Muslim activist blasted recent anti-Islam remarks by a Danish lawmaker, cautioning that recurrent attacks on their faith by politicians and some media hinder the minority’s integration into society.
“The Muslim minority has for sometime been suffering from anti-Islam and anti-Muslim statements which send shockwaves through the minority,” Qassim Saeed Ahmed, the media officer of the Copenhagen-based Scandinavian Wakf, told IslamOnline.net.
MP Martin Henriksen of the People’s Party has recently described Islam as a “terror network,” describing Muslims and their faith as enemies of the Western civilization.
“Such statements infuriate Muslims and stymie their integration into the Danish society,” Ahmed said.
He stressed that the Scandinavian Wakf, the main Muslim organization in Denmark, is coordinating with other groups the possibility of taking the lawmaker to court.
Muslims in Denmark are estimated at more than 180,000 or around 3 per cent of population, mostly with a Turkish background.
There are three Muslim members of the Danish parliament; Naser Khader, who hails from Syrian roots, Husain Arac, who has a Turkish background, and Pakistan-born Kamal Qurashi.
Islam is Denmark’s second largest religion after the Lutheran Protestant Church, which is actively followed by four-fifths of the country’s population of 5.3 million.
Henriksen’s attack on Danes who revert to Islam have also triggered rebuke.
“I think such statements would eventually having their toll on Muslim reverts,” Ahmed.
The Danish legislator described Danes who embrace Islam as morally inferior, accusing them of betraying their roots and culture by becoming Muslims.
“This is unacceptable and violates Danish laws,” Abdul Wahid Pedersen, a Danish-born imam, told IOL.
“Such statements demonstrate utter ignorance of the true teachings of Islam,” he added.
Pedersen, who embraced Islam 28 years ago, shrugged out any influence of such hostility on himself.
“But new reverts might be affected.”
Both Ahmed and Pedersen agreed that the more the Danes understand Islam, the more they will respect the Muslim faith and its believers.