Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ah the humor of it all...

So in order to understand why this is so funny, you must first be aware of Denmark's newest brilliant move to counter extreme Islam.

Take away the passports of Muslim children so they can't be sent back for "reeducation." Best line: "I think it’s strange for these people to have chosen to come to Denmark and then, when their child becomes too Danish, they send them back to be re-educated in the parents’ culture, religion and traditions." Henrik Dam Kristensen, Social Democrats' spokesman on integration.

Because, you know, god forbid that muslim children learn about their parents' culture.

Okay, I'll bite. There are those who are sent back for intensive Islamic training and there are those who are sent back to get married. But can someone tell me how many children visit the "old country" every year? If there are 14 cases of re-education, how many are completely banal? You know, meet the family, see the sights, learn to speak Arabic without that stupid Danish accent, etc. Is that worth stripping the right to freedom of movement for an entire section of society? Many of these children are Danish citizens for crying out loud! Is Denmark saying, yeah, they're citizens, but only second class, so they don't get to have the rights *real* Danish citizens enjoy.

And now the irony: read about what happened at the international summer school in Funen?

See, a bunch of Danish parents, living abroad, sent their children TO DENMARK, AND I QUOTE, "to learn more about their heritage." (And they now might have swine flu. But that's not the purpose of this story.)

So, it's okay for Danish parents to send their child for Danish re-education because it's about learning about their heritage. But GOD FORBID that immigrants to Denmark do the same, because they've chosen to come to Denmark and so should be dropping all things related to their past, including culture, religion, and traditions (ie HERITAGE).

The comment at the bottom of the second article had me in hysterics. Seasonticket, you make me laugh my ass off.

Here's an idea for you, Denmark. Let your muslim minorities open some damn mosques and schools HERE. Then children wouldn't have to leave the country to learn about their heritage and you could, theoretically, keep a watch over what they are learning. Maybe, *GASP* some of you could even go and learn something about the culture that lives alongside of yours! Stop forcing us all the pretend that we had no culture or heritage before we washed up on the shores of this cold misbegotten country. (Oh, I'm an American and so I don't have culture or heritage? Well, let me strip those Levi's and Nike's off you, take your hot dogs, potatoes [yes, you idiot, they come from the Americas and if you deny the US culture and heritage, you are denying the rest of the Americas too, seeing how we were all settled at the same time by a bunch of loser immigrants from Europe], tomatoes [sorry, that too], and leave. Oh, and shut down your movie theaters, because we invented the motion picture industry and even your damn Lars von Trier would have been stuck depressed and alone if it wasn't for Kodak [American!!].)

Sometimes the hypocrisy of it all really stings.


  1. I am fully in agreement. I was quite prickled by the blatant stupidity of the statements made by the politicians in the article. They really can be so naive.

  2. Denmark!!
    How they can expect it to "work" I don't know... Will they confiscate only dark skinned kids' passports, only Islamic kids', only refugee kids'?
    Are they going to call these children "non-western"? So... I mean... what will become of that group who are not even Muslim?

    It can only "work" if they take all 13-19 year old second gen passports
    which means no school trips to London, presumably. And WHITE CHRISTIANS will be affected, imagine that.

    And how long before the European Court of Human Rights tells Denmark that indeed Fatima and Ahmed CAN go to their cousin's wedding/grandma's funeral if they can afford the airfare?

    Any why didn't they just say it was to stop forced marriages instead of appealing to the "as soon as someone can speak Arabic properly, they want to destroy our way of life" prejudice?
    Idiots. Bloody idiots.

  3. Anonymous4:27 PM

    I could only nod in agreement. Somebody should send this blog entry to the Integration Ministry to make them "see the light".

    Bunch of racistic morons! *sigh*

  4. Sigurt7:57 PM

    I understand that life in Denmark might give some frustrations and that you for the fun of it are exaggerating a bit in your text - but let me just correct two things: It is not forbidden to build mosques in this country, and the reason why a mayor mosque still hasn't been built in Copenhagen has primarily been ascribed to internal disagreements between the different fractions and leaders and financing (read more in Wikipedia: Islam in Denmark). Copenhagen was the site of the first Scandinavian mosque (from 1967!) and it has several mosques.
    Also: Denmark has many Muslim private schools, out of which the most are supported by the state just as normal. Of course Muslims like everybody else must just comply with general legislation and regulation.

