Danish Premier urged to extend olive branch to MuslimsPremier urged to extend olive branch to Muslims
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is being urged from both sides of the political aisle to reach out in support of Muslims, who are coming under blanket suspicion after the terror attacks in London. The call comes after several prominent members of the PM’s Liberal Party suggested the government end its dialogue with imams. Government support party Danish People’s Party (DF) has also weighed in with their demand that what they call Muslims’ fifth column activity be stopped. Outside the house of parliament, others are also beginning to look suspiciously after their Muslim neighbours and colleagues, such as in the case where the editor of an informational website for taxi drivers said cabbies ought to hold an eye on their Arabic colleagues. The youth organisation for the Liberal Party said it has had enough of such talk, and feels Rasmussen ought to follow Tony Blair’s lead and begin a dialogue with moderate Muslims. ‘If we don’t watch out, then we can easily create an atmosphere of xenophobia, where people make a connection between being Muslim and being a potential terrorist, said Liberal Youth chairman Karsten Lauritzen. ‘If a terror attack strikes Denmark, we could easily end with some deep divides.’ Terror issues spokesman from the leftist Red-Green Alliance suggested that the PM distance himself from government ally DF’s depiction of the Muslims. ‘Attacks and websites that disparage Muslims together with the People’s Party’s description create a situation where a further separation of ‘them’ and ‘us’ looms,’ said Red-Green MP Per Clausen. ‘In this situation, we have a need for a clear statement from the government reinforcing that Muslims are as innocent of terror as everyone else, and that Muslims have the same freedom of speech that we do.’
Dane detained for bomb threat against mosques
A 35-year-old Dane was ordered detained for four weeks on Thursday for allegedly threatening to blow up mosques in Denmark and Sweden. Police say the man made the threats in an e-mail sent to a local newspaper. They say they traced the e-mail to a computer at the man's home in the city of Aarhus. "The threats in the e-mail were fierce and were made shortly after the July 7 terror bombs in London. So, there was no doubt that it was a case for the police," said the editor-in-chief of the Jyllands-Posten daily, which received the e-mail on Monday. The man has denied the allegations, but could face up to two years in prison if found guilty.