When Danish women convert to Islam, two out of every three choose to wear a headscarf. This often causes problems for the Danish Muslims, who get very negative reactions from their Danish acquaintances, according to a new two-year study from Copenhagen University.
Danish resistance against veiling is so violent that several Danish female converts have to take their headscarf off in order to function in the day-to-day.
In 600 interviews Danish female converts told of their new lives as Muslims, and many of the women suffer violent pressure from their Danish acquaintances on account of the headscarf.
The mother of a friend of one young Danish Muslim women called to her across the street to 'take that rag off your head'. Another Danish women said her insistence on wearing a headscarf caused her parents to refuse to be seen with her in public. Jyllands-Posten spoke with a third Danish women who said that she stopped wearing a headscarf when her son was treated differently in kindergarten since the teachesr didn't like that she was wearing a headscarf.
Pia Hoda Varsic (33), has been a Muslim for about 11 years. She says that wearing a veil made her anonymous, but also attracts attention and therefore she was very nervous the first time she wore it. She suffered calls and nasty comments. After 3-4 years she stopped wearing it. She is a practicing Muslims but isn't going to fight the world.
She says that all the time Danish society preaches that it's an open society and has room for everybody, but her experience as a Muslim and as a woman who wore a headscarf, was different.
Religion historian Kate Østergaard, who had interviewed many of the converts, says that the headscarf is often associated with being fanatic and against Western values. It therefore awakes violent resistance in the convert's Danish society, when they choose to wear it.
Besides the 60 interviews, the study also gave questioners to 130 converts.
68% of the women often or always wear a headscarf, while 4% veil their face, for example with a burka.
Østergaard says that few converts become very extreme Muslims and follow movements such as Hizb ut-Tahrir or Salafi groups. But there's a wide tendency among women women not to be in one room with a man who's not their husband.
In the past just a few men converted to Islam, but today men make up a third of converts.
The new Danish Muslims are quite orthodox. 61% answered that they pray five times a day, and 82% said that they fast for the entire Ramadan month.
The study shows that Danes are converting at a younger age. Danes as young as 14-15 had converted to Islam.
Since September 11, 2001 there have been an increase in the number of Danish converts as a result of the media's intense focus on Islam and Islamism, according to the researchers.
There are about 4,000 ethnic Danish Muslims today.
Source: JP, DR (Danish) h/t Gülay Kocbay (Danish)
For more on the study see also: Denmark: Converts to Islam are left-wing oriented