Friis Arne Peterson, Ambassador of Denmark to the United States, yesterday met at the Council offices with a delegation of Muslims. Accompanying him was Consul General Mads Mikkelsen from the consulate in Chicago. Members of the Muslim delegation included CIOGC Board Members Mr. Abdul Malik Mujahid, Dr. Sahloul, Mr. Kareem Irfan, and Mr. LaDale George, Ms.Tabassum Haleem of Organization of Islamic Speakers, Mr. Ahmed Rehab, Director of Communications from CAIR-Chicago, Mr. Tariq Hafeez, VP of MCC and Mr. Talal Sunbulli, former CIOGC Chairman.
The Ambassador stressed that Denmark wasn’t Islamophobic and stated that he was going to build bridges with Muslim nations worldwide.
Recognizing their mutual pain in the wake of the Cartoon Controversy, CIOGC welcomed the spirit of the dialogue. “Understanding each other’s perspective is important if we are to help each other,” Mr. Malik said. Emphasizing that it was unislamic and wrong for Muslims to have retaliated by torching the Danish Embassy and the Danish flag, Mr. Malik offered to help Muslims develop better ties with the Danes since both peoples have experienced the sting of hate.
The Chicago consul had originally declined an invitation to meet a delegation of Muslim leaders from Chicago on grounds that he does not deal with political issues.
Ambassador Peterson highlighted that his country of 5 million gives $2 Billion in funding to poor nations and supports the United Nations.
Copyright 2006 CIOGC