Danish Islamophobia kills Muslim teen

COPENHAGEN — Danish Muslims link the racist murder of a Muslim teen last week to an increasing Islamophobic atmosphere fanned by the reprinting of a cartoon satirical of prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

“Deniz Ozgur Uzun was killed because of his dark, Middle Eastern skin,” Jihad Abdelalim Alfara, the chairman of the Islamic Council in Denmark, told IslamOnline.net. Uzun, a 17-year-old Turk attending a technical high school, was distributing newspapers in the Amager district of Copenhagen Wednesday when he was verbally harassed by three Danes, aged 15, 17 and 18.

“They tried to provoke him with racist slur,” said Abdel-Hamid Hamdi, head of the Shura Council of the Islamic Council in Denmark. “He ignored them and went his way before they stopped their car and started assaulting him.”

A friend of Uzun, identified by the media as Mohammed, said the three attacked Uzun with a baseball bat and a hammer, leaving him unconscious. The Muslim teen was put on life support at a hospital in Copenhagen with “severe brain damage” before he was pronounced dead the next day.

Alfara, the Muslim community leader, believes the racist attack is directly linked to an Islamophobic atmosphere in the Scandinavian country fanned by the recent reprinting of the prophet cartoon. “Was it necessary to have someone killed for people to realize that racism is on the rise in Denmark following the cartoon crisis?”

Islam Online, 24 March 2008