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“They wanted to double check they were at school

Moms In Denmark Call Other Moms

canada goose black friday sale Sarah, a 21 year old new college graduate, initially didn’t pay much attention when one of her classmates double clicked on a YouTube video from a Muslim extremist and cranked up the sound. The soft voice that came out of the speaker was that of Junes Kock, the Scandinavian spokesman for Hizb ut Tahrir, a global Islamist group that has a following in Denmark among young Muslims. canada goose black friday sale

For months, Sarah and her friends had been talking about what it meant to be Muslim in Denmark. The general consensus was that it was hard. Junes Kock, in hundreds of videos online, spoke to that.

“No Muslim can live in Denmark without being accused of being a terrorist,” he continued. “And the struggle is buy canada goose jacket cheap getting harder, Muslims are trying to keep their faith, but politicians are fighting against us, they claim this is part of the battle against terrorism.” The video has had thousands of views.

For Sarah, who would only speak on the condition that we changed her name (and disguised her voice in a radio piece), Junes Kock seemed to understand what she was going through. “There was a trend in school back then, people were listening to what he had to say,” she said. “In that moment, in the classroom, I didn’t really care much about it, but afterwards, I double thought about it.”

Canada Goose Outlet The videos struck a chord, she said, because when she looked around, Junes Kock seemed to have a point. Although Sarah was born in Denmark and spoke perfect Danish, she had this sense, as a Muslim of Somali descent, that no matter what she did, no matter what she said, she’d never be canada goose Danish enough. Canada Goose Outlet

canada goose uk black friday “They want us to mix the Danish and Muslims together,” she explained. “They say that we shouldn’t wear our traditional clothes, and we should take off our scarves and we should be more like a Dane.” canada goose uk black friday

cheap Canada Goose Sarah’s story provides a window into how young buy canada goose jacket Muslims in Denmark can fall in with radical Islamists. People like Junes Kock tap into insecurities young Muslims feel as they try to find their place not only in the world, but in Western society more generally. And studies show that local Islamist groups act like a gateway drug for young Muslims: while they may not overtly send followers canada goose clearance sale to Syria, by stoking a young Muslim’s disaffection, it doesn’t take much for an ISIS recruiter to convince someone that ISIS might offer a solution. cheap Canada Goose

Canada Goose Jackets It is important to understand the contours of the battle: Denmark has one of the worst radicalization problems in Europe. According to official figures, there are more Danes leaving for Syria per capita than in Canada Goose Parka any other European country, except for Belgium. Some 5,000 Westerners are thought to have traveled to join jihadists in Syria and Iraq and literally hundreds of them returned to Europe. To be sure, some put the experience behind them. As fate would have it, Sarah grew up in Odense, a town in the heart of Denmark that has been testing what may be the ultimate grass roots approach to combating violent extremism: harnessing a mother’s touch. Canada Goose Jackets

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canada goose factory sale There is a storybook quality to the city of Odense, where Sarah was born and raised. He was born in Odense, and there is a cottage industry that has grown up around that. There is a museum in his boyhood home and Canada Goose sale an endless array of his fairy tale books propped up in shop windows. canada goose factory sale

Canada Goose Online But if you drive just a couple of miles west of downtown, you enter an entirely different world, an immigrant community full of cinder block buildings known as Vollsmose. This is an area with crime, poverty and unemployment. That’s the Odense where Sarah grew up. Canada Goose Online

It is also the Odense where some 150 ethnic Somali mothers have started an organization called Sahan, which is putting a decidedly maternal twist on the issue of violent extremism. So when Sarah’s mother happened to overhear her daughter listening to Junes Kock videos on her cellphone, the first call she placed was to the women of Sahan.

canada goose uk shop To understand how Sahan works, you have to think about how well mothers know their children, and how good they are at watching for subtle cues that suggest changes in them. It isn’t just how a mother knows if her child isn’t eating or had a fight with a canada goose coats friend. The signs could be more discreet, and the first one to notice is usually a mom. canada goose uk shop

The night I arrived to visit the mothers of Sahan, there were three dozen Somali woman in brightly patterned headscarves and multicolored jilbab robes filing into a small cinder block building in the center of canadian goose jacket Vollsmose. They call it the clubhouse.

uk canada goose There were trays overflowing with Somali food: hot roast chicken, rice spiced with cardamom and cloves, yogurt and chili sauces. Handing out plates at the front of the room was Ayan Muumin, a Somali mother of eight cheap Canada Goose who helped found the group six years ago. uk canada goose

She helped transform Sahan from a group of volunteer mothers to an army of community activists who answer hotlines around the clock, track down missing children, crack down on gangs and drugs and try to make Vollsmose a safer place to live. All their work is volunteer and done without complaint, because nearly all the Sahan moms have leaned on the group at one time or another when their own children ran into Canada Goose Outlet trouble. Now they are here, paying it forward.

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If a mother calls the hotline and says she is worried her son or daughter is radicalizing or might be thinking of going to Syria, the Sahan volunteers launch into a series of questions to gauge the seriousness of the problem. Are the children dressing differently? Have they become more judgmental about religion? Have their friends changed, are they spending more time alone in their rooms?

These are signs that a mother would canada goose store notice right away. “I don’t have a script for parents,” says Muumin, who handles most of the radicalization cases. “I don’t tell them what to say. But when they come to Sahan asking for help, the thing that we find works best is to watch but give the child some space.”

buy canada goose jacket Sometimes that is doubly difficult to do because Sahan is working in a neighborhood that is seen in Denmark as a hotbed of terrorism. Ten years ago, police arrested four men canada goose coats on sale from Vollsmose after discovering bomb making chemicals in their apartments. They were convicted of plotting to bomb the Danish parliament in retaliation for the publication of some Danish cartoons that depicted the Prophet Muhammad as, among other things, a dog. buy canada goose jacket

canada goose coats The neighborhood never canada goose black friday sale quite got over it so much so that after the Paris and Brussels attacks, mothers in Vollsmose fanned out all over town to make sure their children were all accounted for and hadn’t somehow seen the attacks as a clarion call from ISIS that they were obliged to follow. canada goose coats

uk canada goose outlet “Everyone was just a bit concerned canada goose deals about where their kids might be,” Muumin told me. “They wanted to double check they were at school. They made doubly sure the children Canada Goose Jackets came home on time. That’s what happens around here. When attacks happen, everyone is extra vigilant.” uk canada goose outlet

canada goose clearance sale That sort of vigilance born out of a mother’s intuition played a huge role in a recent episode of lost children in Vollsmose. Two mothers called Muumin on the hotline and said their boys, ages 13 and 15, had disappeared with their passports. In most tough neighborhoods, moms worry about gangs or drugs. In Vollsmose, ISIS and Syria embody a mother’s worst fears. canada goose clearance sale

Muumin has a protocol when kids disappear with their passports. She rings a contact at a social services organization in Odense called the SSP (for Schools, Social Services and Police), which then works with police to find the children. The teenagers who went missing recently were found just hours after canada goose outlet Sahan’s initial call.

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