"We must not have a Denmark where Danish traditions disappear as soon as there is a Muslim majority." -- Tom Behnke, Spokesman, Danish Conservative Party
Muslim immigrants in a town near Copenhagen have forced the
cancellation of traditional Christmas displays this year even while
spending lavishly on the Islamic Eid celebration marking the end of
The controversy has escalated into an angry nationwide debate over
the role of Islam in post-Christian Denmark, where a burgeoning Muslim
population is becoming increasingly assertive in imposing its will on a
wide range of social and civic issues.
The latest dust-up involves the Egedalsvænget housing complex in
Kokkedal, a town situated some 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of
Copenhagen where Arab and Turkish immigrants now comprise more than half
the total population.
At a recent meeting of the Egedalsvænget tenants' association, the
Muslim majority on the Board of Directors refused to authorize spending
7,000 Danish kroner ($1,200) for the community's annual Christmas event.
The vote came shortly after the same Board of Directors authorized
spending 60,000 kroner ($10,000) on a large communal celebration of the
Muslim holiday Eid. Five out of nine of the board members are Muslims.
A Muslim member of the board, Ismail Mestasi, defended the decision
to cancel the Christmas tree and party, arguing that no one had offered
to organize the celebration. "No one wanted to take on the
responsibility. A vote was taken and it ended as it ended. I don't
celebrate Christmas, but I was asked to get the tree. And I didn't want
to." But a non-Muslim board member, Karin Leegaard Hansen, refuted him,
saying that she herself had offered to take on the responsibility, but
that she was overruled by the Muslim board members.
The dispute, which is the latest in an ever-growing list of Muslim-related controversies in Denmark, was first reported by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation
(DR) on November 7. Since then, the issue has snowballed into a
national scandal and has become a key topic for public debate in the
Danish media as well as in political circles.
A spokesman for the Danish Conservative Party, Tom Behnke, says he
fears there are people who want to convert Denmark into a Muslim
country. In an interview with DR News,
Behnke said: "I think it is deeply alarming that our integration
efforts are so ineffective that the moment there is a Muslim majority,
we do away with good-old Danish traditions and introduce Muslim
traditions instead. We are living in Denmark, and people have to adapt
to the situation that applies here."
When asked whether housing associations with a Muslim minority should
sponsor an Eid party, Behnke replied: "We have to remember that in the
past, an Eid festival was the Muslims' victory celebration after they
had slaughtered the Christians, so I don't know how much there is to
celebrate in Denmark. Still, people should be allowed to celebrate
whatever festivals they want to, but they also must respect the
festivals in the country they have come to."
Behnke added: "There is no point in wanting to convert Denmark into a
Muslim country because you yourself have a Muslim background. That must
never happen. On the contrary, we must have mutual respect for one
another. This is a lack of respect for Danish traditions and culture. We
must not have a Denmark where Danish traditions disappear as soon as
there is a Muslim majority."
Danish police are now investigating an accusation of racism made against the Muslim board members. In an interview with the Copenhagen Post,
police spokesperson Karsten Egtved said: "It needs to be determined to
what extent the decision by the Muslim members of the board to first
vote 'yes' to a 60,000 kroner Eid party, then 'no' to a 7,000 kroner
Christmas tree to celebrate Christian traditions, violates laws by
discriminating against Christians and their traditions."
The Christmas tree controversy took an ominous new twist on November 12, when a van carrying two journalists from TV2 News was attacked
by 25 masked hoodlums. The journalists had gone to the Egedalsvænget
housing complex to film a report about the story, but immediately upon
their arrival their van was bombarded with bricks and cobblestones. The
attackers destroyed the van and chased the hapless journalists out of
According to TV2, the perpetrators were Muslim youths who were seeking to silence media coverage of the Christmas tree dispute.
Local police have sided with the Muslim attackers by blaming the
journalists for sending a television truck into the area in the first
place. Dan Houtved of the North Zealand Police told BT News
that he would not have gone there had he been a journalist with TV2.
"You choose to enter a tense area. One can argue about whether it is
wise. I probably would not have done it."
Houtved is referring to the growing number of no-go zones
in suburbs of Copenhagen and other Danish cities that are increasingly
becoming autonomous enclaves ruled by Muslim youth gangs. They are areas
where Danish police fear to tread. (See news video here about how the Danish government is bribing native Danes to get them to live in immigrant neighborhoods.)
In March, for example, more than 140 Muslim gang members raided a
courthouse where two fellow Muslims were being tried for attempted
The Muslims -- all members of criminal street gangs that have taken
over large parts of Danish towns and cities -- were wearing masks and
bullet-proof vests and throwing rocks and bottles as they tried to force
their way into the district courthouse in Glostrup, a heavily Islamized
suburb of Copenhagen, on March 6.
Police used batons and pepper spray to fend off the gang members, who
were armed with an arsenal of 20 different types of weapons, including
crowbars, darts, hammers, knives, screwdrivers and wooden clubs.
The trial in Glostrup involved two Pakistani immigrants accused of
shooting and attempting to murder two fellow Muslims who belong to a
rival gang. The shooting was related to an escalating turf war
between rival Muslim gangs from the Værebroparken housing estate in
Bagsværd, a suburb of Copenhagen, and Nivå and Kokkedal in northern
Zealand. Immigrant gangs are believed to be responsible for at least 50
shootings in and around Copenhagen during 2012.
The immigrant gangs are involved in countless criminal activities,
including drug trafficking, illegal weapons smuggling, extortion, human
trafficking, robbery, prostitution, automobile theft, racketeering and
Many of the gang members are ethnic Arabs, Bosnians, Turks and
Somalians. They also include Iraqis, Moroccans, Palestinians and
Over the past several years, the immigrant gangs have proliferated
geographically across all of Denmark. The gangs have spread south from
Copenhagen to the rest of Zealand, from inner Nørrebro, to the suburbs
Ishøj, Greve, and on to Køge. The gangs are also active in Albertslund,
Herlev, Hillerød, Høje Gladsaxe, Hundige, Roskilde and Skovlunde, among
many Danish localities.
Danish authorities estimate that each year more than 700 immigrants
between the ages of 18 and 25 are choosing crime as a permanent career
by joining gangs such as Black Cobra, the Black Scorpions, the Bandidos,
the Bloodz, the International Club, or any other of the more than 100
gangs that are now operating in Denmark.
In August, more than 80 Muslim gang members raided a hospital
in Odense, the third-largest city in Denmark, in a failed attempt to
kidnap a 26-year-old rival gang member who had previously been shot and
stabbed at a shopping center in the Vollsmose district. Hospital police
had to use weapons to prevent the angry mob from getting their hands on
the shooting victim. An ambulance and four police cars were destroyed in
More recently, Muslim gangs have been extorting shops and bars in the
Nørrebro district of Copenhagen, threatening local business owners with
violence if they refuse to pay protection money for operating in
But some non-Muslims have refused to give in to the threats. Consider 67-year-old Jane Pedersen,
the courageous owner of the Café Viking, a bar that has been the focus
of repeated attacks by Muslim gangs because of her refusal to pay.
Pedersen has set up a Facebook page called "No to Bullies, Yes to Beer," which has drawn national and international attention to her plight. (See here for a video produced by the politically correct BBC, which manages to report on Pedersen and Copenhagen's gang problem without once using the word "Muslim".)
In an interview with the Jyllands-Posten newspaper,
Pedersen said: "Some guys came in here and told me that I have to pay
to be in their area. I refused. I could be their grandmother, and it
simply cannot be justified."
By Soeren Kern