Sharia zones in Copenhagen?
A small group of extremists wants to introduce patrolled Sharia zones in Denmark.
A Danish group of Salafists calling themselves “Call to Islam” (Kaldet til Islam) plan to introduce round the clock patrols in Sharia zones they introduce in Copenhagen, and eventually other areas of Denmark, along the lines of a similar group in the United Kingdom.
Salafism is a highly orthodox Islamic direction seeking to force adherence to the Islam its followers see as the original tenets of the ancient prophets and their followers.
According to Jyllands-Posten, Call to Islam plans to introduce Sharia zones – initially in the Tingbjerg suburb of Copenhagen, then in other areas of Nørrebro and eventually in other areas of Denmark. In its zones, patrols will approach those who drink, gamble, go to discothèques or engage in other activities seen by the group as running contrary to Islam.
The Muslim Joint Council (MJC), which is an umbrella organisation for Muslim associations in Denmark, has condemned the plans for Sharia zones.
“We should not be blind to their extremism in our society,” MJC Spokesman Mustafa Gezen tells Jyllands-Posten.
“The problem is that many young people are in a situation in which they are receptive to these views. We must go right down to the school level and focus on democratic participation,” he says.
Gezen adds that the Salafist group is a small group, and that there are 40,000 Muslims in Denmark who do not subscribe to the group’s views.
The Danish group seems to have received its inspiration from a movement in Britain in July in which bright yellow posters were put up in some London boroughs saying: “You are entering a Shariah Controlled Zone: Islamic Rules Enforced”. The posters went on to suggest that in the zone, alcohol, gambling, music and concerts, pornography and prostitution, drugs and smoking were all prohibited.
According to the British media, the campaign was initiated by the extremist Islamist preacher and former lawyer Anjem Choudary, whose Islam4UK group has been banned in Britain.
London local councils removed the sticker posters.