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29 Jul 2009

Explosives disrupt World Outgames in Copenhagen

After three men were reportedly attacked last Friday in what has been classified a hate crime, an athlete has been treated for his injuries after a man fired two explosives at a track and field event on Tuesday.

Several explosives fired during a track event injuring at least one person at the World Outgames in Copenhagen on Tuesday. Gay news website Advocate.com, citing an email it had received, reported that “as many as three explosive devices detonated in two track stadiums (in the Danish capital), leaving one person with minor injuries."

It reported that two bombs exploded instantly after they were thrown onto the track before the men’s 4x200 track relay in the afternoon. An Outgames athlete was taken to hospital with injuries to his right hand from flying shrapnels and was later released from the hospital. The third bomb was thrown less than an hour later in another stadium. There were no reported injuries from the second attack but events were delayed for 90 minutes.

Several other media including Out and About Newspaper and On Top Magazine which quoted Keith Little and Sam Felker, a Nashville, UScouple competing in the games who blogged about the incident, as saying that four bombs exploded during the track and field event.

The two men wrote on their blog samnkeithworldlesstraveled.blogspot.com on Tuesday: “The camaraderie of the Outgames was temporarily broken this afternoon when unknown assailants tossed two explosive devices onto the track during the start of a relay. One runner who was in a starting position near the explosions sustained a minor injury to his hand and was treated at the scene by paramedics. The large crowd of athletes and spectators was stunned by what can only be described as a hate crime attack. Competition resumed after consulting with the athletes who were determined not to let this incident succeed in stopping the Outgames. Police were called to the scene and were searching the premises when two more devices exploded on the track. Shortly thereafter the police arrested a suspect who was seen fleeing from a nearby church tower where it is believed the attack was launched. Police are still searching for a second suspect.”

“Locals tell us that Denmark, which is known worldwide for its openness and diversity, has been plagued recently by increased hate crimes and violence aimed at gays and lesbians.”

The Copenhagen Post on Wednesday reported that the police have charged a 31-year-old man with committing a hate crime after he fired two shots from a 'roman candle' at participants on Tuesday.

In a separate incident, three gay men from England, Sweden and Norway were attacked on Friday evening in central Copenhagen. According to the Post, witnesses say they heard the attackers yell ‘homo pig’ at the three, and attacked them as they returned from the opening ceremony of the World Outgames on Town Hall Square. The trio were treated at hospital for injuries but have been released. The two suspects will be remanded in custody for the remainder of the nine day World Outgames event.

Some 5,000 athletes are expected to compete in more than 30 events at the nine-day sporting and cultural event from 22 July to 2 August.

Reader's Comments

1. 2009-07-30 08:43  
The rise of hate crimes against the GLBT community has been attributed to Muslim immigrant youths. European media especially in Germany and Sweden, out of fear from the Muslim immigrant communities, will not mention the perpetrators' ethnic or religious background. Denmark has a large immigrant Muslim population due to Denmark's previously liberal immigration laws (current center-right government has restricted asylum and immigration laws), the majority of these Muslims are mostly poor and less educated and come from very conservative Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa where gays are known to be killed for who they are. They also tend to resist integration with the majority living on government welfare and subsidized housing paid for by Danish taxpayers. There are Islamic extremists living inside Denmark especially in poorer immigrant neighborhoods. Denmark was also the source of the infamous caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. There has been numerous incidents of gay bashing reportedly done by gangs of Muslim immigrant youths throughout Western European capitals. It would be wise to use caution and common sense to avoid possible hate crime just because the area is known as a gay area.
Comment edited on 2009-07-30 08:48:26
2. 2009-07-30 19:35  
Interesting piece of news, nomdeguerre. It reminds me exactly what Pim Fortuyn warned 7 yrs ago before his tragic death.
And if i'm not mistaken France & esp. Britain are in the same dilemma too. Though I personally don't like Sarkozy, I think he did made the right decision over the headscarf ban- I know I'm going to draw a lot of flak over my remarks. But the message must be made clear that: 1)Fundamentalist Islam, just like any other fundamentalist religion, be it Christian/Catholic, Hindu or Buddhism,etc, should NOT be dominant in any secular society, 2) Every immigrant should have a basic respect of the host countries' culture, laws, customs & way of life. European law , esp. in the Scandinavian countries, explicitly states equality for all groups...and that includes gender & sexual orientation. When you migrate there, that is a reality you'll have to accept. And respect. But of course, there are the religious extremists who shamelessly abuse it by exploiting this equality to undermine the very laws of these societies that accepted them. For these people, I have some words for them: there are many, many things most people CAN do, but we WON'T, because of ethics & common decency. But if you've overstepped the boundary & keep trying to rip the fabrics of a secular society apart, don't cry foul when those you've pushed finally snapped & gave it back to you as good as they get. GROW UP.
3. 2009-07-31 04:38  
Can we please know if the above remarks, that I find borderline in terms of the site's guidelines, are grounded in fact?
4. 2009-07-31 06:55  
nomdeguerre, that was the same conclusion that struck me immediately after reading the article. Seems like they repay kindness of easy immigration for better life from their own torn country to a more civilized one, with the same fundamental barbarism. They never want to learn, change nor progress in humanity. The 3 faiths of the Book ( Islam, Christianity, Judaism ) are confirmed historical violent religions-period.

