Photo: Fyns Politi
For the second time in a matter of months, a Muslim cemetery in Denmark has been vandalized. Police said on Tuesday that between 50 and 60 tombstones in Korsløkke Kirkegård were smashed over the weekend. The vandalism was first reported on Monday and confirmed by both police and Odense Municipality on Tuesday.
A Funens Police spokesman said that officers currently have no suspect and thus can’t speculate on the motive.
“Whether it is racially motivated or a prank, it would just be speculation to say anything at this point,” Hans Frederiksen told public broadcaster DR.
The vandalism in Odense comes less than three months after a Muslim cemetery in the western Copenhagen suburb of Brøndby was hit by a similar action. In that incident, some 50 graves were destroyed, with tombstones broken and strewn over the burial grounds. According to police, some graves were also urinated on.
Mirna Ugljen discovered the vandalism in Korsløkke Kirkegård when she went to lie flowers on her father’s grave on Tuesday and said she and her family members were shocked by what they saw.
“I began to cry because it was so terrible. They are dead, they haven’t done anything. They should be allowed to rest in peace,” she told DR.
Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen condemned the vandalism.
“In June, there was vandalism at the Muslim cemetery in Brøndby. Today it has been discovered that someone has smashed 50 graves at the Muslim cemetery in Odense. It makes me angry! We don't know the perpetrator's motives – pure stupidity, religious fanaticism or a totally misunderstood political signal – but no matter what, it is simply repulsive and should be condemned,” the PM wrote on Facebook.
Odense Mayor Anker Boye said that the city will hold a demonstration of support at the cemetery at 7pm on Wednesday.
“Bring a candle or a flower along so that we can together show that this is completely unacceptable,” he said.
In addition to the Odense vandalism, recent weeks have also seen the attempted arson of a Copenhagen area Muslim centre and an attack on an asylum centre in Jutland.