Below is an article published last Sunday by a former Danish leftist, who writes about sharia-controlled zones in his old neighborhood in Århus.
Many thanks to Steen for the tip, and to Nemo for the translation.
My Experiences with a Danish Sharia-Zone
by Dan Ritto
On the front page of today’s edition of [Danish newspaper] Ekstra-Bladet you can see the headline ‘Here, sharia law applies’, and a map of the areas of the country where the imams and so-called cultural societies have established an alternative judicial system based on sharia law.
One of these areas is Gellerupparken, where I used to live and participate in what I thought was an effort to integrate immigrants into society. A feature article in the newspaper says that according to experts, these areas will, in the course of 10-15 years, be anti-democratic. I’ll stipulate that depending on what you mean by “democratic”, Gellerup has already turned that corner.
Unfortunately, the criticisms coming from Islam-sceptics like myself are almost always swept off the table with the remark that we are stupid and ignorant. Therefore in the following I will present my credentials and background for talking about conditions in Gellerup, so that the readers themselves can judge whether I am ignorant or not.
When I returned home from seminary in London in 2004, I had no possessions except for some boxes with my books in them — and the clothes on my back. I had no money and no place to live. A couple of months later I got my apartment — in Gellerupparken, because back then as now it was very quick and easy to get an apartment there. On top of that the apartments were actually surprisingly lovely, in spite of the reputation the area had.
After some time I became an active member of the society called ‘Multikulturel Forening’ [Multicultural Society]. I even became its vice-president. But before then, very soon after moving in, actually, I had new neighbours. It was a very nice guy who moved in along with his family — among them a son in a wheelchair. No one in the family spoke any language other that Arabic, so I never got to talk to any of them. But they always greeted me with big smiles and a lot of warmth, and they as well as the master of the house made a fantastic impression. His name was Shaykh Raed Hlayhel. Shaykh Hlayhel was imam in the mosque on Grimshøjvej, but that interested me little back then. Later, when the whole cartoon crisis erupted, I learned with amazement that my good neighbour was one of the imams who travelled and spread lies about Denmark throughout the Middle East.