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In January a major Danish newspaper and a fundamentalistic Norwegian christian magazine printed caricature drawings of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. This has sparked anger against Nordic citizens in several Islamic countries. Today, 4 Feb, an angry mob in Syria's capitol Damascus attacked and burnt down the Danish and Norwegian embassies. Luckily no one was injured in the attacks as the embassies was closed. Some of the demonstrators was brought to hospital due to the Syrian police's use of tear gas in an attempt to disperse the mob.
Norway and Denmark have asked their citizens to leave Syria immediately due to the hostilities, and to be vigilant in other Islamic countries.
A very strange experience indeed, to watch the Norwegian flag be burnt by an angry mob in Syria. This has usually been a "treat" reserved to the US. Now, the Islamic world has turned their anger to these small countries far up north.
I think this is the very first time I as a Norwegian would think twice to visit an Islamic country.
Yes, its not great being british in those parts of the world either, but now that I am taking my Danish girlfriend though turkey, iran, pak to india....the plans may have to change if it all gets worse! Poo.
Dont worry lads, wont be any trouble there. Just respect their believes, life styles, culteres, etc.. I mean respect what make them "them". Middle East people are very friendly. If you take a one step towards them they will take 10 steps towards you.
Originally posted by AZBill: There is no way you can factually state that there “won’t be any trouble.” That is irresponsible and impossible to know. It seems a trend on this site to ignore reality.
I belive what Ozhanu is saying is that things are rarely as bad as they seem on TV and not to throw a good plan away just because of this. I don't think anyone actually thought he was offering a guarantee of safety.
And I don't agree that people on this site ignore reality. If anything, they often have a much better view of the prevailing conditions in a country than your average journo. I've lived in Syria a couple of times and I would have absolutely no hesitation in travelling there again, even now.
People losing their minds and falling into anger in masses for some others to abuse and benefit from have happened before and will happen again until we really learn how to communicate and live together for the sake of human kind and the planet as a whole. Until then at least for my friends who are willing to take a journey at least through Turkey I can say that everything is not better or worse than it has always been and ever will be.
But I guarantee with all my heart and mind that you miss out a beautiful experience of geography and “friendly” culture if you hesitate not to realize such plans of travel to my country. This fear, anxiety and imagination are definitely worse than the facts.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are planning to come and visit especially western Turkey.
[This message has been edited by cozcan (edited 06 February 2006).]
[This message has been edited by cozcan (edited 06 February 2006).]
Like others have said, I'm sure you'll be fine. Please don't say 'the Islamic world' is attacking your embassies though. It's just a few nutters. Nobody said in the UK back in the day: 'the Catholic world has bombed the shopping centre of Manchester'!
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
Terje Rød Larsen, the UN's special envoy to the middle east said the following to NRK today(a Norwegian broadcaster) :
"The unrest stem from many different conflicts and the situation may get out of control.
In many ways can the whole region now be compared with a keg of gun powder where the fuse is lit. I think the situation is more difficult, more complicated and more dangerous than it has been in many decades. The reason is that the many partial conflicts in the region - the Israel - Arabic conflict, the conflicts around Iran and the question of neucular weapons and the conflict between Syria and Lebanon.
All of this must now be tied together around fundamental questions of value and attitudes which makes for a situation that may very easily come even more out of control than what we have seen the last few days."
He didn't mention the conflicts in Irak and Afganistan, which I'm sure you could add to the whole mess.
I'd think about following this conflict for a while and see where it is headed before making up my mind.
If you dont stack your flag into people eyes, if you dont say "i am not agains the cartoons", if you dont behieve racist or fundamentalist in religion, no one will touch you. All I am saying is a little bit "respect" and "humanity". We are not politian, we are only traveller, that's it. We just go places to see the beauty not the ugliness. You cannot blame all the nations because of some fundamentalist, stupid, uneducated and uncivilised people. Both sides lads, both sides... Everything has both sides. And you only see where you are looking from.
I dont wanna discuss anymore. These are just my thoughts and I'll travel there soon.
Hi, well they don't call it Adventure Motorcycling for nothing; this stuff has been going on for decades, it peeks and troughs every now and again. There must have been hundreds of travelling folk passed through these regions without mishap over the years.
In my opinion its about respect, good judgement and a spot of risk assessment. The bit about not flying flags is probably sound advice.
Last report is that the Norwegian army base in Afganistan has been attacked and penetrated by an angry mob of demonstartors. Two soldiers injured by rock throwers.
According to ROE (rules of engagement)fighter planes have been requested for flyowers to show "force".
The largest newspaper in Iran has now started a cartoon contest of the Holocaust... Seems like someone really wants a conflict badly. That the middle east is rapidly becoming more unstable is evident, as explained by Terje Rød Larsen. Other issues relevant right now is Hamas having won the election and refusing to accept Israel.
Danes and Norwegians just ain't too popular right now, but most likely it will settle and be forgotten in a while... hopefully. The last time Norway experienced anything like this was when Salmon Rushdie published his book Satanical Verses (I think that is what it was called). It put the muslim world in a frenzy... shortly after, Norway was broakering a piece treaty between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Still, the Norwegian government does not advice its citizens to travel to the middle east (exept Syria and a couple of other places where it is particularly hot right now).
I'd just stick to my plans and watch where this is all heading. If it gets much worse you can allways change your plans at later point. It would be sad to drop your plans now only to find that the situation turned to the better.
[This message has been edited by Wheelie (edited 07 February 2006).]
Afgan police shot live rounds at the demonstrators killing three-four and injuring about 20. The demonstrators were using rocks, handgranades, old russian automatic rifles, etc. Flyovers has started and warning shots has been fired. Demonstrators has barricaded themselves inside a building next to the base where they can keep carrying out attacks. The situation is higly volatile. Norwegian do gooders are being evacuated from Afganistan.
Add some killing into this whole mess and things could easily escalate and spread.
Just so that it is clear, what is going on in Meymaneh, Afganistan, is not just a demonstration. It is an armed attack.
The differance being that the attackers in Meymaneh are using AK-47s, RPGs (shoulder fired, rocket propelled grenades), hand grenades, and other asorted handguns against the ISAF group posted there. In addition to the typical rocks and molotov-cocktails which are commonly thrown in middle eastern demonstrations/conflicts.
So this is an organized attack, and not a demonstration.
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