Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"A small price to pay. . ."

Talk about standing up for something you believe in, a European Pizza owner was recently sent to jail for his staunch support for the Iraq war.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - A Danish pizzeria owner was jailed Tuesday for refusing to serve French and German tourists in protesting their countries' opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

A Danish court found Aage Bjerre guilty of discrimination and fined him $900. Bjerre refused to pay, and will now serve an eight-day sentence.

"I'm doing it to show my sympathy with the United States. It shows how seriously I mean it," he told The Associated Press by telephone. "But one should also remember that eight days is a small price to pay when American soldiers go to Iraq and risk their limbs and lives."

In February 2003, before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Bjerre posted two signs barring Germans and French from his pizzeria on Denmark's western island of Fanoe. His refusal to serve them drew criticism in this Scandinavian country, where the government supported the war while its citizens were split.

The 46-year-old received hundreds of fan letters from the United States, but had to sell the pizzeria after repeated vandalism and a large drop in sales. He is bringing a photograph of President Bush and Laura Bush, as well as an American flag, to decorate the walls of his prison cell: "I think that will brighten up the room," he said.

Aage has a website here and a Cafe Press store here. (hat tip Michelle Malkin)


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