lørdag den 18. april 2015

Bridgebuilding after the 14th and 15th February

The horrific events of the 14th and 15th February shook Denmark to the core. As horrific events happen every day of the year in many other places, here is a brief reminder. A Danish born IS supporter in two separate actions, at a cultural centre and at the main Copenhagen synagogue,  killed two innocent people and injured five policemen. Here is a more detailed summary.

Coming to terms with the fact that we are threatened by extremists is not an easy process either for individuals or for those, whose job it is to protect all citizens.

What was the reaction afterwards? There was a great deal of sympathy for the victims. The police have  given greater protection to Jewish institutions Many people reaffirmed that we are all Danes and that liberty of speech and minority rights are inalienable  Danish values.
Ordinary Danish Muslims, who have no sympathy whatsoever with extremism, were horrified by the events. Muslims too are in the minority in Denmark and it is a fact that Islamophobia as well as anti-Semitism are evident in Danish society. Muslim Danes  took the initiative to organise March 15th's Peace Ring.

Another project that was started as result of the events is United Colors of Denmark.

Asim Iqbal is its initiator. He interviews and takes photos of people of all ages, from all walks of life and from all communities. He does this,  because he wants to show that Denmark is multi-cultural society and whoever we are and wherever we come from we all contribute something to our country. It  is not his first bridgebuilding initiative: See 30 Days of Ramadan.  There is also an excellent I-pad app, that enables you to follow the progress of a non-Muslim, who decides to fast too. It is not free, but the proceeds go to charity.

Hopefully Asim will soon conjure up more interesting and worthwhile projects.

The following is a translation of Asim's status update in Facebook. (Today 18.04.2015)

''Everybody wants to do something or other.
Then why don't they practice what they preach?

If we really want to do something for Denmark,
Why don't we do more for it ourselves?

If we are really concerned about each other,
why don't we help each other more?''

This of course brings me back to the water situation in DR Congo and in particular in Kalima.

10% of Kalima residents have got access to clean running water.  
90% of Kalima residents  have not got access to clean running water.

Ideally PIEADC needs 80000 euros to provide drinking water for the  90% in Kalima  that still only have access to contaminated water.

A Congolese friend living in South Africa has just posted two very explicit videos of South African mobs burning African immigrants. 

Why do people decide to emigrate? Often because life is unbearable in their home-countries. They leave, only because they want a better life for themselves and their families.This flight will not stop until living conditions improve in their home countries.

Etienne Kachelewa and other founders of PIEADC have stayed put in one of the most troubled parts of the world, because they want to improve  life there, not just for themselves, but for their fellow citizens too.

80000 euros is a lot of money. They cannot raise it themselves. I can only give them a fraction. However if there are enough individuals that are willing to each give them a donation, it could happen.

 How many of you out there are willing to give them a helping hand?

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