Two men reportedly confronted and threatened former Muslim Society of Iceland chairperson Salmann Tamimi in Kópavogur yesterday, and he has refused to remain silent about the incident.
Salmann took to Facebook to describe the events that transpired, which he called “a frightening experience” that took place just outside the supermarket Krónan in Kópavogur.
He says that he and a friend were standing outside the supermarket when they were confronted by two men, “one tall and the other short”, who addressed Salmann by name and began talking about last month’s demonstration held by the Icelandic National Front (INF). The INF is a right wing party that opposes Iceland’s immigration law (although they don’t seem to know what the law actually says), and their demonstration was met with counterprotestors who outnumbered them almost 4 to 1.
The shorter man reportedly asked Salmann repeatedly if he supported the “violence” perpetrated by counterprotestors, possibly referring to a young woman who smashed one of the INF’s protest signs, injuring no one. Salmann responded that he knew of no violence that occurred at the demonstration, but that he does not condone the use of force.
“They both threatened to use violence against protestors the next time this event takes place,” Salmann writes. “He stepped close to me, leaned into my face, pointed at his muscles and said, ‘We are the power’. At the same time, the tall man lifted his T-shirt to show a large tattoo reading SS, and the other man was with the same tattoo on the back of his head.”
Salmann included a photo of the SS symbol depicted in the tattoo, which is the insignia of the Schutzstaffel, or the SS of the Third Reich.
As reported, the Nordic Resistance Movement, a neo-Nazi group originating in Sweden, told reporters they were actively seeking recruits in Iceland. This, coupled with the visible presence of the INF, has been cause for concern to many Icelanders, and Icelanders are already responding to Salmann’s experience.
Illustrator and comic artist Hugleikur Dagsson, for example, wrote a lengthy note on Facebook, entitled “Dear Moron”, specifically addressed to the INF and Odin’s Army, another white power group trying to gain a foothold in Iceland.
“Stop hiding behind freedom of expression,” Hugleikur writes in part. “Just because you can say what you’re saying it doesn’t make you any less of a moron. Morons love freedom of expression. I mean come on, this column is freedom of expression. So don’t comment arguing that I’m trying to ban you from being a moron. You have as much right to be a moron as I have to call you a moron. That’s how freedom of expression works. Moron.”