Archive for the ‘Denmark’ Category

It is estimated that 200-400 Somalis in Denmark support the terror organization al-Shabaab.  A large group of Somalis who oppose it suffer from threats and intimidation.  This according to a report from the Justice Ministry, written by researchers Michael Taarby and Lars Hallundbæk.

The organization is most known in Denmark because the axe-armed man broke into cartoonist Kurt Westergaard’s home in Aarhus, and another Somali who killed 24 people in Mogadishu with a suicide bomb, were friends and had clear sympathies for al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab builds further on Islamic fundamentalism, and support a global Jihad-ideology and have some contact with al-Qaeda.

Though al-Shabaab sympathizers make up a small minority among Somalis in Denmark, they attempt to pressure people who think differently into silence but using threats, say the researchers.

For example, a family burial ground was destroyed in Somalia, when a Somali in Denmark expressed himself negatively about al-Shabaab.

The researchers say that young, marginalized Somalis are in a vulnerable position, because they have difficulties leaving up to their parents’ ambitions.  Some parents support religious interests and al-Shabaab use this to gradually radicalize the youth.

At the same time, parents hold back from going to the authorities when they become nervous of their sons’ development.  They fear they would be accused of being accomplices.

The threat from al-Shabaab has been seriously underestimated, the two researchers say, and call for further research on how al-Shabaab radicalized and recruit youth to the global Jihad war.


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A Danish newspaper has apologized to Muslims for the offence caused by its decision to reprint a controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

The Politiken daily says its apology Friday was part of a settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing Muslims in the Middle East and Australia.

The drawing was one of 12 caricatures that sparked angry protests in Muslim countries in 2006 after they were published by another Danish newspaper.

Politiken and other Danish newspapers reprinted it in 2008 after police revealed a plot to kill the cartoonist who created the drawing.

Politiken did not explicitly express regret for reprinting the cartoon but apologized “to anyone who was offended by our decision.”

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The police in Aarhus are calling in extra forces to prevent a gang war between criminal Kurds and Palestinians in Gellerup park.

In the span of three days there have been two knife fights between the two groups. Four men of Kurdish background were injured and the recent incident took place on the weekend.

The police discovered the right by chance Friday night, when a police patrol spotted a car with several Kurds on its way to Aarhus hospital. One had a knife wound in his shoulder.

The police think that the fighting is due to hashish and other drug trade in the Gellerup area.

Bent Preben Nielsen of the Østjylland police said that they added extra manpower to investigate in detail the background of the two serious episodes. They will try to prevent this from developing into a gang war between groups of New Danes.

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Although some politicians’ ire was raised over mothers-only meetings, many schools make concessions based on a student’s religion.

Gender-segregated school meetings, special washrooms, prayer rooms and days off for holy days are just some of the concessions many of the nation’s primary and secondary schools have been making for students of non-Christian religions.

According to a Politiken newspaper poll of 1,500 administrators at the country’s 592 state-operated schools, around a third have been willing to modify their general practices to accommodate certain groups – in particular Muslims.

‘We just try to take into account what is best for the children,’ said Anders Balle, president of the National School Principals’ Association. ‘And if an extra day off for a religious holiday means that a family will look more favourably upon the school, then I see the move as a good one.’

Politiken took the survey after the issue made headlines recently when Holberg School in Copenhagen held a  ‘mothers-only’ meeting. School administrators said this was because some Muslim fathers would not allow their wives to attend the regular meetings in the company of other men.

The decision was not a popular one for a number of MPs, who believed the move allowed the Muslim fathers to dictate how the school was operating.

But the new survey showed that Holberg School was far from unique in making exceptions to the usual way of doing things at the nation’s schools. Regarding mothers-only meetings, 26 of the schools polled indicated they have also had gender-divided parent meetings, though not always due to religious considerations.

Yet religious considerations are nonetheless widespread at the schools. Around one-quarter have special changing rooms – primarily for Muslim girls, but also for overweight students who say they are embarrassed by their appearance.

A third of schools give extra days off for religious festivals, such as the Muslim Eid.

Bertel Haarder, the education minister, said he supported individual schools having the flexibility to arrange their activities as they see fit.

‘I don’t want to meddle in how school leaders believe their institutions function best,’ he said.  ‘As long as the students get 200 days of schooling and as long as the special concessions do not violate any equality or other fundamental democratic rights, then I don’t believe it’s my place to get involved.’

Haarder did say, however, that if the issue comes down to men not allowing their wives to take part in school meetings, then he is ready to step in if necessary.

‘Because it’s a horrible situation for Danish society if we allow some men to use religion to support that argument,’ he said.

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According to a book by a Copenhagen employed prison imam, it’s OK for a Muslim man to beat his wife.

If a Muslim woman publicly behaves in a way which conflicts with Islam, according to the Copenhagen prison imam Jan Leon Soudari-Hansen, it’s OK to beat her.

The imam counsels Muslim inmates at the Vestre prison, Blegdamsvejen prison, Politigården prison, all of which belong to the Copenhagen Prisons.

Further he wrote the reference work “Råd og vejledning om ægteskab & samliv” (Advise and guidance on marriage and cohabitation), where, with the help of koran quotes, gives the prescription for how to live together properly in a Muslim marriage.

Overall he rejects violence in marriage, but according to the book it is acceptable, if two conditions are met:

* The woman commented an “evident abomination”, that is to say adultery or a very serious sin, writes the imam.
* It should be the last resort. The husband should first attempt to talk and then refuse to have sex with his wife.

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