The Danish people stand together in the face of terror
Photo: Mark Knudsen, Monsun
By Annette Birch
Published by The Capital Post on February 18, 2015, http://thecapitalpost.com/danish-people-stand-together-face-terror-p-39502.html
The streets were crowded as approximately 40,000 people with torches and roses in hand gathered in remembrance of the two civilians killed and five policemen injured during the weekend’s shootings. The ceremony took place in the Eastern district of Copenhagen, not far from the cultural center Krudttønden, where one of the victims, the 55-year-old filmmaker Finn Nørgaard,was killed Saturday afternoon.
”We stand shoulder to shoulder – Muslims, Jews, Christians. People of different political convictions. We stand together as Danes,” said Danish Prime Minister HelleThorning Schmidt at the event arranged by the Copenhagen City Council and supported by all parties. She also thanked for the many expressions of sympathy Denmark has received from countries like France, whose ambassador to Denmark was present at the event.
For most people assembled, the event was the culmination of a long weekend, which had demanded the first lives of terror in Denmark. Most buildings in Copenhagen had flagged on half in mourning of the two dead civilians and five wounded police officers killed during the weekend’s shootings. People had gathered in front of the Jewish synagogue in Krystalgade to lay flowers, wherethe 37-year-old Jewish man, Dan Uzan,was killed guarding a bar Mitzvah the night to Sunday.
The common enemy is extremism
The event was arranged by the Copenhagen City Council and attended by all political parties, the Danish Crown Prince Frederik and Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, chairman of the Jewish Community in Denmark.Asmussenstressed that the weekend’s shootings would not lead to increased tensions between the Jewish and Muslim communities.
“Our common enemy is extremism,” Asmussen said with reference to how Jewish and Muslim citizens presently work together in Denmark.
Sunday, the police hunted down and shot the 22-year old Danish-born Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who is the suspect for committing both murders. While he was in jail for gun possession, he proclaimed that he wanted to go to Syria to fight for Islamic state.
The police protects Copenhagen
The police was present in considerable numbers at the peaceful event – as they had been throughout Copenhagen on Sunday and Monday. The President of the Danish Police AssociationClaus Oxfeldt thanked for the support the police received everywhere they went.
“I stand here before you because I want to praise openness and trust. Remember these values, hold on to them,” Oxfeldt said. He stressed that the police would help protect these values and thanked the police officers who left family and friends to make the streets of Copenhagen save in a time of crisis.