Both of Iceland’s major Muslim organisations have condemned last Friday’s attacks in Paris. Meanwhile, police and the Interior Ministry, which presides over the police, appear to disagree on whether the threat of terrorism in Iceland has increased.
In the wake of the attacks, both the Muslim Association of Iceland and the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland have issued statements strongly condemning last Friday’s assault on Paris as being unethical and antithetic to Islam.
“This attacks shows us that it is necessary for all of us to work together to make peace a reality in the world,” the Muslim Association of Iceland said in a statement. “Peace is attained with respect, love and compassion for our neighbours. Attacks such as this have unfortunately increased in recent years, which makes our world very unstable. Human life is valuable in Islam, and every life is as valuable as the next. With love, respect, and standing together as one nation, we can win against this threat. It is not enough to condemn; it is what we do that matters most. Every single one of us must work together to eliminate hatred from the world.”
The Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland (shown above) issued a similar statement, saying:
“This act of cruelty is in fact an attack on ethics and humanity, and is not connected in any way to divine or human law. No cause or reason can justify an attack on innocent people. According to the teachings of Islam, to murder an innocent person is the same as murdering all of humanity, and saving an innocent life is the same as saving all of humanity (Koran 5:32). The attackers must be identified and brought to justice immediately. Our prayers are with the families of the victims, their relatives and loved ones.”
In related news, there appears to be a discrepancy in threat assessment between the police and the Interior Ministry, which presides over the police.
RÚV reports that the Chief of the National Police, Haraldur Johannessen, was asked directly if the threat of terrorism in Iceland has increased since last Friday. His answer was blunt:
“No, not as it stands now,” he said. “We see no direct threat against Iceland at this time. Hopefully there never will be. But we have safeguards and have adopted certain measures.”
This statement directly contradicts the words of Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal, who told reporters yesterday that there was “no doubt” that the threat of terrorism has increased in Iceland.
As reported yesterday, Haraldur said that the police have increased “special security measures”, and have asked for “pre-crash levels” of funding in the wake of the attack, but would not disclose what these measures were. Today, sources close to RÚV said these measures included the formation of a special emergency committee, comprised of representatives from the National Police, the chief of police in Suðurnes (where the international airport is located), and civil aviation. This committee is tasked with assessing whether or not special security measures need to be taken on airplanes due to terrorism.
Nothing more about the “special security measures” is known at the time of this writing.