A majority of Danish Muslims distance themselves from small group of extremists
Most Muslims in Denmark rejected the Salafists’ call for Sharia Law
A fundamentalist Islamic group wants to set up zones in Copenhagen where Islamic Sharia Law should be upheld.
The group, ‘The Call to Islam’, belongs to a branch of Islam called Salafism, whose followers in the UK attempted to introduce similar Sharia zones in London earlier this summer.
According to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, the group is led by the imam Abu Ahmed, who has taught several people subsequently linked to terrorist activities.
The Call to Islam intends to start patrolling the Copenhagen neighbourhood of Tingbjerg before extending into Nørrebro and eventually the whole of Denmark. Muslims found to be drinking and gambling would be reprimanded for breaking Islamic code.
The Muslimernes Fællesråd, an umbrella organisation representing over 40,000 Muslims from several organisations, has denounced the plans.
“We should definitely take them seriously and enter into dialogue with them,” spokesperson Mustafa Gezen told Jyllands-Posten. “We should not ignore their extreme inclinations in our society. The problem is that many young people are susceptible to these beliefs. We need to start at the primary school level, to stress the importance of democracy.”
The deputy mayor for integration, Anna Mee Allerslev, told Jyllands-Posten Tueday that she was previously aware of the group and their plans.
“A while ago I asked our employees to head out and intensify their work to engage with them,” she said. “But it’s important that we don’t talk it up too much because they are only a small group in Tingbjerg. But it’s important that we pay attention to the problem.”
Allerslev added that she had called a meeting with Islamic group Islamisk Trossamfund and the Muslimernes Fællesråd to discuss how to prevent the radicalisation of Islamic youth. She also stated that the City Council was in contact with the authorities in London who have many years’ experience dealing with similar groups.
According to the City Council, there are nine Salafists patrolling Tingbjerg. The group has a core support of about 50 individuals in Copenhagen who are joined by several hundred additional supporters at study meetings.
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