Upon arriving in the center of Copenhagen after an absence of a few years, one can immediately sense the palpable changes in the makeup of the population. Lily-white, blond Denmark has absorbed almost 200,000 Muslim immigrants from south Asia and north Africa over the past two decades and their physical presence is fairly pronounced in the streets of the capital; whether it is women and teenagers with various head-coverings, individuals whose skin color stands out in comparison to the rest of the local population, or the numerous fast-food stands selling shishlik and/or shishkebab.
Their arrival and the growing Islamic militancy of segments of this population have led to a worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents in a country in which such incidents were practically unthinkable a few years ago. Jewish children are often the object of taunting and harassment by Muslim neighbors and there has been increasingly strident anti-Zionist rhetoric by local Muslim leaders in response to events in the Middle East.
Med Ryggen Mod Murren[sic!] - With our Backs to the Wall - was the name of a day-long conference on anti-Semitism which I was invited to address. It reflects the deep angst among local Jews and supporters of Israel. Held in a hall in Christianborg, the Danish parliament, the program featured presentations on a wide range of topics related to contemporary anti-Semitism worldwide, Israel-bashing and Holocaust denial; but the dominant undercurrent was one of deep concern regarding the local situation.
Zuroff got the spelling wrong on the Danish word for "the wall" - muren, but he stumbled on another, perhaps much more appropiate word - "murren" which means a low rumbling of discontent, something one would experience in the streets just before a (potentially violent) uprising.
On a visit to a friend who lives in the relatively tranquil suburb of Albertslund, my host, by no means a coward, warned me not to make eye-contact with a group of Muslim youths hanging out on a street corner on our way to his home. He also insisted on accompanying me back to my hotel since "People wearing a kippa are not necessarily safe these days in the city center."
Albertslund is not a relatively tranquil suburb [of Copenhagen] It has been a muslim ghetto for decades with very violent confrontations between the immigrants and the by now rather few Danish inhabitants.
Non the less, there is a growing problem with anti-semitism in Denmark. It is, however, a problem that is entirely rooted in the muslim population. Ethnic Danes are not jew-haters.