Tag Archives: Denmark

Denmark Needs Foreigners!

The issue of too many foreigners within the United States is among the most hotly
debated topics, but in many nations like Denmark, the opposite discussion is
occurring as the government looks at figures and realizes there simply are not
enough native born Danes to staff the work force. The Copenhagen Institute for
Future Studies is calling for relaxing immigration laws because there is a short
fall of about 100,000 jobs in the coming years that can only be filled by foreign
workers. A suggestion that is receiving greater attention is identifying nations,
like the United States in which millions of young workers can not find acceptable
jobs, and entice them to live in Denmark.

The issue has never been illegal or legal immigrants. The issue is identifying
people from other lands who either have the knowledge or are willing to work
at society’s dirty jobs and allow them to enter the United States. The need for
workers will be a central issue in many societies in this century.

Denmark-Making A Hash Out Of Hash!

It has been common for years that anyone seeking to pick up some hash wandered down to Pusher street in the city’s Christiana area in order to chat and get what they desired in drugs. About six years ago, the police made a series of raids in hope this would dampen the drug trade. As in similar attempts to wipe out drugs with violence and laws, the effort failed. Police continue their raids, some pushers decide the hassle is too much and depart either for warmer drug climes or seek another occupation. Peter Ibsen, president of the police association, argues, “if the goal was to stop trafficking of hashish in Christiana, then it has absolutely not succeeded.”

Some political leaders would prefer going back to the old days when police ignored the issue because today drugs are increasingly under the control of tough gangs who have the resources to withstand the police. The police one unintended outcome of the raids was to spread the drug traffic to other areas.

When will they ever learn?

Do Puppets Make More Sense Than Generals?

We inhabit a time when the wise words of puppets might be of more interest than the blabber of generals insisting all problems will be solved if you send more soldiers. A satirical puppet show about Danish
troops in Afghanistan that was to be featured on a TV program has been cancelled due to objections. Apparently, the sight of hash-smoking Danish puppet soldiers in Afghanistan has been deemed too controversial. Writers and directors of the show– H A S H along with critics who saw the pilot episode believe the long arm of the government is behind the decision to cancel puppets and allow human puppets to make decisions in Afghanistan.

According to Christian Dyekjaer, director of the show, “I don’t know whether this is censorship or not but it’s very strange. I also don’t know whether it was a political decision, but I can’t help thinking it was.” Please rest assured it was political.

Think about it–what if puppet soldiers made military decisions in Afghanistan, could it be any worse than what is currently happening?

Burka War Divides Danish Politics!

The burka wars continue to rage in Europe as “defenders of society” rise to declare their opposition to the horror of some women walking around clad from head to foot. Of course, walking through any modern city one encounters young people with hoods that virtually cover their faces or wearing tattoos all over their bodies. Naser Khader the integration spokesperson for the Conservative party in Denmark proclaimed in anger, “we do not want to see burkas in Denmark.” Khader is an immigrant from Syria who is involved with the Modern Muslim group. He insisted the “modern burka was instituted by the Taleban when it came to power. I see it as a symbol of the Taleban.”

Khader and his followers regard the burka as “un-Danish.” I wonder if wearing Michael Jordan tee shirts or American jeans are “real Danish.” Actually, although the Taleban is insignificant in Saudi Arabia many women wear versions of the burka. I suspect only a small percent of Danish Muslim women actually wear the full burka so can’t we all relax, enjoy life and allow them to wear what the heck they desire!! Personally, I am more offended by tattoos.

Copenhagen International Human Rights Conference

An international conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender human rights entitled “Love of Freedom, Freedom to Love,” is now going on in Copenhagen. Danish Socialist MP Kamal Hameed Qureshi, a heterosexual born in Pakistan, told the conference how he had to overcome prejudice and bigotry among family members and his community in order to speak out in favor of human rights for those whose sexual preferences did not fit normal ideas of Muslims. He emphasized the experience of growing up as a minority person in Denmark had sensitized him to issues of those who daily encounter bigotry and prejudice. Qureshi noted that while Denmark recognizes same-sex marriages the law dictates they can not take place in a church, let alone a mosque.

The Danish MP argued for an ombudsman who would deal with issues of sexual equality. Among the surprising aspects of his talk was discussion how there are already signs of change towards gays and lesbians in his conservative Muslim Pakistan community. Most probably, this arises from living in a multicultural society in which law supports the premise of equality for all members of the community.


