Denmark: Religious pressure in schools

Children in Danish schools undergo religious harassment. This happens during the currently ongoing Muslim festival of Ramadan, when a group of Muslim students criticize their schoolmates for violating the fasting rules of Ramadan by easting and drinking during daylight hours, report several Danish schools with a high proportion of Muslim students. At Hillerødgade's Skole in Copenhagen the problem has consequences.

"Some of the children who fast criticize the children who don't fast. Therefore we have decided that children who fast should be excluded from the cafeteria area. So there will be a place to eat in the cafeteria without people having an attitude imposed on them, says health project leader Marika Jensen who has also seen some schoolchildren who are so afraid of being seen eating that they sneak into the cafeteria area not during the lunch break in order to get a bite to eat.

She explains that it's typical for Muslim children whose parents want them to eat but who simply find it hard to explain to their Muslim friends that they eat and drink.

At Klostevænget's Heldagsskole in Copenhagen the school inspector was surprised when she asked in an 8th grade class with a large Muslim population about fasting.

"Everybody said that they fasted. Even a boy of Danish background said that he did it, but I truly didn't believe it. It was just to hard for him to sit with his bread with chopped liver among schoolmates who all fasted. I think that he goes home and eats his food later, and it was done out of tactical prudence by him," says school inspector Karen-Margrethe Grønlund.

In Aarhus the Ramadan has also caused conflict.

"Some girls in the lower classes had gotten from their parents clear views on what they should avoid during Ramadan, and they wanted to share this with some friends. They explained what good Muslims did and what bad Muslims did. As a school we needed to deal with it and get involved, even if it was a sensitive topic, says school head Torben Haugård of Ellekærskolen.

Also in Tovshøjskolen in Århus teachers had to intervene with Muslim students who interfered with their classmates religion and eating habits.

Religious conflicts had previously been described as a problem among Muslim students at Syddansk University.

Lene Kühle, lecturer and PHD in religion sociology at Aarhus University, points out that there have also been conflicts among Muslim cashiers on whether to wear the headscarf during work or not. She think that Ramadan often increases the conflicts when the increased attention to being religious also increases attention to lapses.

The religion sociologist who had researched the Muslim communities in Denmark, has two reasons why religious conflicts arise among Danish Muslims.

"Islam becomes a weapon to bully others. People use a completely banal religious to assert themselves," says Lene Kühle.

another reason is that Islam's status as a minority religion in the West leads to self-appointed religious policemen. They are found in many places in society, among others in prisons, says Lene Kühle:

"Regular Muslim go around and impose on people a certain form of Islam. It goes together with that there aren't others to do this in Denmark. If one could imagine that we had a mufti in the country, that said how people should act during Ramadan, then Muslims would have some basis - but now it's up to the individual and it causes many interpretations and clashes.

Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)

See also: Odense: Against students fasting


Iftikhar Ahmad said...

Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.

The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents’ choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.

Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Iftikhar Ahmad

Mark Tapson said...

The West has bent over backward to offer Muslims every opportunity to be "recognised as a western (sic) community" ("western" is a direction; "Western" refers to the civilization/culture of the West; should I refer to "Muslims" as "muslims"?).

The problem is, as you've inadvertently pointed out in your diatribe, is that Muslims too often are intent on REMAINING "an alien culture."

EVERY immigrant to the West, not just Muslims, faces exactly the same cultural difficulties you've enumerated (every Western immigrant to a non-Western culture does too). Everyone but Muslims seems to adjust.

As long as Muslim communities in the West refuse to assimilate; as long as they prefer to establish themselves as a separate but parallel culture demanding special rights and concessions and the legal recognition of Sharia; as long as they show open contempt and hatred for the culture they've chosen to live in and benefit from rather than embrace it, then they will remain "an alien culture."

Daphne said...

If muslims want an Islamic education then they should go to a muslim country. If they choose to live in dar al harb then they have to accept that dar al harb is not going to give them an islamic education. We live in a secular society which we have fought for and died for over centuries of religious persecution & miseducation. We have got rid of christian bigotry so why should we succumb to islamic bigotry which is a hundred times worse.
Schools are about educating children in the sciences, history & literature. Not in religious bigotry. Religion should be taught as an historical subject. Not as a faith. We have temples, churches & mosques for religious indoctrination. Not schools.

FreeSpeech said...


Vietnames children, greek children and papuan children do not have a problem integrating. Go away.

FreeSpeech said...

"The right to education in one’s own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right"

No, it isn't.

Christopher Logan said...

1.The is in Denmark not Britain.'
2.Muslims do live a different way of life then non-Muslims. That is why they should not be allowed to come to non-Islamic countries. Non-Muslims are sick of your CONSTANT whining about everything little thing that bothers Muslims.
We do not want anything to do with your culture, and Muslims show no respect for anyone else. Do the West and favor and move to an Islamic country. You will not be missed.

Christopher Logan said...

We do not owe Muslims a damn thing and we do not have to alter our countries to please Muslims.
Go away is right.

Thiagan said...


