Denmark: Immigrant and ex-MP visits those who post hateful commentaries and threats online
Özlem Cekic, a former MP in Denmark, has decided to undertake a genuinely unique approach to combating racism and xenophobia. As an immigrant, a Muslim, and a woman she has been targeted with many hateful commentaries, harassment and threats online.
Cekic is Kurdish and has lived in Denmark since the age of three, when she emigrated there from Turkey. After failing to win re-election she began visiting the people who had sent her such messages in person.
News server Info.cz reports that the famous Danish photographer Jacob Holdt gave her the courage to decide to pay the visits. She does not just visit her ideological opponents from the ultra-right, but also Islamists, xenophobes, and people who cannot stand democracy.
"I always do my best to find a common language with them, to ascertain why it is we can't stand each other so much when we don't even know each other," she said. In advance of her first such meeting, the former MP says she was quite terror-stricken, afraid that the extremist who had bothered her with hateful e-mails and threats would cut her throat in person.
"I called him and said 'Hey, you don't know me personally and I don't know you either. You've sent me so many hateful messages, though, that I believe we should sit down, have some food, and talk this out. Can I visit you?'" she recalls.
The answer surprised her - the man said he would have to ask his wife. Their meeting ultimately was a success.
The former MP agreed with her husband that if he hadn't heard from her within an hour of the visit beginning, he would call the police. In the end, she ended up having a calm discussion of more than two hours with that particular man.
"I meet with them exclusively in their own homes so they can see that I am trustworthy. I always bring them some food. My credo is that if we can break bread together, then we will not kill each other," she says.
- International media: Anti-immigration, hateful, xenophobic parties from around Europe want to exploit Czech SPD's success
- Czech Republic: Hundreds demonstrate against meeting of anti-immigration hate parties from all over Europe
- Czech expert on extremism says solidarity through hate is very strong now
- Czech cardinal congratulates hate-mongering party on their electoral results
- Danish Parliament approves harsher law against begging but stops short of requiring deportations
- Danish journalist interviewed by Czech weekly about "the freedom to disseminate hatred"
- Denmark: 80 people arrested after clash between the ultra-right and their opponents in Aarhus
- Denmark: Extremists who wanted to set police school on fire arrested
- Breivik tells Norwegian court he is a neo-Nazi, gives the Nazi salute, promotes "White" supremacy in his appeal for early release
- Slovak MEP condemns brutal murder in Ireland and the principle of collective blame against Roma
- Editors at Slovak news server apologize for anti-Romani, racist joke, but legislator is filing a complaint
- Coffin of Italian neo-Fascist is draped with the Nazi flag, causing a scandal
- American neo-Nazi gets seven years in prison for threatening activists and journalists
- Czech lower house to review Govt agreement with expansion of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, which advises on racism and other matters
- Czech martial arts organization Oktagon MMA bans contestant because of Hitler tattoo
- German counter-intelligence says right-wing extremist numbers growing as people radicalize in response to COVID-19
- Czech court hands down suspended sentence for racist commentary on article about children's deaths and confiscates the computer used
- Greece: Romani girl caught in sliding doors dies due to shocking indifference of bystanders, her family sees it as racism
- Pope Francis receives Romani footballers, including Jaroslav Horváth and Lukáš Pulko of the Czech Republic, ahead of friendly match
- Czech MMA fighter Cverna challenges bodybuilder who insulted Romani people