PRESS RELEASE-Damage to a Muslim Graveyard in Copenhagen

Extensive damage to a Muslim Graveyard in Copenhagen suburbs. Police called it a “Youth mischief” while top politicians are totally silent.

On the night of 5/6th June 2015, unknown persons entered the only graveyard for Muslim communities situated in Copenhagen suburbs and vandalized nearly 100 graves, smashed headstones and threw the marble pieces around the burial site. It comes after a period of attacks on women with headscarf, vandalism against mosques and a growing hatred against Muslims in Denmark.

One of the graves was of a 30 year old female who was recently buried in the graveyard. There were fresh flowers on the grave and small gifts from children, including a small heart-shaped board. The tomb was shattered and destroyed.

The police described the vandalism as “youth pranks” and stated that; “we do not regard it as something directed against the Muslim community or as politically motivated.”

It is ironic that Police has not made any investigation before issuing this statement and without taking in to consideration a fact that the burial site is located far from city centre and one has to drive a long way to reach it and one has to pass a Christian cemetery on the road. There is a large sign, “Muslim burial ground”. The obvious belittling of this horrible incident by the police is counterproductive and would erode people’s confidence in authorities.

This latest attack is part of a dangerous Islamophobic development that Danish Muslims have long experienced as a specific and targeted reality, while the rest of society has ignored and downplayed this phenomenon.

EMISCO asks the Danish authorities to recognize that Islamophobia has taken root in the country and such incidents are not ordinary incidents but are actually hate crimes, targeting the Muslim communities in the country. The state needs to keep a vigilant eye on far right and anti-Islam movements and groups as it does with some extremist elements among Muslim communities. Both parts are working to inflame the tensions. It is time that politicians take responsibility to stop such development.

For further comments, please contact the below mentioned:

Bashy Quraishy – Secretary General