    The BIG difference between the Summer school you mention and the Islamic 'schools' is that media report that these 're-educations' take place without the consent of the child!
    However I agree with you that Henrik Dam Kristensen's motivation for the proposal seems hypocratic, and teaching of heritage and culture should - I agree - exist as well in Denmark: which it does to its own extend. I don't understand what it is you think Denmark is not allowing?
    Taking passports from the whole Muslim segment was not intended as I understood the proposal, it should only be done in clear-cut cases or in families that have already done this to their kids.

    I am deeply worried for these children after reading too many cases where too Western children were unwillingly left behind after a home country journey for a stricter upbringing: Teachers have reported them just disappearing without notice for 6-9 months and returning completely changed! Now this is why I hope the politicians will find a way to deal with this practice - but I hope they find a smarter way than taking back their passports!

    It should not be for the sake of Danish culture (or non-culture), but for the sake of the kids.

    Kinds regards

    A Danish reader

  5. I agree in few parts with the 'Danish reader's'comments, BUT I am sure Danes can see the hypocracy too.
    These children are DANISH CITIZENS entitled to same rights as every Dane. Either come up front and say hey! yes, you are a second class citizen who will be looked at with suspicion and whose passport will be confiscated. OR treat them as equals.
    This is a pure case of trageting a religious community based on stereotypes. If denmark fears that young danish citizens visit 'mother countries' and come back as brainwashed fundamentalists, perhaps Denmark should look in the mirror to see where they went wrong and take responsibility, instead of blaming it firmly of them muslims and other muslim countries. My two bit.

  6. Sigurt,
    Your strawman argument is completely bogus.

    I think you will find it is more complicated than that.

    In *my* country, the tiny minority of kids being turned extremist are willing participants in their brainwashing.

    They meet someone charismatic at their religious groups and have a born-again experience and then they become radical and then they visit a madrassa in an Arabic speaking country. And it is not all that common.

    In *my* country, naughty kids from Africa and Asia are sometimes "sent back" and this is like efterskole; they get some bloody discipline and you are damn right they come back changed. After strict teaching, first hand viewing of real poverty and a greater idea of where they are coming from; they come back ready to learn. Hungry to learn.

    AND WHAT! There is no mosque in Denmark? Oh for Christ's sake! IN DENMARK WE HAVE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, my arse. Get it built!

  7. What Kel said.

    Funnily enough, my blinkered husband suggested the measure was to prevent children from being abducted from their parents, sigh...

    But in terms of mosques, there are currently NO purpose-built mosques in Copenhagen. There are no doubt buildings used for worship, but no building created specifically as a mosque.

  8. Sigurt2:25 PM

    Kelly, now I don't understand: do you want the Danish state to pay for and build a mosque?
    It can't possibly be ITS job!

    Unlike many Muslim countries, Denmark does NOT forbid buildings of different religions, but they must build them themselves!
    Aren't you being a little too demanding on our behalf if you want us to build it?

    Denmark is taking many steps I think to accomodate different cultures - BUT of course unlike big previously colonist countries like Great Britain or multi-ethnic countries like the United States, we don't have a centuries long and strong history of multiple cultures, and adapting to this may be a little more slow. Especially when comparing to the Muslim community, one should also remember that based in their beliefs there is not so much room for discussion about - say - the policies of society.

    It takes two to tango.

  9. >>Sometimes the hypocrisy of it all really stings. >> I don't think hypocrisy is quite the right word, it's more blatant than that. It's a total lack of interest in culture/heritage etc as applied to all other cultures, ie to all non-Scandinavian and non-Danish ones. It's a lack of interest in most of the world.

    Which most of the world reflects back, rightly in my view, on Denmark.


Keep it clean, don't be mean....