Muslims in Denmark are bracing for a series of cruel, dehumanizing laws that will further push them to the outskirts of Danish society. The New York Times reports that the government is preparing to introduce a set of laws that “regulate life in 25 low-income and heavily Muslim enclaves” and force Muslims to erase their identities in favor of total assimilation or risk punishment.
Not unlike Donald Trump, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has been using increasingly dehumanizing language to describe these communities, which he has warned could “reach out their tentacles onto the streets.” Immigration minister Inger Stojberg has called the Islamic religious practice of fasting “a danger to all of us,” and Danish leaders voted with several other European countries to ban women from wearing burqas and niqabs.
Though Justice Minister Soren Pape Poulsen has outright denied that the discriminatory laws target Muslims, the laws very much target Muslims, who make up two-thirds of the nation’s immigrant population and have grown in recent years due to an influx of refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. Many of them are placed in “ghettos” by the government, where poverty, unemployment, and crime are high. Most of the 22 proposals that comprise the vile-sounding “ghetto package” have majority support in the parliament, the Times reports, and are subject to a vote this fall.
The Times describes one of the proposals:
Some are punitive: One measure under consideration would allow courts to double the punishment for certain crimes if they are committed in one of the 25 neighborhoods classified as ghettos, based on residents’ income, employment status, education levels, number of criminal convictions and “non-Western background.” Another would impose a four-year prison sentence on immigrant parents who force their children to make extended visits to their country of origin — described here as “re-education trips” —in that way damaging their “schooling, language and well-being.” Another would allow local authorities to increase their monitoring and surveillance of “ghetto” families.
Another law requires the separation of “ghetto children” at the age of 1:
Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.
Meanwhile, Danish townspeople interviewed by the Times are celebrating laws that are reminiscent of 1920s Germany. “The grandmothers will die sometime,” said 64-year-old Anette Jacobsen. “They are the ones resisting change.”