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Denmark: How to Deal with Integration?

Denmark: How to Deal with Integration?

Refusal to Integrate
Country: 
Denmark
News Date: 
20/08/2019
Lancastrian
Summary: 
  • How does a society deal with religious institutions that profess values which are the very opposite of the value system of the Western society in which they live?

  • "When I was in high school, there were around 50,000 people with a non-Western background in Denmark. Today, there are almost half a million. In one generation, our country has changed". — Lars Løkke Rasmussen, then prime minister of Denmark, January 1, 2019.

  • The Integration Barometer -- which measures the degree of assimilation in the municipality among young people with a non-Western background -- showed that almost one third of 18-29 year-olds (31%) believe that "religious and cultural laws must be adhered to, even though they may be contrary to [Danish] law". The issue, then, is whether these young people believe that Islamic sharia law should take precedence over Danish law.... In addition, the number of youths who view democracy in a positive light has fallen from 86% in 2016 to 79% in 2018.

  • It recently came to light... that a committee under the government's Ministry of Church Affairs, which is responsible for formally approving mosques in Denmark, has been handing out approvals for them without knowing "whether they [the mosques] were ruled from abroad, whether women's rights were suppressed, or there were other problematic conditions". Formal approval of a mosque means that the mosque becomes eligible for tax benefits and is permitted to bring foreign preachers to Denmark on a special visa.

  • When the association behind the mosque [asked]... to be approved as a religious community, it had in its statutes a provision saying it operated under the supervision of Iran's 'Supreme Leader', Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. At first, this news was a matter of concern for the Ministry of Church Affairs, but then Ahlul Bait simply rewrote its statutes and the ministry gave its approval.

Earlier this year, in his New Year's speech, Denmark's prime minister at the time, Lars Løkke Rasmussen,  that religious parallel societies constitute a problem and that immigrants need to learn to "put secular laws over religious ones".

What, however, if, in the community involved, there seems no desire to do that?

"When I was in high school", Rasmussen  "there were around 50,000 people with a non-Western background in Denmark. Today, there are almost half a million. In one generation, our country has changed".