Thiagan says:

As a Hindu from India, the Westerners should appreciate the difficulties in managing 200 million muslims amongst us for over 1000 years. We have managed them and here are a few suggestions:

> Go back to Christianity and the Church. It is a good religion and it is worth defending. Defending Christianity is better slogan than defending an abstract like freedom of speech, democracy etc.
> Throw out the socialist scoundrels from politics and the left lunatics from the academics. They abet the Islamic aggression
> Force the Conserve Party to become Christianity supporting party; it is unlikely that the Church will exert any undue influence in the government and it is a an issue that can be remedied.
> Scrap the welfare pay outs except for the aged. Welfare only encourages the unproductives and undesirables.
> Make extradition easy and it should be for the entire family; the convict will be jailed say for a period of five years but the family will be thrown out immediately on conviction
> Influence the judiciary, by fair and foul means, to give tougher decisions.
> The police force should be brainwashed against muslims and should use violent methods to control. In India the police does and people brush aside the resultant Islamic jingoism.
> The Conservative party should accept national security as the main plank
> Re-install death penalty
> Once in five years there should be riots in which thousands of muslims will be killed. Sounds barbaric; the alternative is being consumed by barbarism. In India we retaliate and it is called constructive response.
> Separate them physically in secluded areas; that is better than to permit them to live in all areas, which they will contaminate. They will never assimilate and do not attempt at it.
> Stop muslim immigration and substitute with Hindu labour; they are law abiding and will integrate admirably well. Hindus are the second richest and most highly educated minority in USA. There is a not a single case of a Hindu being profiled for wrong reasons.
> Teach the children to hate the muslims; they any way are doing the same thing.
> Follow the Hindu way of life; live life and accept death as inevitable; live for the children and for their future. Sex is only a side attraction and wealth is only incidental.
> Consign all the human rights character to Saudi Arabia, that is the place where they should practice their profession; tell them human lives are more important than human rights
> Get out of EU and preserve your right to protect your country and its culture. Earlier you had a country and culture to be proud of and now EU has converted the countries into anonymous entities
> In India we have a main stream political party for protecting the majority rights; create a similar one, since otherwise the secular fanatics will abandon the majority

Colonel Robert Neville said...

Dear Ishtar, you were going so well and reasonable and then you spoiled it all. Why does that happen so often?

And I quote: "There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school".

Ah, you say so much, my dear. How about if someone said to you: "There is no place for a Muslim teacher or a child in a non-Muslim school?"

In the words of Lester Burnum in American Beauty, "I'm sorry but you have the wrong idea..."

Let me put it to you that you are perhaps merely another Islamist poop head with the standard bag of lies and blame and the usual trajectory of Sharia creep? I could be wrong...

Hey, do you like Jews, gays, feminists, rock n roll, art and so on? Just asking.

Colonel Neville.

Mark Tapson said...

Some good thoughts, Thiagan, thanks for contributing.

Anonymous said...

Thiagan, you're awesome. And you're absolutely right about almost everything. Except Separate them physically in secluded areas. This is unconstitutional and unnecessary. We can't bring back forced ghettoization. But we don't have to. They do it themselves. You also can't force the ruling Conservative party to become Christian. You can, however, (and maybe this was what you meant anyway) use the Christian concensus to influence the ruling Conservative party. It's the most powerful, best-organized voting bloc in the free world and it brings a certain mass to the situation. It's also Israel's best bet, if you ask me.

I don't know why Europe and Israel are so willing to give up their roots and kill themselves over Islam. They are both founded on the concept of human rights and democracy and Islam does nothing but deny the existence of everyone's human rights, not to mention the 'human' status of the majority of the population, even in Muslim countries, and is completely incpmpaotible with democracy because of its dualistic, sdestructive, supremacist worldview. I don't think Europe has India's will to fight off Islam the way you guys have, let alone overthrow it once it consumes the country. Britain just officialized Sharia law. The Britain that is the parent of both my American culture and your Indian culture. The Britain that brought the ENlightenment to both our countries. The Britain that gave you back your history after the Muslims had tried so hard for so long to annihilate it, and thus allowed India to rediscover the glory that it once possessed prior to being overrun by the Muslim hordes. And you're especially right about the fact that the 2nd-world is full of fantastic, well-eduated, civil potential immigrants whom we would be proud to call our own, who would assimilate instantly and effortlessly, and who who would benefit our countries rather than destroy them, both actively and simply through their parasitic, hostile presence and way of life. Oh, it's not just Hindu labor that's useful. Most non-Muslim Indians with good educations are a benefit to their counrties of immigration. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean folks are awesome too. And there's Latin America for unskilled labor.

This is off-topic, and possibly inappropriate, but I have to ask: are you Bengali? I ask because I just always seem to get along with Bengalis. Bengalis, Jews, and Italians are a good mix because we all like to eat and argue.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Iftikhara is a well-known blog spammer. Best to do is to ignore this post (which I've seen many times) and for the blog adminstrator to delete it.

Then back to real debate.

-ImanAzlan- said...

Actually, its not wrong for non-Muslims eating in front of other Muslim that fasts. So, I don't see any point the Muslims angry with others who are non-Muslims that eats in front of them. But, its a different story if other Muslims eat in front of Muslims. That's sick.

Well, every culture is different. And Muslim culture is not an alien culture. you see, people say alien to something that they did not know. So, you might say alien to Islam because you did not know what is Islam all about. All you know is Islam is terrorists whatsoever which is said by the media. Please, try borrow a REAL TRANSLATION of Holy Quran (mind the caps, I do it because there are some fake ones) from your friend. and try to read it with a neutral side of thinking. Which means, stop thinking about Islam as a terrorist. Just act like you know nothing and you read a book to know more about it(Islam) :)