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The Clash of Values?

Much of the public, academic, and political discussions in Denmark today relate to values. An important reason for these debates are the challenges Denmark seems to face with the growing size of peoples with other cultural and religious backgrounds, 70% of whom are considered Muslims (at around 170,000 people, they make up a little less than 3% of Denmark’s total population). According to Islam Expert Dr. Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, “For centuries the country was characterized by a degree of religious and linguistic homogeneity unprecedented in other European countries.” According to the author and cultural sociologist Flemming Røgild, the talk about identity in the 1970’s was based on the concept of classes, in the 1980’s it was gender, and in the 1990’s it was ethnicity.  Some claim that Islamic values differ fundamentally from Danish ones. Simonsen argues, “The public debate has tended to focus on what can be labeled ‘the clash of cultures,’ and it has developed into a debate on the incompatibility of migrants and refugees with Danish culture and Danish traditions.” Others argue that Danes and Muslims share many values. 

Different experts believe that one cannot and should not make the distinction between Muslim and Danish values. Do Danish and Muslim values exist, and if so, is there a difference between them? In Denmark, there is a tradition of consensus and compromise, and given the relatively high number of Muslim immigrants, it is worthwhile to consider if the Danish society has a common comprehensive value-structure or value-horizon and if Danish values differ from the value structure of the immigrants. How much difference might one see between Islamic values and Danish ones when one focuses on their core? If freedom, democracy and the concept of the individual together with human rights are near the core of this Danish value-structure, it is interesting to explore if the same values are in the Islamic tradition or if there is something similar. Discussing these questions is not only important because the issue of values forms the core of the discussions about immigration in Denmark, but also because talk of inferior or inappropriate values threatens to undermine the notion of universal human rights. We will be dealing with the first concern, but it is also important also to state the more global consideration upon which our discussion touches. 

In Denmark, leading intellectuals and politicians have used essentialism, an argument that certain aspects of culture are unchanging, to characterize the clash between the two value structures. Law Professor Stig Jørgensen states that democracy is essentially a European concept. In an article in the Danish newspaper Politiken, he states that democracy is based on individualism, which he believes is only present in the West. Jørgensen states, “Democracy is only possible through a concept of the person as individualistic, and through the freeing of the laws of the state from the control of the church and a recognition of human freedom.” According to Jørgensen, while western cultures are individualistic, Islamic cultures are collectivistic and operate based on the law of God. Jørgensen writes, “All other cultures in Asia and Africa are collectivist or religious in the sense that the single human being has a function in a totality whose interests are superior to the individuals.” Therefore, he believes that talking about Muslim democrats is like talking about a round square, which is something that cannot exist. Jørgensen states the same dilemma in a March 2000 opinion-editorial in Information by claiming that there is a tension between multiculturalism and the welfarestate. Jørgensen said in a telephone interview that the main problem with Islam in Denmark is its claim to the “truth,” which is a problematic standpoint in a democratic society. 

Several politicians also believe that Muslims (in Denmark) have unified values, and they question Muslim values’ place in Danish society. Karen Jespersen, Denmark's Interior Minister, has publicly stated her belief that there is a difference between Danish and Muslim values. In addition to believing that Danes and Muslims have different values, Jespersen believes that Muslim values are undesirable for Denmark. In the newspaper BT, Jespersen was quoted as saying, "One cannot expect that in Denmark, values from other cultures can be treated at par and equally with the Danish values. We have built one of the best welfare societies in the world, based on our own values. We must keep them, hold on to them, and fight for them. I am proud of the Danish values." Additionally, Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has said, "Immigrants and refugees should know that there are certain values in Danish society which are beyond discussion. If they want to live in the Danish society, they must discard some of their traditions and values." Some Muslims also believe that there are strict Muslim values that differ from Danish ones. For example, the young Danish Imam Fatih Alev says that there are certain God-given things we should not challenge. In addition to relating to religious practice, Alev´s comments concern the other part of the Islamic tradition, namely organization of societies and social systems. Arguing that certain “values” cannot be changed is not the best background for a discussion of the future of Danish Muslims.

Necessary for a discussion of Islam in Denmark is an analysis of the relation between religion itself and culture, history and politics. How constrained is Islam to a specific way of organizing our society? Bashy Quraishy, Vice President of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), and Alev claim that the basic part of Islam does not change in different societies but instead adjusts, because Islam is a universal religion like Christianity. Islam has certain tenets that should not be changed. One does not start praying three times a day instead of five times because of the place one lives, but the way in which one practices religion is very individual. Alev says that Islam is dynamic and has developed through history. Scholars have developed ways of implementing Islam in politics. It is difficult to keep the religious basis apart from culture and social institutions that have established themselves along with religion. Therefore discussing religion and its relationship to culture and politics also touches upon the question of whether Islam is compatible with democracy. 

