Danish Muslim group denies offering French jihadist burial
A Danish Muslim organisation on Thursday denied media reports that it had offered to bury one of the jihadists who murdered a French priest, after the group was slammed by politicians.
Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark’s main newspapers, on Wednesday reported that the Danish Islamic Burial Fund was willing to bury 19-year-old jihadist Adel Kermiche in Denmark after Muslim leaders in France had refused to do so.
“His remarks were not on behalf of the fund,” the head of the Danish group, Bashir Ahmad Nazmi, told AFP in an email, referring to the interview with deputy chairman Kasem Said Ahmad, whom Danish media had referred to as the group’s chairman.
The Muslim cemetery outside Copenhagen was only “for Muslims in Denmark,” the fund said in a short statement.
The interview had prompted a storm of criticism from Danish politicians and commentators.
A spokeswoman for the opposition Social Democrats said the idea of burying Kermiche in Denmark was “absurd”, while her counterpart from the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party labelled it “embarrassing for Denmark.”
A Danish imam, Waseem Hussain, told Jyllands-Posten that he agreed with French Muslims’ decision to refuse to bury the 19-year-old jihadist.
Kermiche was shot dead by French police on July 26 after he and another assailant attacked a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvroy in northern France, murdering priest Jacques Hamel and seriously injuring another hostage.
After standing in solidarity with Christians mourning the victims of the attack, local Muslim leaders in France have refused to grant Kermiche an Islamic burial.
Last year Danish-Palestinian jihadist gunman Omar El-Hussein, who killed a filmmaker outside a Copenhagen free speech event and a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue, was buried at the Muslim cemetery outside Copenhagen.
Some 500 people attended the funeral.