Denmark police say Islamic extremists recruiting gang members

World Today

In Denmark, police are concerned about Islamic extremists recruiting gang members. Denmark police say the radicalization of young criminals is a dangerous cocktail. Human rights activists say the new recruits are now pushing Sharia into immigrant communities. CCTV News’ Malcolm Brabant reported this story from Denmark.

Jomana, a young Lebanese immigrant, wears her burkha ironically to demonstrate to fellow anti-Islamist protestors that she won’t give in to extremists trying to enforce Sharia law. Jomana was verbally threatened by members of a group called Hizb ut Tahrir during a rally in a district of Copenhagen.

Hizb ut Tahrir believes that Sharia is more important than Western democracy.

Denmark police say Islamic extremists recruiting gang members

Denmark police say Islamic extremists recruiting gang members

In Denmark, police are concerned about Islamic extremists recruiting gang members. Denmark police say the radicalization of young criminals is a dangerous cocktail. Human rights activists say the new recruits are now pushing Sharia into immigrant communities. CCTV News' Malcolm Brabant reported this story from Denmark.

Protesters and members of Hizb ut Tahrir confronted one another at the rally, the confrontation is viewed as a rare public manifestation of the disquiet felt in Denmark about the rising influence of Islamic extremists.

“We see more and more of a mixture of gang members and people from the radical extremist groups,” Michael Ask, Detective Chief Superintendent and head of National Investigation Center said. “It could be a dangerous cocktail because we fear that radical extremist groups will try and abuse I would say, these vulnerable young men from the gang members because they are quite easy to direct, in the direction you want them to go.”

Police say gang members took part in this Hizb ut Tahrir rally against Israel in the summer. Mohammed Rafiq, International Institute for Human Rights says the members want everyone to obey and enforce Sharia.

“The gang members are pushing Muslims in different Danish cities, in ghettos, to act like real Muslim people do after Sharia law,” Rafiq said.

The police acknowledge that there have been individual cases of intimidation but claim it’s not organized.

Hizb ut Tahrir declined to interview with CCTV News but released a statement. The statement said, it was nonsense that Hizb ut Tahrir would use gangsters to enforce Sharia. They insisted they want to steer young people away from crime and are only interested in promoting Islam.

Eighteen months ago, the organization held a rally here to encourage young Muslims to abandon gangs. At the time, politicians expressed concern that it was a cynical attempt to recruit new members.

“If I can get some gang members and turn them into good Muslims that behave in accordance with Islamic beliefs, which means they will be talking against gangs and being involved in criminal activities that is something we should celebrate, not warn against,” Hizb ut Tahrir spokesman Chadi Freijih said.

According to intelligence sources, 20 of the 100 Danes, those of Danish ethnicity, who have been sent to fight in Syria are gang members. Some have returned to Denmark and have not been prosecuted. Some believe their reputations have been enhanced by their participation in the war. Officials say as a result they are more intimidating than before.