Are terrorists martyrs?

An exhibition entitled "Martyr Museum" scheduled to open in Copenhagen at the end of May is already causing uproar in Denmark. It shows people who died for a cause, like Rosa Luxemburg and Joan of Arc, alongside the Paris and Brussels attackers. Can terrorists be put on par with freedom fighters?

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Berlingske (DK) /

Don't show freedom fighters beside attackers

The daily Berlingske finds the Copenhagen exhibition outrageous:

“In and of itself there's nothing wrong with organising an exhibition that shows what goes on in the heads of suicide bombers. But the premise is false. If you show pictures of people who fought and died for a cause alongside pictures of others who also fought for a cause but murdered innocent people in the process, you end up blurring the concepts. This is cultural relativism in its most idiotic form. And it is dangerous when, taken to extremes, it means that one creed is as good as another. That is precisely what is not the case. Democracy and freedom are better than dictatorship and censorship.”

Politiken (DK) /

Understand terrorists in order to combat them

Denmark's liberal Minister for Culture Bertel Haarder has announced that he will not visit the controversial exhibition in Copenhagen. Politiken disapproves of the decision:

“If we follow the minister for culture's line we won't learn anything about our society's worst adversaries. It's as if he fears we will join the terrorists if we learn something about them. Moving closer to them on the intellectual level has nothing to do with moving closer to their moral standards. Adopting such a stance would also mean not reading about Stalin or the crusades and not trying to understand why the Nazis became a mass movement. … Naturally we must try to see things from the perspective of those who hate us. And naturally we must try to understand why others come to see them as martyrs and heroes.”