DENMARK CRISIS: Cracks down on burkas, extremism
Denmark has long been known for Lego and liberalism.
One of the most tolerant nations on earth is about to ban the controversial burka. The garb covers all but the eyes of a woman.
High crime, ghettoization and a lack of integration into Danish life triggered the backlash. The country plans to flatten more than 20 of its most dangerous ghettos by 2030.
More than half the residents are non-Western, authorities say.
Denmark is taking aim at Muslim immigrants with the introduction of controversial laws intended to protect âDanishnessâ and torpedoing so-called âparallel societies.â
And beginning in the fall , the Danes are forcing families living in the ghettos to send their kids to school to learn the language â" and values. Christmas and Easter will also be taught.
Parents who refuse could lose their welfare benefits.
Denmark has welcomed has accepted thousands of refugees and immigrants fleeing Islamic countries. And like Germany and others, integrating the newcomers has proven to be a challenge.
The latest wave comprises almost 10% of the countryâs tiny 5.7 million population.
According to the Daily Mail, the move appears to have been triggered by the growth of far-right political parties.
âPeople with the same problems have clumped together. We have (until now) let it go, perhaps with the naive idea that integration would happen on its own over time â¦ but it hasnât,â Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said.
Among the measures:
- Banning the burka next month.
- Double the penalties for crime in the ghettos.
- Increased surveillance to combat extremism
- Parents who send their children home could face four years in prison if itâs suspected theyâve been radicalized.
Many of the initiatives would have been unthinkable a decade ago in liberal Denmark. But mass immigration has hardened attitudes.
Even some longtime Muslim immigrants agree with the changes
Taher Mustafah, 59 , has lived in Denmark since 1985. He pointed to one veiled woman and shook his head, the Daily Mail reports.
âShe is Tunisian and her husband is an Iraqi. My view is that if you live in a country, you should show respect for the society in which you live,â he said.
âShe should not wear the burka here in Denmark and soon she will not be allowed to.â
But Jaber Saleh, 40, is not pleased. Since coming to Denmark in 2001 he has âclung to his roots.â
His son went to an Arabic school that was closed after the government accused staff of terror links.
âThe government was wrong,â Jaber said. âIt was a good school where Hassan was taught in the Arabic language, no t Danish, and he learnt the Qurâan. He speaks Arabic at home and has no Danish friends, and I am pleased about that.â
He added: âI donât want him to learn from them bad things, the swearing, the low moral code of Denmark. This society is too lax. I will do anything to avoid my son learning the values of Denmark.â
firstname.lastname@example.orgSource: Google News Denmark | Netizen 24 Denmark