The world is experiencing a serious economic crisis, there are wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and many societies are grappling with serious social issues of aging. But, in Denmark, the nation was shocked to learn that a Muslim volunteer for the Home Guard went through the entire training course while wearing a headscarf! Maria Mawla was even featured in a photograph discussing the Home Guard, but unknown to the photographer, she was hiding her headscarf under the helmet. Members of parliament are insisting that since she violated Home Guard rules, this woman must be dismissed from the service. Ulrik Hragh, head of the Home Guard Committee in parliament said: “it was an error that the woman in question was allowed to conduct her courses wearing a headscarf.” He emphasized that regulations must be enforced for security reasons.

I am confused. Ms. Mawla completed her training course, she did what was required to secure a passing grade, but, the Home Guard is up in arms because she wore a headscarf. I suspect her ability to complete assignments and undergo all requirements while wearing a headscarf proves that wearing a headscarf has NOTHING TO DO WITH SUCCESS IN COMPLETING TASKS. If she encountered difficulty, it would be evidence wearing a headscarf got in the way of training.

This is simply a storm in a teacup.

Gays And Lesbians Offered Protection In Denmark!

The city of Copenhagen is creating a fund and plans to protect participants in the World Outgames who might encounter persecution for being gay or lesbian on return to their home country. The Danish government is cooperating to ensure that any gay or lesbian participating in the games will not be forced to return home if prison, torture or death awaits. “If these participants will have problems returning home after being in Denmark, the we need to find some solution,” said councillor Manu Sareen. Participants will be allowed to take part in the games using an alias in order to protect their identity.

The good news is Denmark is going to protect gays who take part in the games, the bad new is that in this day and age, individuals face the prospect of prison or torture because they are gay or lesbian.

Amnesty International Blasts Denmark Refugee Policies

Amnesty International issued a sharply critical report on alleged poor treatment of asylum seekers in Denmark as well as noting failure on the part of police to respond to complaints of mistreatment by people. The report deplored the decision of Denmark to accept assurances from other nations that asylum seekers on return home will be treated with respect. “The most important thing for the Danish government seems to be closing the country’s borders to refugees, forcing 282 Iraqi asylum seekers home to an unknown future and deporting terror suspects to countries that employ torture and unfair trials.” There are currently about 300 people in Denmark seeking asylum, but it is doubtful if their requests will be accepted.

The nation’s police force also came under criticism, particularly in their failure to respond to allegations of rape. It was noted only about five to eight out of a 1,000 complaints against police are ever upheld.

Danish Government Colluded In Violating POW Rights

In 2002, Col. Frank Lissner, head of Danish troops in Afghanistan, learned that American forces were violating the Geneva Convention and that prisoners he was turning over to them would be sent to Guantanamo rather than being treated according to regulations of the Geneva Convention. He informed the Danish government of his concerns, but nothing was done and men were sent to Cuba. Col. Lissner even received information that some of the prisoners might be innocent, but once in the hands of the Americans, guilt or innocence were the last considerations. This was at the height of Rumsfeld/Cheney belief it was impossible to violate POW rights because they lacked any such protection. A recent documentary which interviewed Danish soldiers who participated in this action expressing their concerns that any prisoner turned over to Americans would be subject to mistreatment.

There is something sad when troops in other armies mistrust the capacity of the United States military to conduct itself according to international rules and regulations. Is this still another legacy of the Bush administration?

Room At The Church Inn In Denmark?

Asylum seekers from Iraq who face deportation back to the continuing chaos in their homeland are seeking refuge in churches in order to secure some place of peace. The Danish government agreed to return almost 300 refugees to Iraq. In an effort to avoid returning to chaos and violence, hundreds of Iraqis sought refuge in the Narrebo Church. As one refugee commented; ” I didn’t come here just to make money. I want to be alive and didn’t want to be killed,” particularly since many members of his family were killed in Iraq. Many of those facing deportation do not speak Arabic and are fluent in Danish or English, and do not have family back in Iraq.

A high percent of the refugees have been in Denmark for more than five years and have become Danes in many aspects of their lives. There is nothing awaiting them back in Iraq but death and loneliness. Even Syria has allowed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to be refugees in their country, surely, Denmark can allow a few hundred to remain.