Denmark: Danish apartheid 2

Denmark: Danish apartheid 2

Continuation of this article.


Shabani Ahmad is a Dane who's had enough with the red-white Racism.  She criticises Ålholm school for segregating the students.

"It makes the children sick," she tell Gringo.

We meet Shabani Ahmad in her home, next to Ålholm school, where she herself went.  She was one of those who protested when the school segregated its students.  

"Adults make Muslim children feel like a B-team.  Some teachers tell them that they are bad and don't want to integrate."

The school's administration answered by writing a debate contribution where they instead praised their own integration work.

"But to segregate students was certainly right!  How can people call that "good integration work"?  This segregated makes the children sick.  When they come out into society later with an illness they're seen as a problem," says Shabani Ahmad when we sat down in her living room.

"I called Danish newspapers and asked them to go into this issue, but it appears that theyre' don't think the school did anything wrong.  They are most interested in writing negative things about immigrants, not about the Danish society's shortcomings."

In Denmark the system allowed parents to freely choose a school for their children.  But that right is limited if one isn't an 'ethnic Dane'.

Shaban Ahmad's 7 year old daughter was born in Denmark, just like her mother.  But in school she's not Danish.

"I didn't want my daughter to go to Ålholm school, so I contacted another school in the area.  But I got a blank 'no', they said that it was already full.  It's a perpetual problem.  Schools want to keep down the number of Muslim children, so they won't be called ghetto schools."

Shabani Ahmad's younger sister was still going went to Ålholm school when the segregation into "ethnic Danish" and "bilingual" children was made last spring.

"I felt compelled to react. Most Muslim parents have too much respect for the school, they say nothing against it."

She found the principal and explained the consequences the school's behaviour could cause.  But he didn't listen.  The principal thought that Shabnai Ahmad's reaction was because her sister didn't do well in school and said that the sister's failure was because she 'comes from an immigrant family'.

"He said that we didn't understand how to take care of children.  But all the older siblings did well in school, so that's a lie."
Shabani Ahmad has a university degree and works as a chemist.  

Her parents pushed her and her sisters early to do well in school and work.  But the resistance against those seen as immigrants in Denmark is fierce.

"I get frustrated with the attitude around integration here in Denmark.  If you don't drink a beer and eat sausages, you're not Danish."

"I was born and raised here, there's nobody who's more integrated.  We are as family Jensen as any, except that I wear a headscarf and we have a different religion."

- In Sweden some say we should follow the "open Danish debate".

"I don't think it's right that the debate here is particularly open.  Racism increased, both in school and in society.  But if by 'open' people mean that the Danish debate climate allows politicians and the media to verbally attack Muslims and immigrants in the most unethical way, then it's right.


When parents of Muslim children called up to report discrimination at Ålholm school, they were met with lack of interest.  The only Danish newspaper to write about it was Metro.  Gringo asked Politiken news editor Anders Krab-Johansen why that was.  He says that usually such news are considered news-worthy, but that  such news have reached saturation levels.  

Anders Krab-Johansen says that there's an on-going debate about segregation of kids by ethnicity in schools, the so-called Albertslund-model. The model was called illegal several years ago,but is still being used.

He says he personally has no personal opinion on whether to segregate Muslim children in separate classes or to spread them out in different schools.  His decision on news-worthiness is based only on curiosity and an analytic sense.

Sources: Norra Skåne 1, 2

See also:
* Denmark: Danish apartheid
* Denmark: Proposal to forbid special consideration for Muslim students

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