Like many persons on the planet, my wife and I have been watching the news out of the United States closely. We have been watching US News and International News and chatting with our new Danish friends. We thought that our friends in the islands would be interested in the European reaction to Tuesday's atrocities.
The news is every bit as huge here as it appears to be in America. People are glued to their television sets. Bars and such leave the coverage on non-stop.
Everyone we have met is disgusted and in shock. The thought of war is very much in the air — but perhaps with a different perspective. Many worry that this is "George Bush's excuse for the war he has been wanting." Here, Bush is considered trigger-happy.
Many people we met have ties with folks in New York and are concerned about friends and family. The world has become hugely interconnected. There were many sets of eyes full of tears.
Currently European stock markets are slightly down, but the U.S. currency is stronger. Both markets and currency exchange are in huge flux. Many governments are taking strong local action. Planes are not allowed to fly over London. The French army is patrolling the Paris airport and metro (subway/railroad).
It is interesting to note that Denmark has the world's largest Muslim population outside of the Middle East, most of whom came here on refugee status. One person joked with us, asking, "Does this mean that the U.S. is going to war with Denmark?"
The local situation perhaps recapitulates the problems of the world with the Middle East. Even though most are here on refugee status, the Muslim community in Denmark is often violently opposed to the Danish way of life. One major riot and several small ones have occurred in the few weeks that we have been here. The police have to patrol the Muslim district in large groups.
It is unfortunate that for some, the actions of a few persons can give entire religions, cultures and nations a bad name. No matter who is found guilty, now is the time for ALL of us to stick together against the very few who deserve condemnation.
We have not heard of any comment from the local Muslim community in response to yesterday's actions.

Editor's note: Charles Balch and his wife recently moved to Denmark from his native St. Thomas, where he taught computer sciences courses at the University of the Virgin Islands for many years.
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