• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Danish Pegida organizer: No racists allowed

Justin Cremer · 14 Jan 2015, 17:23

Published: 14 Jan 2015 17:23 GMT+01:00

The Pegida movement’s incursion north from Germany and into Denmark is a sign that “a lot of completely normal Danish people” are worried about Islamic fundamentalists, the organizer of a Pegida event in Copenhagen told The Local.
 
The first Danish Pegida event in Denmark will be held on Monday with a march through the streets of Copenhagen. 
 
 
The event is being organized by Nicolai Sennels, who told The Local on Wednesday that while his group has no official connections with Pegida in Germany, he has been closely watching the protests there. 
 
“We followed the movement for some time [in Germany] to see what sort of movement it is. We read the reports from Germany and German opinion polls and they all came out showing that this was a positive and popular movement with all layers of society coming out,” Sennels said. 
 
Sennels was at one point a political candidate for the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party, but he said the Copenhagen march “is not about a political stance or about being on the left or right.”
 
“This is simply a popular movement speaking out on behalf of a lot of worried Europeans against this violent type of Islam,” he told The Local. 
 
Pegida, which stands for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, is certainly not without its detractors, however. In many German cities, counter-demonstrators have far outnumbered Pegida supporters and German Chancellor Angela Merkel even said that Pegida organizers “have prejudice, coldness, even hatred in their hearts”
 
But Sennels insists that the Danish Pegida movement will be free of xenophobes and racists. In the event description on Facebook, he writes that “you should stay away if you are racist, a Nazi or look ‘militant’.” 
 
“We want to avoid this getting high-jacked by some idiots or racists. That would be a pity, because there are a lot of completely normal Danish people - school teachers, my mother, etc - who don’t necessarily vote for the right wing but who should be able to voice their aversion to this violent type of Islam,” Sennels said. 
 
Sennels said that even the word ‘march’ sounds too militaristic and he prefers the term “evening stroll”. He added that he has worked closely with police to ensure that the event will be a peaceful and even “hyggeligt” event with live music, torches and a sing-along at the Little Mermaid. 
 
But Sennels said that those who take part in the “stroll” have real reason to fear radical Islamists and those who believe in an “undiluted and unmoderated version of the Koran”. He pointed to a 2013 study from the Berlin Social Science Center that revealed that 75 percent of Muslim immigrants in Europe believe that the Koran must be taken literally. 
 
“Such numbers suggest that our European ghettos are to a very high degree populated by people following the violent, deadly doctrine of Islamic jihad,” he said. 
 
And in Denmark, where a controversial mosque has openly declared support for the terrorist group Isis and at least 110 citizens have become foreign fighters, Sennels said there is plenty to be worried about. 
 
One of Monday’s scheduled speakers is Jomana Jojo Joy, a self-described “Christian Arab” who says that fundamentalist Muslims forced her out of Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district. 
Story continues below…
 
“To suggest that one is racist because you condemn or demonstrate against radical Islam is a straw man argument used by some. Radical Islam, which has been expanding for a long time but has been sharply rising over recent years, is a threat to the West and the values we stand for,” she wrote on Facebook. 
 
Sennels said that his plan is to hold weekly Pegida events on Mondays, as in Dresden. And just like in Dresden and other German cities, Pegida’s Copenhagen event will be met by a counter demonstration. 
 
The “evening stroll” begins at 6pm at the National Gallery of Denmark. 
 
To limit the overwhelming burden on our moderators, it will not be possible to comment on this article. Feel free to join the conversation on our Facebook page.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Justin Cremer (justin.cremer@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Denmark's waters are cleaner than ever
Danish beaches are cleaner than ever. Photo: Old Dane/ Wikipedia

Jump on in, the water's fine! In fact, it's cleaner than it's ever been.

Syrian refugees sue Denmark over long family wait time
File photo of the refugee tent camp in Thisted. Photo: Sara Gangsted/Scanpix

A group of five Syrians are suing Denmark and Immigration Minister Inger Støjberg over the three-year waiting period for family reunification imposed on refugees.

Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
Green card holder Mehvish Kiran said that her four children would not be able to adjust to life in Pakistan. Photo: Submitted

Thousands of green card holders are desperately trying convince politicians not to force them out of Denmark and say that a recently-granted extension to the scheme is a hollow victory.

Danish economy set for ‘historically’ low growth
File photo: Scanpix DK

Reports from the Ministry of Finance and independent experts suggest that the Danish economy is likely to be one of Europe’s slowest growers over the coming years.

Aarhus named 'second best place in Europe'
Aarhus was named one of the top European destinations of 2016 by the Lonely Planet. Photo: Stan Shebs/Wikimedia

Denmark's second largest city was named among the best European destinations to visit in 2016 by influential travel guide Lonely Planet.

Danish family reunification laws discriminate: court
The court said that Danish rules unfairly discriminate against those who obtain citizenship later in life. Photo: Colourbox

Denmark’s family reunification laws discriminate against those who achieve citizenship later in life, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday.

Brexit
Brit visits Copenhagen on Brexit fact-finding mission
Rebecca Sumner Smith plans to visit the 27 other EU countries before next month's referendum. Photo: Submitted

The Local caught up with British expat Rebecca Sumner Smith when she stopped in the Danish capital as part of her mission to speak to fellow Brits across the EU.

Copenhagen touts ‘organic food revolution’

An impressive 88 percent of all food served in the City of Copenhagen’s public institutions is organic, according to new figures released by the city.

SAS cancellations at Copenhagen to last days
The technical issues will leave SAS ten aircraft short. Photo: SAS

Technical issues with its flight of CRJ900 aircraft will leave SAS ten planes short through Thursday, causing the airline to cancel dozens of additional flights.

Danish teen jailed for Facebook terror threat
The man is a Danish citizen with a Lebanese background. Photo: Colourbox

19-year-old Aarhus man found guilty of encouraging terror by posting an Isis video.

Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
International
Keeping Denmark in Europol 'maybe impossible'
Analysis & Opinion
Green card holders tell Denmark to keep its promise
National
Denmark picks F-35 in historic jet purchase
Society
Denmark to no longer define transgender as mental illness
National
Danish minister tells 'Sharia' troublemakers to 'get a job'
Culture
Danish 'martyr' exhibit reported to police
National
Denmark extends 'temporary' border measures for sixth time
National
Denmark nears final decision on controversial fighter jets
Society
Muslim ‘girls only’ swimming sessions ripple Danish waters
National
Could Danes face a 'red meat tax' to help climate?
National
Denmark unable to process or issue visas
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
International
Denmark to go to war against Isis in Syria
Business & Money
How Denmark’s national bank card is about to change
Culture
The best Danish bands you've (maybe) never heard of
Danes leaving the church in droves
Society
Atheist campaign gets Danes to leave the church in droves
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
National
Four Isis ‘recruits’ arrested in Copenhagen
Business & Money
Unwrapping Denmark's first zero-packaging food store
Travel
Copenhagen has world's highest transport prices
Analysis & Opinion
What's the deal with those 'wild' Danish kids?
National
Denmark prepares to take on 'hate preachers'
2,287
jobs available