Denmark: Majority against religious concessions at school, work

Denmark: Majority against religious concessions at school, work

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* Denmark: Many schools making religious concessions
* Denmark: No problems with religion at work

Halal meat, prayer rooms, vacations on holidays. There are many option to accommodate religious minorities in the workplace, but the Danes say 'no thanks'.

A survey conducted by YouGov Zapera for Metroxpress shows that a majority of 58% don't support any type of special concessions for religion in the workplace. Integration consultant Esma Birdi can understand that.

"Religion is a private issue. There should be as little religion in the public space as possible. Overall it doesn't belong in the workplace," Esma Birdi says there are other, more important, ways of meeting new-Danes.

"It's more about creating a social life between New Danes and Danes in the workplace. That's how you create good integration." The survey's results are noteworthy, since a different study has shown that most companies gladly make those concessions."

The NyDansker (New Danes) association works to break down the barriers between New Danes and the job market. Chairman Torben Møller-Hansen attributes the Danish resistance to the political and principle debates on such issues as the burka.

"It gets people to be reserved and think 'oh, there are also many problems with religion', and we should rather just be all the same. Our experience over 10 years is that most people are tolerant of this in the individual workplace, where it's handled elegantly."

The survey question: It's been discussed about whether schools and workplaces should make special religious concessions. Which of the following concessions will you support?

- No forms of religious consideration: 58%
- Special menus in cafeterias: 21%
- Vacation on the most important holiday, regardless of religion: 20%
- Special place for prayer: 13%
- Celebrations of religious holidays of several religions in the school/workplace: 8%

The survey was conducted among a 1,071 representative sample, ages 18-74, March 8-10, 2010.

Source: MetroXpress (Danish), h/t Uriasposten

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