Some religious Muslims, such as Alev, have a “whole package” view of Islam in Denmark. In other words, Islam is not just religious practice but also has cultural elements. Islamic values are not limited to nations; rather, there is something authentic and original about Islamic values everywhere. Alev believes that one begins to test the very nature of Islam by arguing that the private matters in Islam are the most important ones, and that the social and collective understandings on how to up build a society are less valuable. Alev argues that if people have the choice to make decisions about the organization of society in a loose understanding of democracy, many of the conclusions of this society could oppose the will of God exemplified by Islam. There is not something called Turkish-Islam, Arabian-Islam, or Danish-Islam. There are Islamic values, which are the values God has found suitable for his creations and which Muslims are supposed to cherish. The culturally defined traditions are human-made, while the Islamic set of values are divine and therefore should play their part at any time and at any place.

Does this kind of thinking strain democratic values, upon which Danish society is based? At first it does not look so, and maybe that is why most scholars - Muslims and Christians - criticize Alev´s view from different angels. In the following we will discuss the arguments about Islam’s place in Denmark that we have found.

One viewpoint is that Islam should move faster in its adaptation to European culture. In a discussion with Alev, the author and politician Naser Khader writes about the relationship between Islam and democracy.  Khader asserts: “Many Danes thinks that Islam per definition is fundamentalist and conservative and not compatible with democracy and that being a Muslim is not combinable with living in a western modern democracy. This way of seeing the situation is somewhat a consequence of the way the imams interpret Islam in a conservative and fundamentalist fashion.” Khader continues: “Islam separates ibadat (the individual’s relationship to his maker, which is eternal and unchanging) and mu´amalat (which covers all other relations in the individuals life, which are changeable according to time and place and circumstances). So the human life is played out in different aspects. Politics and political control is a part of mu´amalat and should be organized in a way that suits the society best. Here it is up to human reason to consider what kind of governance is in best harmony with religion.” Khader hopes that this more flexible opinion of Islam is given as much support as it can in Denmark, because he does not think the conservative kind of Islam can work in a modern European state. Interestingly, we found that there are only 100-150 extreme Muslims in Denmark, and that they are all expelled from the Mosques in Copenhagen. He believes that there are some incompatible secular and religious values. A new type of movement, entitled "European Islam," which Khader talks about positively acknowledges that Islam is a minority religion in Europe and that Muslims should keep religion out of their public lives. However, Quraishy believes that European Islam implies that something is wrong with the non-European versions of the religion. From another angle, religious Muslims like Alev do not accept European Islam as a solution to the question of how to integrate Muslims into Danish society, because they do not accept social constructivism.  

In addition to Khader, Ahmed Idrissi argues against Alev that Islam should accept that Denmark is a secular society. While many Muslim countries have secularized politics, Idrissi believes, many young Danish Muslims have an illusionary idea that Islam and politics cannot be separated. They have an idealized picture of what it is like to live in a country with a constitution based on Islamic law, sharia. Idrissi thinks that Alev forgets how the Islamic worlds are also socially irresponsible and experience moral decay. With much pathos he separates human-made and divine laws. In the Koran, there are 6,000 verses of which only 5 % relate to law and are only supposed to be guidelines for inspiration. Islam was originally a religion, a philosophy, a spiritual and moral framework, but it was never a political system. Idrissi argues that history has made Islam into something more than its original form.

In opposition to Alev’s “full package” view, Quraishy argues for a minimalist view of Islam. Quraishy believes in the basic tenet of Islam, that there is one god with Mohammed as his prophet. If a person says that he is a Muslim, one is forbidden by Islam to question that. It is blasphemy to tell other people that they are not Muslim. There is no such thing as a moderate or fundamentalist Muslim in Islam. Quraishy identifies as a “Cultural Muslim,” someone whose values are influenced by Islam but who does not practice the religion. Apart from this he argues in favor of the diversity within Islam in understanding and practice. Islam is not one group, because Muslims come from 60 different countries. In fact, Muslim countries are much more differentiated than European countries, and Muslims do not claim like the Europeans that they have a common heritage. Quraishy says, “We have different languages, we have different historical perspective, different history, we eat different food, our cloth is different, and our association to local culture is different.” Pakistan and South Arabia, according to Quraishy, have nothing in common. He continued by saying, “There might not be a unified set of Muslim values.” This goes for Denmark as well. “I do not believe there is such a thing as Danish values. It is just constructed, imagined values. I do not believe that values and cultures are static,” says Quraishy. Furthermore, “All these constructed values are very fluid.”  

Religion Professors Tim Jensen and Jørgen Bæk Simenson share this social constructivist view. Tim Jensen says, “I do not believe that there is such a thing as Islam. There are people who organize themselves and call themselves Muslims. It’s a construction. It is hardly possible to separate society and religion.”

