ADL Says Shooting at Synagogue in Copenhagen “Another Wake-Up Call” to Europe to Threat Against Jews

New York, NY, February 15, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed “shock and outrage” at news of another violent terrorist attack targeting members of a European Jewish community and a democratic society. The League said the shootings against a synagogue and a controversial cartoonist in Denmark, which left two dead and two police officers wounded, “should serve as another wake-up call to all of Europe” to the continued clear and present danger posed by individuals motivated by radical interpretations of Islam.

Killed in the attacks were Dan Uzan, 37, a member of the Copenhagen Jewish community who was guarding a celebration at a Jewish community building near the synagogue, and Finn Nørgaard, a filmmaker.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

We are deeply shocked and outraged by the coordinated terror attacks on a synagogue and an event to promote the exercise of free speech in Denmark.

This latest attack, apparently motivated by anti-Semitism and radical Islamic extremist ideology, is another assault on democracy and free society. It should, and indeed it must, serve as another wake-up call to all of Europe. What kind of madness is this when a Jewish community cannot celebrate a bat mitzvah without fear of attack?

The attacks in Copenhagen are tragic reminders that Islamic extremists target Jews and democratic freedoms together. As with the recent terror attacks in Paris, once again we see that anti-Semitism is at the core of Islamic extremist ideology. This link has not been sufficiently understood throughout Europe, despite the Paris attacks.  

With Jews in the crosshairs, there is an urgent need for European leaders to act quickly and effectively to ensure their safety.

A recent ADL poll in Denmark found relatively low levels of anti-Semitic attitudes among the general population. According to the ADL Global 100 Survey, fielded in late 2013 and early 2014, only 9 percent of adults harbor anti-Semitic attitudes in Denmark, the same level as found in the United States and one of the lowest findings in Western Europe.

In a letter to Jair Melchior, the Chief Rabbi of Denmark, ADL expressed condolences to the family of Mr. Uzan and the Danish Jewish community, and to the family of Finn Nørgaard, the filmmaker murdered at an event to promote the exercise of free speech.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.