In “Tingbjerg: one neighborhood’s nightmare” at Human Rights Service, October 26, Bruce Bawer gives a glimpse of the kind of thing that will be happening in the United States before too long, unless there is some drastic change in numerous policies:
Few people outside of Denmark have heard of Tingbjerg. It’s a residential neighborhood in northwestern Copenhagen. About 6500 people live there, down from about 10,000 in the 1970s. Today the great majority of those residents are Muslims. As the neighborhood has become increasingly Muslim, it’s also been increasingly plagued by gang violence, burglaries, car-burnings, vandalism, and other offenses. Over the years, the members of Tingbjerg’s non-Muslim minority have come to feel increasingly vulnerable and ill at ease in their community. Many have moved out.
Among the latter is Ulrich Vogel. He is German and gay – and until recently he also happened to be the pastor at Tingbjerg Church. But now, after seventeen years in that position, he’s fled – moved out of the church residence, gone underground, taken sick leave, and begun psychological treatment.
Why? Because in recent years Vogel has been the repeated target of crime and harassment by local Muslims. Vogel refused to discuss his situation with Uwe Max Jensen, who reported on the story for sappho.dk on October 6. But Jensen found police reports in local newspapers that describe acts of vandalism at the church on March 26 and August 5 of this year and a break-in at the church residence on August 16. The latter crime involved the destruction and robbery of much of Vogel’s personal property, including his computer. And this is apparently only the tip of the iceberg: a member of the church congregation told Jensen that the residence has been broken into “countless” times.
In any case, Vogel has given up. And so, apparently, has the church council: instead of opening up a search for a substitute pastor who’s willing to live in the church residence at Tingbjerg, they’ve decided to sell it.
For days, the rumor circulated that Vogel was tormented by the young Muslims because he’s gay. Then, on October 17, Lea Holtze and Jannie Iwankow SÃ¸gaard of Kristeligt Dagblad reported that Vogel had broken his silence in order to deny that rumor. No, he insisted: he was tormented not because he’s gay but because he’s a pastor, and thus “a picture of an institution and a normality that is not welcomed by this group of young people.” Vogel also noted, truthfully enough, that he was hardly the only person in the neighborhood who had been victimized by local youth.
“It’s a whole neighborhood that’s been taken hostage,” Vogel said of Tingbjerg, complaining that “one is left to fend for oneself” there because “the police don’t do enough.” The problems, he said, can’t be dismissed as ordinary teenage hijinks: “It feels like pure malice.” The pastor recalled that last March, after local youths threw rocks at buses, resulting in a disruption of the public transport system, he spoke out in a local newspaper and on the TV news about the neighborhood’s ordeal – an action which, he suggests, may help explain why he appears to have been singled out for repeated victimization….