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Dangerous directions in Denmark

The image of Denmark is that of a liberal country and society.    The Danes showed their true mettle during WW2 in the way it supported their Jewish citizens and stood up to the Nazis.     It is therefore troubling to read in this piece "Something Is Unspoken in the State of Denmark" in The New York Times, that the anti-Muslim nationalism is taking hold in Denmark.

"Anti-Muslim nationalism is blazing in Denmark. Parliament has discussed banning prayer rooms in schools and universities. The right-wing and nationalist Danish People’s Party, now the second-largest party in Parliament, is calling for immigrants to celebrate Christmas to prove their Danishness. To reinforce Danish culture and custom, the town of Randers has asked cafeterias in public schools to serve pork.

Most recently, a man was charged last month with blasphemy for posting a video of a burning Quran on Facebook back in 2015 — a charge that hadn’t been prosecuted since 1971.

This case in particular is emblematic of how misguided the debate about Islam here has become. Everyone’s behavior in this story is problematic: the man who burned the Quran, the prosecutor who charged him with blasphemy and the free-speech advocates railing against the charges.

Denmark is not alone in experiencing a rise in nativism; the current runs throughout Europe and America. Denmark has suffered comparatively little from Islamist terrorism, and a vast majority of Danes report feeling safe. But discomfort with Islam has run deep for over a decade, especially after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, triggering a violent backlash in several countries."

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