Denmark’s government has proposed a radical programme of assimilation in 25 “ghettos” heavily populated by people from a “non-Western” migration background.
Parents in these ghettos, where unemployment and gang violence are rife, will be expected to enrol their children from the age of one in programmes promoting the Danish language and “Danish values” to prevent a “downward spiral” of criminality and self-segregation — or lose their welfare benefits.
The move — which has drawn the ire of left-wing media outlets such as the New York Times — follows a New Year address by Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, in which he warned against the rise of “residential areas where young people are forced to marry a person they do not love. Where women are considered less important than men… parallel societies”.
Rasmussen said there was a danger these ghettos could “reach out their tentacles into the streets where criminal gangs create insecurity; into the schools where neglected children are teetering on the edge; into local government coffers where revenue is smaller and expenditure larger than need be; and into society at large where Danish values such as equality, broad-mindedness and tolerance are losing ground.”
He laid the blame for this breakdown on “decades of a lax immigration policy”, with the Scandinavian country attempting to absorb more people than it could successfully integrate.
Denmark PM: Nation Must Be ‘Hermetically Sealed’ from Migrants Who Want to Live off Taxpayers https://t.co/fccFSbCtTu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 9, 2017
The integration measures being proposed include doubling the punishments meted out for certain crimes committed in the ghettos, and imposing penalties on parents who send their children abroad for extended periods in for what immigration minister Inger Støjberg has described as “re-education trips”, in order to keep them steeped in the values of their country of origin.
“It’s a serious breach of their duty of care when parents threaten and coerce their children into taking these re-education trips abroad… This tells us that these parents don’t want any part of Denmark for themselves or their children,” she said.
“But they shouldn’t be allowed to make that choice on their children’s behalf. When we make a great effort to integrate refugees and immigrants living here, of course we can’t just sit back and watch while someone tries to unravel the whole process.”
Defending the proposals against critics who claim they target Muslims unfairly, Minister of Justice Soren Pape Poulsen said: “Some will wail and say, ‘We’re not equal before the law in this country,’ and ‘Certain groups are punished harder,’ but that’s nonsense,” pointing out that the harsher sanctions would only fall on people who break the law.