Bar owners in Denmark claim Muslim citizens are trying to force them out of business by establishing “Shariah zones” in their neighborhood.
Police and local officials in the Norrebro suburb of Copenhagen have been repeatedly contacted about extortion, vandalism and threats to paying customers.
“Recently some young men came into the bar and shouted that all guests should leave,” Heidi Dyrnesli of Cafe Heimdal told a local television station, The Local Denmark reported Thursday. “They shouted that the site belongs to them and that Norrebro is a Sharia zone, so there is no drinking alcohol.”
Birgitte Fischer, the owner of Mucki Bar, also testified to threats of violence. She said “Shariah zone” enforcers demanded $9,200 for “protection money.”
Danish Minister for Integration Inger Stojberg visited the businesses Wednesday to speak with the owners and was called a “Nazi” and a “fascist” by two local women, the website reported. The women were detained by police.
“There is a group of young people here who do not behave properly, and we have powerless tavern owners. If you are resourceful, I think you should help with that and can help solve the problem so people in Norrebro can live a normal life,” Ms. Stojberg told Denmark’s BT tabloid, the International Business Times reported Thursday.
A witness who asked to remain anonymous said Ms. Stojberg and the bar owners were making a “mountain out of a molehill” and playing “populist politics.”
Denmark is not alone when it comes to dealing with Shariah activists. A German court ruled in October that a group of “Shariah police” should not have been arrested in Wuppertal in September 2014, BBC reported. The group regularly chastises customers entering and exiting local bars, casinos and clubs.