One of Europe’s first female Muslim leaders, Özlem Cekic, a former MP for Denmark’s Socialist People’s Party, recently sat down for coffee with one of her hateful, online trolls. Cekic, who immigrated to Denmark from Kurdistan, documented a tense meeting with one of these trolls for a new BBC program that will air Tuesday. A trailer released for the program already has over 2.5 million views on Facebook.
Cekic invited hundreds of people who sent her abusive messages to engage in an open civil dialogue. She asked the BBC to come along to her latest encounter, with a man called Stefan.
Stefan had reportedly called her “disgusting ISIS vermin and disgusting carrion [decaying flesh of dead animals or rottenness]”. He also wrote: “I hate you and everything your kind stands for”.
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“How can we sit here one meter apart and still be so far apart from each other?” she asks. “I’m sitting here thinking it’s crazy you think you have the right to talk like that just because I’m Muslim.”
The clip ends with Cekic thanking Stefan for opening his door but admitting the conversation was in no way easy, but insists she would be happy to meet the man again.