Saturday 10 January 2009

Denmark: "We have nothing against the Jews"

Source: Islam in Europe

"Principal Olav Nielsen has become a hot name in Palestinian circles. His remarks to the Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper that he would advise Jewish parents against sending their children to Humleh'aven school were extensively discussed.

"It's caused disquiet among the Palestinians all over Denmark. We are perturbed about such a statement from one who worked with children for many years," says Monzer Dodar. He's a Danish-Palestinian, chairman of the anti-discrimination association IDFAD's branch in Fyn (Funen), was a founder of the 'father's group' and resident group in Odense and works as an educator.

He's also on a committee that the Danish Palestinians created to decide how they should respond to the tragic events in Gaza.

"We have nothing against the Jews. There are also many of them who demonstrated against Israel's policies, but we naturally protest against the state, that commits violence and massacre against Gaza's population. And a statement like this from Olav Nielsen contributes to whipping up emotions and destroying our image in Denmark," says Monzer Dodar.

"It might well be that you in the paper sharpened Olav Nielsen's statements but they paint a very dark image of us. He should have stopped the journalist and said that it's not a problem."

"When children are signed up to school, nobody thinks about whether they are Jewish, Christians or Muslims," says Monzer Dodar.

"It's our duty as citizens and humans in Denmark today to say that the image Olav Nielsen paints doesn't fit. There's no reason for people to be insecure and stressed fearing a ruckus which doesn't exist in reality," adds Monzer Dodar.

He himself works with children every day and is a father to three and he doesn't doubt that children will just be children regardless of their background.

"I know Olav Nielsen and respect his work, and personally I think that he blundered in this issue. But the problem for us is how the common Danes react to such statement," says Monzer Dodar, who is afraid that it will cause baseless fear for a problem which doesn't exist.

"I agree with Olav Nielsen that the situation in Gaza caused violent confrontations among the Palestinians in this country, but it will no way affect a certain group in Denmark," emphasizes Monzer Dodar."

Source: Fyens Stiftstidende (Danish)

Previous articles:
- Odense: Background of the shooting suspect
- Odense: Attack against Israelis
- Odense: Danish-Arab arrested for shooting attack
- Odense: Muslims denounce shooting, Jews call for self-restraint
- Odense: Strained relations between Palestinians and Jews

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