The survey, conducted on behalf of TV2 and Politiken, found that only 13% of Danes believe that moderate Muslims and imams in Denmark are doing enough to distance themselves from the actions of others who carry out attacks in the name of their religion.
Naser Khader, a member of Parliament for the Conservative Party and spokesman for the party’s immigration and integration policy, told TV2 that Muslims who do not speak out against terrorism are in effect sanctioning the violence and therefore share some of the blame when such acts are committed.
“The terrorists are in the process of destroying Islam. Islam is currently in a deep crisis. Moderate Muslims and imams have a duty to fight against Islam becoming a religion of strife,” Khader told TV2.
“When we condemn terror, we send a message that there are many of us who disagree, and we send a message that we acknowledge there is a problem,” he added.
The politician claimed there exists widespread denial among moderate Muslims and imams that there is a connection between terrorism and Islam.
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“We have to be honest and admit that we have a problem in our religion; that there are some who are in the process of taking it over. We have a shared responsibility to ensure Islam is brought on the right path,” Khader said.
Özlem Cekic, a Muslim and former member of Parliament for the Danish Socialist People’s Party, found the results of the survey puzzling, and believes moderate Muslims have already proved time and time again that they are opposed to terrorism.
“I don’t know what more I could do. What we should be doing instead is supporting one another, both Muslims and non-Muslims. The terrorists win as soon as we direct our anger toward moderate Muslims instead of at the terrorists themselves,” Cekic told TV2.
“Even if you do not publicly speak out against every new act of terror does not mean you are condoning it.”
According to Khader, however, the issue remains that the lack of condemnation from moderate Muslims can be misconstrued by extremists as a sanctioning of the violence they commit in the name of Islam.
“It is unbelievable that there were more Muslims and non-Muslims demonstrating against the Mohammed caricatures on Copenhagen’s City Hall Square than [there have ever been] against terrorism.”
“The terrorists believe they have a lot of support. They must not be given reason to believe that.”