Sunday, July 08, 2018

Danish Xenophobia

Forcing immigrants to put their children into daycare for 25 hours a week from the age of one; automatically doubling the sentences for crimes committed in ghetto areas; threatening long fines or even prison sentences for anyone who fails to report parents suspected of hitting their children; setting quotas on kindergartens so that they can have no more than 30% of their children from immigrant backgrounds. All these measures are to be introduced by the Danish government. The children of immigrants are to be brought up with “Danish values”. But these values now include a clear and consistent pattern of discrimination against their parents. 

The government and much of the media use the term “ghetto” to refer to the social housing where immigrants cluster. It shows very clearly how Muslims in Europe are now the victim of attitudes that would once have been expressed as antisemitism. The government sees the problem of ghettos as one of “parallel societies” – 56 named and defined areas where both the written and unwritten rules that bind the rest of the country do not hold.

The Danish People’s party, a nationalist grouping proposes to ban all Travellers’ sites and squatter camps, to encourage voluntary repatriation and to derogate from the UN convention on refugees. It gained more than 20% of the vote in the last election. 

The effect of these laws will be clearly racist, and discriminatory on grounds of religion. It is one thing to promise increased policing of high-crime areas. But to make such crimes as vandalism, burglary, threatening behaviour, arson and offences against the drug laws punishable by twice the sentences when committed within the designated ghettos is just grotesque.
It is easy to see that this will in practice work as an incentive to criminals from those areas to pursue their criminal employment elsewhere. Although these measures are presented – and perhaps intended – as a way to rid the country of ghettos, their real targets are those who live there.

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