Magnus Norell skriver på Bengt Albons satsning Utrikesbloggen om vad al Qaida-hotet mot Vilks egentligen hade för funktion.
An expected media-hype ensued and Vilks and Johansson got special police protection.(via Claes Krantz)
The fact that the issuer of the threat, a man calling himself Omar al-Baghdadi of the Al Qaeda in Iraq, is, according to intelligence reports either dead or is a name of a person that does not exist, was not widely reported.
Death-threats should of course not be taken lightly, and there is always the risk that a lone person will take matters into his own hands and try to carry out such a threat.
At the same time it is clear that threats like these mainly have quite another purpose. Whoever lies behind this knows that using Al Qaeda and picking on an issue like cartoons published in the Western media, will get immediate attention, not least in the West.
It is mainly for internal consumption within the Jihadi groups and used as a way to motivate followers. At the same time, events like this one help the Jihadi’s to set the agenda and keep the conflict between ‘us’ and ‘them’ going.
Thus it also forces many Moslems outside the Islamist circles to ‘pick a side’; i.e, it makes it much harder for secular Moslems, or just plain un-interested ones, to stay out of the fray. The agenda is set along Islamist lines, and we are stepping right into the trap, partly through the media-hype but also by raising the issue to the level of ambassadorial meetings and statements from the government and political establishment as a whole.