Muslim extremist group expands recruitment effort in Denmark

Hizb ut-Tahrir expands recruitment effort

Muslim extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir is waging a large-scale recruitment campaign. In recent days, the group has passed out leaflets in residential areas, a metro station, and an area football club Muslim fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir has pulled out all the stops in a recruitment campaign to lure young immigrants to a meeting on Sunday at Copenhagen’s Nørrebrohallen.

Islam / Islamism

Islamism is a totalitarian ideology adhered to by Muslim extremists (e.g. the Taliban, Wahhabis, Hamas and Osama bin Laden). It is considered to be a distortion of Islam. Many Islamists engage in terrorism in pursuit of their goals.

Adherents of Islam are called “Muslims.” The term “Arab” describes an ethnic or cultural identity. Not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. The terms are not interchangeable.

On Tuesday, Hizb uh-Tahrir members loitered outside the locker room of Fremad Amager football club, which consists primarily of first and second-generation immigrant youth. According to the team’s head coach–who is himself an immigrant, and asked Jyllands-Posten not to print his name–four Hizb uh-Tahrir members passed out flyers to the young players and told them about the meeting.

“They talked about Western domination around the world, and said it was high time that Muslims stood together to retaliate against attacks, and so on. There was a lot of talk about the US-Iraq conflict,” said the coach.

The young football players were reportedly uninterested in Hizb ut-Tahrir’s recruitment spiel, and left after 10 minutes.

Copenhagen’s Amager neighbourhood has also been a hotspot for Hizb uh-Tahrir recruitment efforts in recent days. The group has passed out flyers in housing complexes with a high concentration of immigrants. On Wednesday, four young men handed out invitations to Sunday’s meeting in front of the Amagerbro metro station. The young men declined Jyllands-Posten’s requests for comment, referring all inquiries to Hizb ut-Tahrir’s spokesman, Fadi Abdullatif. The newspaper was unable to reach Mr. Abdullatif on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, members of Hizb ut-Tahrir ventured all the way to Tåstrup to pass out flyers and hang posters on the Nørrebrohallen meeting in the Taastrupgaard and Gadehavdegaard housing projects.

“We’re not surprised that Hizb ut-Tahrir is operating out here now. I am not aware if they have been active in our council before. They’re apparently moving further and further out from Copenhagen, and today they were out at Høje-Taastrup Station,” said Mette Stribolt, a bilingual consultant at Høje Taastrup Council.

Stribolt said officials would be particularly vigilant of the organisation’s activities in the coming months.

“We know that they’re appealing in large part to young people under 18. And at that age, people are especially impressionable, and may be conflicted about their identity, opinions, and values. It is important that we encourage an open discussion on how to tackle this problem,” said Stribold.

On Wednesday, Jyllands-Posten reported that Hizb uh-Tahrir was recruiting young people at Brøndby Station Center and surrounding S-train stations in Copenhagen’s western suburbs. Teachers, social workers, and consultants from Brøndby Council told the newspaper that moderate young Muslims often felt pressured by their more devout, fundamentalist counterparts. In some cases, young, integrated Muslims have been physically threatened.

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