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Özlem Cekic takes down hate, one cup of coffee at a time

Josa Lukman
Josa Lukman

The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta  /  Tue, October 22, 2019  /  03:16 pm
Özlem Cekic takes down hate, one cup of coffee at a time

Lunch meet-up: Former Danish MP Özlem Cekic (center) talks with members of the media in Jakarta on Oct. 15. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Former Danish MP Özlem Cekic talks about cultural understanding, having coffee with neo-Nazis and agreeing to disagree. Being a minority is never easy, even in seemingly idyllic cultures. Özlem Cekic certainly knows this by heart, yet her approach lies in reaching out when others would have blocked out. Born in Ankara, Turkey, to Kurdish parents in 1976, Cekic immigrated to Denmark with her family as a child and grew up in Copenhagen’s Vesterbro district. Cekic entered politics by being elected to the Socialistisk Folkeparti (Socialist People's Party) committee in 2004, but it was in 2007 when she made history by being the first female member of the Danish Parliament with a Muslim immigrant background. Despite being a part of Denmark’s political legacy, it was soon made clear that not everyone was happy with the election results. Th...