After 22-year-old Palestinian-born Omar EL-Hussein carried out his terror attacks on the streets of Copenhagen in Denmark, killing two innocent Danes, the last thing anyone expected was for him to be honored by hundreds of people at his funeral.
However, that is what happened, as an estimated 500 Muslim sympathizers turned out to the funeral at an unmarked grave in Broendby.
Before he was buried, a short ceremony was held at a Copenhagen mosque following Friday prayers, where a man of African origin told the AFP, “There were a lot of young people that you don’t normally see there… because they knew Omar. Some of them were gang members. They are my brothers too because they believe in Allah and the Prophet Mohammed, but their lifestyle doesn’t have a lot to do with Islam.”
The organizer of the funeral, Kasem Said Ahmad from the Islamic Burial Fund, rejected claims that the large number of people attending the funeral could be interpreted as support for the alleged gunman.
“It is a support for the family, not for him,” he told Jyllands Posten. In fact, Denmark had given EL-Hussein and his family refuge many years ago.
Nevertheless, it seems that at least some of the estimated 500 Muslims who attended the funeral were showing their respects to El-Hussein for his terrorist acts, and not just as support for his family.
El-Hussein’s first attack targeted controversial Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilk, who has faced several death threats since his cartoon, portraying the founder of Islam Mohammed as a dog, was published in a Swedish newspaper in 2007.
According to Vilks, Danish authorities had totally underestimated the chance of a Charlie Hebdo-type massacre on the streets of Copenhagen.
He told reporters, “The attacker had good weapons, he had better weapons than the police… There was an escalation since the Charlie Hebdo attacks (in Paris) and the Danes had not caught onto that.”
It seems that there is little hope that the Muslim community as a whole will accept the concept of integration into Danish society any time soon. The cultural and religious differences are just too big.