Denmark: Burka report based on guesswork

Denmark: Burka report based on guesswork

The new burqa report can not be used to calculate how many people in Denmark wear a burka or niqab.  The 54-page long report  [ed. An earlier report gave a different number, though I assume it's the same report], which BT got a hold of, doesn't give any scientific guess as to how many people in Denmark wear one of the two controversial Muslim dresses that hide a woman's face.

On the contrary, the authors of the study prepared by Copenhagen University, asked several people if they could guess as to the number of people who wear a niqab in Denmark.

But the guesses varied from between 30-40 (spokesperson Imran Shah of the Islamic Faith Society) and 200-400 people (journalist Lene Kühle of Weekendavisen)

There were a couple of guesses of "at most a hundred", and a guess of "between 50-150", a former study with many reservations, with a guess of 60, and a professor of statistics who says that there are "at least 24 and at most 196".

The latter professor explains that he gave his estimate in a telephone conversation. He has great difficulties remembering the proceedings and did not suspect he was part of a study.

"I spoke on the phone with one person, I can't remember who," says Svend Kreiner, professor of statistics at the Institute for Public Health.

He says his estimate has a wide margin of uncertainty.  There's a big difference is it's 12 people or 200.

The study concluded that there were between 100-200 people who wear a niqab in Denmark.  This is primarily based on the many guesses from various people.

But Professor of Political Science Mehdi Mozaffari thinks that oral sources can be misleading.  He says it's possible that some sources will make a wrong estimate because they have an interest in making the figures higher or lower than they really are, though he stresses that he does not know whether that is the case here.

Professor Margit Warburg who led the study did not want to comment on the issue.

Source: BT (Danish)

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