Muslims deserve mosque, says editor
By The Copenhagen Post
Danes should offer to build a proper mosque for the country's Muslims, says the former editor of a national daily
Building a mosque in Copenhagen would help to relieve tensions between Denmark and the Muslim world, says Herbert Pundik, a former editor of daily newspaper Politiken.
The country's 200,000 Muslims currently are relegated to some 50 makeshift mosques throughout the country. Pundik suggested that construction of a permanent mosque could serve as an olive branch to Muslims angered by drawings of the prophet Mohammed printed in daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
'It should be dramatic and have the purpose of taking the brunt of the current anti-Denmark sentiments. It could illustrate that another Denmark exists than the anti-Muslim society that dominates in the Arabic world right now,' he wrote in Politiken on Wednesday.
Private donors could contribute the DKK 50 million needed for construction.
Prominent Muslims questioned whether deciding to build a mosque under the current situation would help the situation.
Nhaser Khader, a Syrian born MP, acknowledged that Muslims needed a proper place of worship, but building one now could send the wrong signal.
'It's a strange time to propose it. It could be seen as a form of payback,' Khader said.
Zubair Butt Hussain of Muslims in Dialogue offered a similar point of view.
'A mosque in Copenhagen really is a must, so Danish Muslims also feel welcome here,' said Hussain. 'But it could be perceived by some Muslims as a kind of penance. And certain political parties would consider it submission to Muslims. None of these points of view are beneficial in any way.