the Mohammed crisis Ahmed Akkari has retired from the general public and the role as imam and religious spokesman. When he now in spite of this chooses to stand up, it is partly because of what he considers an ominous development. If the inrush to the extreme Muslim circles is not curbed it may have serious consequences for the Danish society, he fears.

- One reproduces a specific worldview in people, totally without nuances. Everything is portrayed black an white as a struggle between them and the rest of the world, and after all, the reality is not like that. What makes it even more dangerous is that they have started to attract young people from the street gangs and prisons. These may not have the intellectual resources to evaluate critically what they are being told. And it is people, who are already on the outskirts of the Danish society and have troubles observing its rules. That combination is a powder keg. This can end with anything, says Akkari.

As examples of the dangerous teachings, he mentions that democracy and the Western separation of religion and legislation in several radical environments is considered an attack on Islam and the correct way of living, and that it therefore should be fought.

According to the now former imam, it is precisely the concept of having the monopoly on truth, and the opposition against any other opinions, that makes the Islamic radicalization dangerous for both the individual person as well as society.

Unfortunately, Akkari refrains from mentioning specific names, specific techniques or specific examples of how these radical forces are working. Cutting the ties to the neighborhood is not without danger.

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