Hundreds attend Islamic funeral of Copenhagen gunman | News | DW | 20.02.2015
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Hundreds attend Islamic funeral of Copenhagen gunman

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral for a gunman police say shot two people dead in a series of attacks in Copenhagen last week. The assaults have again sparked debate over European multiculturalism.

The 22-year-old Omar el-Hussein was shot and killed by police early Sunday morning, after launching twin attacks on a free speech event, then a synagogue in the Danish capital.

A 55-year-old filmmaker and Jewish security officer were killed, and five people injured in the assaults. Around 500 people attended the Islamic ceremony for the Danish citizen, whose background is Palestinian.

Danish police declined to confirm the number of mourners, calling it a "private ceremony."

El-Hussein was buried in an unmarked grave in Broendby, on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Prior to the burial a prayer service was held at a Copenhagen mosque after Friday prayers.

On Friday authorities said they found el-Hussein's DNA at the site of the first shooting.

During the sermon, topics such as how Muslims can work together to foster peace, and their security in the wake of the attacks, were also discussed. The city's Muslim community remains torn after the weekend's events.

Ahmet Deniz, spokesman for the Danish Islamic Burial Fund, told the Jyllands-Posten newspaper he was worried el-Hussein's burial may inflame tensions.

"My concern is over extremist attitudes and actions on both sides," he said.

"The Danish Institute for Human Rights, HRC, said Muslims are already reporting an increase in violence and discrimination against them.

"It's physical abuse in the form of stranglehold, violence, spitting and pushing," said spokeswoman Khaterah Parwani.

Boost for security

On Thursday Denmark's government announced it would be investing 970 million kroner ($148 million; 129 million euros) into beefing up security and intelligence services.

The attacks have prompted discussion over the safety and integration of religious and ethnic groups across Europe.

Last month Islamist gunmen raided the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the capital, Paris, killing 12 people.

an/rc (AFP, AP)