Friday, September 08, 2006

Police want Terror Suspects to be kept in Custody

At the city court of Odense Danish police have today asked for 5 of the terror suspects from Vollsmose, Odense, to be on remand, pending further investigation of the case. Court proceedings are held behind closed doors. There's speculation in the media that the police badly need sufficient hard evidence to press for charges of terror under the article 114 in the Danish penal code.

In the meantime there has been a great deal of interest in getting details about the life of the Danish muslim convert, one of the suspects. Actually, a few thousand young Danes have converted to islam.

The 31 year old Abdallah Andersen was a Salvation Army member before converting to Islam. According to The Berlingske Tidende on converting to Islam he promised his mother that he would never be an accessory to terror in the name of Allah, a promise he could easily make, as he found it was not consistent with islam to make terror.

He lived a very common Danish life in a drab semi-detached house in a suburb of Odense, the third largest city in Denmark. The Berlingske journalist finds it hard to believe that a terrorist should have grown up in this environment.

Most people reporters speak to in Vollsmose, Odense, express great surprise that these youngsters are presumed terrorists.

Abdallah Andersen converted to Islam about five years ago. He changed his first name into a muslim first name. He grew a beard, and he began to wear the jilbab, a traditional Arab-Muslim dress.

Abdallah has told local papers about his conversion to Islam. It was due to his great curiosity about life and his multireligious group of friends that he started reading the Quran. In Islam he found inner peace of mind that he had not been able to find in the Christian faith. A few years ago he moved to Vollsmose, one of the largest council housing areas in Denmark where a large part of the Muslim population of Odense live.

He defended the islamic way of life and was an opponent of Naser Khader, a prominent advocate of a Danish kind of Euro-Islam, and other "infidels", whom he criticized in frequent reader's letters in local newspapers.

Abdallah also participated in chat rooms on the Internet, where he discussed muslim norms and way of life with other muslims. Even though friends describe him as "wise", it has been difficult for him to get a job because of his beard and the jilbab. He has spent a lot of time nursing his sick mother, going to the job centre, and to religious service in the local mosque. A friend describes him as a solitary figure, divided between two cultures. He wanted to be married and get a family. This was difficult because parents with an Arabic background would not "give" their daughter to a Danish muslim. That made him sad; he felt as much a muslim as the others.


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