Here’s another story about what life is like for infidels in Vollsmose, a culturally enriched neighborhood of Odense on the Island of Funen in Denmark. The article was kindly translated by our Danish correspondent TB, who includes this note:
Here is yet another article about the situation in Denmark. This time it is about a Christian priest who has been forced out of the former Danish area in Vollsmose, a suburb of Odense. His name is Massoud Fouroozandeh. I have heard him in the radio and read about him in the papers several times. He is a former Muslim, originally from Iran (came here as a refugee when he was 15 years old), and the founder of the Christian Church of Love in Odense.
Massoud is about the most gentle, mild, lovable, tolerant, likeable and friendly person possible. He represents everything the Muslims postulate that Islam is all about. Yet, apparently, by some kind of mysterious and invisible force, he is automatically rejected by the Islamic body when doing what the Muslims keep telling us constitutes the core principle of The Religion of Peace; promoting peace, tolerance and respect towards his fellow man. Now isn’t that just a paradox?
The translation from BT:
Christian priest harassed out of Vollsmose
It may seem peaceful to hang a crucifix in the rearview mirror of your car. But such a thing is not tolerated in Vollsmose. Here it resulted in a burned out car and lethal harassment.
Through the last few days www.bt.dk have revealed how ethnic Danes are suffering smear campaigns in the troubled Odense ghetto, Vollsmose. According to a police officer, nine out of ten burglaries are directed against people with Danish names. Now it turns out that merely to profess to the Christian faith can be fatal in the district. Christian pastor Massoud Fouroozandeh found that out the hard way.
“The problems began a few years ago when I was told by a couple of young immigrants that I should not drive around with the crucifix I had on my rearview mirror,” says Massoud. He was originally born in Iran, from which he fled as a 15-year-old. Of course, it took more to scare the hardened priest, who continued to drive around with his crucifix.
Provocative and unreasonable
“I thought it was provocative and unreasonable, and they obviously should not be allowed to decide what I should and should not do. But a few months later someone torched my car and cut up the seats with a knife. Of course it was because of the crucifix . I was furious, but I would not submit to them.”
Therefore the stubborn priest also placed a crucifix in his new car.
“I believe that one should turn the other cheek, so it was probably my kind of revenge, and I actually felt that it compelled some respect in the neighborhood.”
But the war had only just begun
Massoud thought he had prevailed, but the reality was, that the war had only just begun.
“The windows in my car were smashed twice after that. They began to call me and my family on the phone, only to slam down the receiver when we answered. I was threatened that there would be serious consequences if I did not change religion. And I was called a religious traitor.”
The police then determined that Massoud was in such a danger that he was equipped with an emergency alarm phone 24 hours a day, and his home was equipped with increased surveillance. The police assessment proved to be true.
“We were going to a church service in Copenhagen one day, and just before we came out on the highway, my right front wheel began to rattle. It appeared that someone loosened the lug nuts on it. It could have ended fatally.”
The children were not allowed to play alone
From now on it was clear to Massoud that someone wanted him dead. And thoughts about what could happen to him and his family began to spin around in Massoud’s head.
“We were all very tense. The children were not allowed to go out to play alone anymore. My work and the fact that my girls did not wear a headscarf meant that they were bullied. Additionally, the children became nervous when I came home late.”
So after living in Vollsmose for more than ten years the family made the inevitable decision in November 2010.
“It was really unpleasant to have to move, and I was very much in doubt, because it sends the wrong signal. But I had to submit. It was all about the safety of my children and my family.”
Today the family is living in a sheltered housing at an undisclosed location in Odense, and life in Vollsmose still characterizes their everyday living.
“I’m still afraid if there is someone behind me in the evening, and every morning I always take a walk around my car just to see if there is anything suspicious.”
For a complete listing of previous enrichment news, see The Cultural Enrichment Archives.