Bains dear, so far, fundamentalist discriminators against LGBT empirically always comes the above-mentioned 3 faiths of the Book. It is NOT within the practice and beliefs of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism..even Satanism, to persecute homosexuality. All acts herein are preached to moderation from the excesses of positive or negative human behavior.
Comment edited on 2009-07-31 06:57:54
5. 2009-07-31 14:41  
It just goes to show that the struggle for human rights is a constant one - because the detractors of human rights (fundamentalist beliefs, ignorance, stupidity etc) are constant.

Ignorance and stupidity is geographically dynamic and moves around. After all Singapore's Drinking Straw Lady almost moved to the US...
6. 2009-07-31 14:51  
I would like to repeat and make more precise my objection to postings 1 and 2:

As far as I know, most of the reported hate crimes in the US are due to people of European descent and Christian faith. Matthew Shepard was not killed by Muslim immigrants.

In Europe, hate crimes against gays have been on the rise but as far as I know it is a pretty mixed bag. You will certainly have some committed by youths descending from Muslim countries (but, at least in France, long settled and of second or third generation, not recent immigrants). However you also have the share of such crimes perpetrated by ethnic European and Christian people.

It is a service to nobody to single out a specific population and to put the full blame on it. It borders on discrimination and xenophobia, and we gays victims of homophobia should especially refrain from this.

Not coincidentally, Pym Fortuyn was the head of a populist and xenophobic party in the Netherlands.
7. 2009-07-31 15:06  
Although Pim Fortuyn was not a saint, he called a spade a spade and he paid for it with his life. Sad. Our violent world is in a delusion state where TRUTH is not always embraced gently as it exposes the ugliness of humanity.
Great Masters and teachers like, Jesus, Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King...etc...spoke without fear and they ended up persecuted and assassinated by the very humanity that they were trying to save. Go figure. :(
8. 2009-07-31 18:44  
In response to drelin's concern, my response is based on government fact, academic studies, and media reports. These Islamic extremists are not interested in our welfare they are interested in our destruction, they will hide behind our democratic institutions and use our hard earned government benefits to perpetuate jihad on a full time basis (Swedes pay the highest taxes to support their generous Welfare State). Look at what is going on in Paris, Amsterdam, and Malmo. Even the firemen in Malmo have requested police escort to their jobs because Islamic extremists have attacked them.
Comment edited on 2009-07-31 18:49:00
9. 2009-08-01 13:08  
"Competition resumed after consulting with the athletes who were determined not to let this incident succeed in stopping the Outgames."

The BEST news of all!
10. 2009-08-01 13:40  
Seriously - This has turned into something it shouldn't be. Yes there was a stupid ass who throwed fireworks onto the track and yes earlier this week 3 gay guys was assulted by two men and it is all unacceptable. The police got all three men and they are now in jail until they are convicted.
With 5-6000 gays in Copenhagen I'm not surpriced. Any other arrangement attracting this many people would have caused som problems as well - Gay or straight. There are idiots everywhere unfortunately. I've had the pleasure to meet great guys from around the world who all enjoyed their stay in CPH and most of them was surprised about the tolerance and love they where shown by the people of Copenhagen/Denmark.
11. 2009-08-16 20:31  
To post #6 Drelin, sorry if you've intepreted my comments as being anti-Arab/Muslim. On hindsight I cld have been more tactful, so I hope to clarify a few things with you:

1) I certainly wan't getting at you, or the milliions of secular French Muslims who've worked hard to integrate well with the mainstream community & their achievements- think Zidane, Dati, etc...BUT we need to get real & acknowledge the growing problem of what gets preached in some mosques & madrasahs; this is not just a problem in Europe, but the whole world. Apart fr homophobia, anti-Semitism & mysiogyny are also strongly encouraged by some imams. By pointing this out, I could just as well say the same about evangelical Christian churches...

2) When nondeguerre mentioned the hate crimes against gays rising, he's referring specifically to Europe, not the USA, which, of course, socio-politicallty different fr Europe, hence we can see for ourselves the different demographics involved. In the US, you have the usual white evengelical Christian loonies, which we soundly thrashed without mercy. But something else slipped under yr radar: ultra-macho,violent envirornment of underground Jamaican-reggae & some hip-hop performers. If we speak up against them, is it considered racist against black people/culture?

3) I, too, once believed Pim Fortuyn was a right-wing racist...no thanks to the mainstream media's usual laziness to pigeonhole people by guilt-of-association. what more Singapore media(hahaahaha). Until I started to travel in Europe. When I was in the Nederlands, I saw an interview (with English subtitles)...I was shocked- he actually had a POSITIVE view of immigrants!!!! He mentioned the very real problems immigrants faced, why many of them, their difficulties of integration with mainstream Dutch society which are, more often than not, the results of religious fundamentalism. What he's against is the EXPLOITATION of these feelings, by unscrupulous elements,to drag them even further fr integrating. Also, many people overlooked-by choice maybe?- his criticisms of the hypocrisy & arrogance of some Western diplomats/ tourists who behave like haughty guests to their non-Western host countries, which he acknowledged might fuel the resentment of the immigrants.

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