CPH Post


Funds to prevent radicalisation of Danes

More and more self-proclaimed jihadists are joining the Syrian conflict

Some think of the jihad in Syria as an obligation and a way to demonstrate their manhood (Photo: Colourbox)

May 21, 2014

by Alina Shron

An increasing number of young Danish Muslims are going to Syria to fight alongside opposition forces.

The City Council is sufficiently worried to have allocated one million kroner to increasing efforts to both prevent radicalisation among young Danish Muslims and improve deradicalisation programs that rehabilitate those who return from Syria.

Prevention is especially important, because the fighters can't be prosecuted when they return from war, but according to some, it is not enough.

Naser Khader, a Danish-Syrian former MP for Konservative, has urged the government to make it completely illegal for young people to go to Syria and participate in the Civil War.

One in 20 EU jihadists are Danes
Around 100 Danish self-proclaimed jihadists – nicknamed the 'al-Denmarki' in some quarters – are estimated to have joined the conflict. 

In proportion to its population of Muslims (currently 4 percent of the total), Denmark has the second highest number of jihadists in the EU – behind only Belgium.

According to DR Nyheder, at least 2,000 EU citizens have travelled to Syria to fight.

Far-away war coming home
In an interview with the BBC, Muhammed Hee, a manager working for one of Denmark's integration programs who converted to Islam years ago, said that the most striking thing he experiences at work is how rapidly ideology can radicalise a person.

As the numbers of both Syrian refugees and extremists rises, Denmark is amplifying its involvement in the conflict. 

Short of sending in its own forces, Denmark is prepared to provide the moderate opposition groups in Syria with weapons and has just launched a one-year Syria program for 2014 and a strategic aid framework for Syria for 2014 and 2015.






Related stories