Islamic extremist groups are using immigrant gangs to implement Sharia law in certain housing areas in Denmark, where particularly young people are being forced to behave in a certain way and women are being pressured to wear certain clothing.
According to the integration adviser Mohammad Rafiq, the head of the International Institute of Human Rights, there are at least seven areas in Denmark where immigrant gangs are intimidating people to conform to Sharia law.
“We see in several areas that the fundamentalists are being supported by the gangs,” Rafiq told Ekstra Bladet tabloid.
“People are more afraid of the extremists when they are backed up by the gang members, such as in the Tingbjerg district. The result is that people are too afraid to stand up to the extremists because they know they'll be beaten up by hardened criminals.”
A dangerous cocktail
Rafiq's evaluations are supported by national investigation centre Rigspolitiets Nationale Efterforskningscenter (NEC), the organisation responsible for keeping tabs on gang activity in Denmark.
“We have intelligence that indicates some gang members are beginning to show signs of religious radicalisation – a dangerous cocktail that we are aware of in co-operation with PET,” Michael Ask, the detective chief superintendent at NEC, told Ekstra Bladet.
The NEC couldn't say anything about how widespread or organised the connections between gang members and the radical environment are, but underlined that it did occur, highlighting the demonstration against Israel in Copenhagen this summer when gang members were present.