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Controlling the media is dangerous – I saw that in Iraq

A system without criticism towards the people in power makes me think about the dictatorship I experienced back home

Opinion piece by: Makmoud

Trump is attacking the media that critisizes him. That is like our old dictator in Iraq, Saddam Hussein. In Iraq, we experienced Saddam talking for two hours in the TV. After that was a two hour news program about Saddam until midnight. You never heard about the rest of the world. It was very scary.

It is dangerous to be against a dictator
We had three wars (1980, 1990 and 2003) where hundred of thousands of Iraqis were killed. And every journalist in Iraq was like a civil servant. Only reporting Saddam’s world.

At the elections in the nineties, I went to the ballot box and voted no (we could only vote yes or no for Saddam Hussein). I folded the piece of paper but somebody outside the booth shouted that people should not fold the voting paper. Then I had to walk from the booth to the box. A walk of 30 meters. And all the way, on both sides, a long line of green clad party members were standing, trying to see what I, and others, had voted. I was scared. I knew I might die if they saw my vote. I was lucky and made it.

The beginning of a dictatorship
A system without criticism towards the people in power makes me think about the dictatorship I experienced back home. It is a dangerous development in a society when the leaders control the media. It is one of the first steps towards dictatorship.

Before Trump was thinking about being president I saw documentaries about him. And his TV-show. “You are fired!”, he told people even though they had made just one mistake. I had a business myself back home. If my staff made mistakes, I did not fire them immediately. I gave them two or three chances. Because one mistake can be based on a fair excuse. But Trump is hard. He wants his things his way. I don’t think a president should be like that. A president should be like the father for everybody in the country.

A hope of Trump not affecting refugees in Denmark
I am not in America. I hope what he does about the refugee issue, does not resonate here in Denmark. The last years here in Denmark, there have been many cuts and tightenings for the asylum seekers and refugees. And the extreme right wing in Europe has gained wind because of him.

I watch a lot of news. Many people demonstrate against Trump. If he does not wake up and starts listening to both sides, he will lose the majority in the senate and in the house.

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