Denmark: Flotilla attack dominating issue for Muslims, Jews

Denmark: Flotilla attack dominating issue for Muslims, Jews

Update: Typo fix. Last paragraph says 'state of Israel', not 'state of Islam'.

Israel's attack on a Turkish aid ship, where nine were killed, has made an impression on both Danish Jews and Muslims.

The conflict will dominate Friday prayers in the country's mosques and the serve in the Jewish synagogue in Copenhagen.

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog -

"I will come with a crystal clear condemnation of the attack. There's a lot of frustration that a nation can be allowed to break international laws and conventions so many times, and yet get away with it," says imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen.

Abdul Wahid Pedersen describes the mood among Danish Muslims as dominated by great anger and frustration. In his Friday prayer he will call to force Israel to break the blockage against Gaza as well as to repeal the special trade agreement which Israel has with the EU.

"There's violent rage and frustration that there can be an attack on a ship in international waters and the killing of activists. It's almost completely impossible to imagine, and nevertheless it's the plain reality," says Abdul Wahid Pedersen.

Former imam Fatih Alev also thinks that Danish Muslims are very upset about the attack.

"This will certainly be raised in the Friday prayers. The Turkish mosques tend to be very apolitical. They don't normally address social issues in the sermons. But this time I think the Turkish imams will make an exception," says Fatih Alev, who's currently studying Arabic.

He estimates that the Friday prayer in the Turkish mosques will focus on the aid-workers who were killed.

"In the more political mosques, the message will be harsher and aim direct criticisms at Israel and maybe also against the USA, because they haven't offered more opposition against the violation of human rights which had occurred," says Fatih Alev.

He doesn't think there's reason to believe that the conflict will migrate to Denmark and cause friction between Danish Muslims and Jews. "I think that the Jewish community in Denmark will be silent on this issue, and that's probably also the wisest thing. If there's an announcement that Jews here in Denmark stand together with the state of Israel, then you obviously never know what reactions there can be against Danish Jews," says Fatih Alev.

Source: Kristligt Dagblad (Danish)

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