Their viewpoint has a lot in common with intellectuals outside Denmark. The economist Amartya Sen, for instance, tries to undermine the anti-universal rights argument that states that the moral authority of human rights depends upon the nature of acceptable ethics. The skeptic asks: Are such ethics really universal? The most prominent furthering of this anti-universal rights argument is based on the idea that Asian values do not account for human rights, whereas human rights in Denmark include claims to political liberty and civil rights. What about cultures such as Islamic ones, which tend to focus on discipline and loyalty? Let us see how Sen, and how we, try to overcome this last argument against universal human rights. 

Sen says that the nature of Asian values often has been invoked to provide justification for authoritarian political arrangements in Asia: “Are Asian values opposed – or indifferent – to basic political rights? Such generalizations are often made, but are they well grounded?” Asia makes up 60% of the total world population. There are no quintessential values that separate Asian countries as a group from the rest of the world, because they consist of an immensely large and heterogeneous population. Generalizations about Asia come from both the East and the West. “There is clearly a tendency in America and Europe to assume, if only implicitly, the primacy of political freedom and democracy as a fundamental and ancient feature of Western culture – one not easily found in Asia. It is, as it were, a contrast between authoritarianism vis-à-vis the respect for individual liberty and autonomy,” argues Sen. “The world is invited to join the club of ‘Western democracy’ and to admire and endorse traditional ‘Western values’.” Here one has to contrast the values of personal freedom and tolerance on the one hand and the equality of freedom and tolerance on the other. Talking about the equality of these two values is something very new in the West, whereas the value of both are to be found in both Western and Asian traditions. One has to consider the diversity of Asian value systems. There is a difference for instance between Confucianism and Buddhism, but again there is a variety within Confucianism. Confucianism provides a clear pointer to the fact that the two pillars of the imagined edifice of Asian values, namely loyalty to family and obedience to the state, can be in severe conflict with each other. The state is not just the extension of the role of the family. 

In addition to Confucianism and Buddhism, the West also has imagined ideas about Islamic values. Because of the experience of contemporary political battles, especially in the Middle East, Islamic civilization is often portrayed as fundamentally intolerant and hostile to individual freedom. But the presence of diversity and variety within a tradition applies very much to Islam. According to Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, “If you look at the Koran, and you look at the Islamic tradition, you can see that the Islamic tradition is actually inviting people to participate in discussions of mutual interest. This is what the Koran calls shura, the word that means mutual advising, so for all the Muslims who are sincere believers, exactly this concept of shura is their argument for a principle possibility of making Islam and democracy compatible.” Political Science Professor Ali R. Abootalebi argues, “Shura (consultation) can be interpreted as a democratic principle, since it demands open debate among both the ‘ulema’ [religious scholars] and the community at large on issues that concern the public.” Furthermore, Abootalebi discusses different trends in Islam today. There are two movements, fundamentalism and Islamism. According to Abootalebi, the West has characterized most Islamic movements as fundamental, but he thinks that Islamist movements are more typical. “Islamism can embrace both ‘progressive’ ulema and those urban intellectuals who believe Islamic tenets are compatible with modern values as freedom and democracy.”  

Jensen stated that no one could start the discussion by claiming that his or her truth is the only truth. Jensen thought Danes would not accept Islam if Muslims like Alev claim that Islamic law is the only acceptable truth. But like the journalists Lars Halskov and Henrik Røjgaard state in articles in Politiken (June 24th), there is a huge difference even within Danish Muslim families. Muslims have not settled upon the best way to live. Also, Necef believes that we should stop talking about Muslims as a homogeneous group of people. But, he also stresses what one could read in Politiken on June 17th, 2001, which is that only 10-15 % of the Muslims were practicing their religion in a strict sense.

One might think the discussion should end with these scholars’ views. If one agrees with the scholars, there is no problematic tension between Islam and Denmark, because there is not “Islam” or “Denmark” but only their constructions. But interestingly enough, the scholars started talking about more specific values – common or different – later in their interviews after stating their anti-essentialist approach to cultural comparison. 

Quraishy thought that one had to discuss Danish values before talking about Islam. He said, “If one were to say what is basic for the Danish society, I would say: 1) The royal family, 2) common language, 3) Christianity, 4) Long tradition of public education, 5) long tradition of labor unions (support for the little man) and 6) You can always talk to one another (agree to disagree, you can always have a dialogue, You can meet halfway), 7) Nonviolent cultural value, 8) There is a very relaxed relationship to sex and alcohol.”

We found in the interviews different examples of common values. Tim Jensen talked about the common interests in materialistic matters, such as making money. Necef said that all cultures wanted respect, as well as a better life. Both Danes and Muslims who come to Denmark share social mobility. According to Necef, the foreigners coming to Denmark are not coming because of philosophical or religious purposes. It is important not to make migration in to a big philosophical problem. Thus, there seem to be some universal values. Quraishy said, “I think that there are curtain values which are universal that are both working in Pakistan and in Denmark. Both Denmark and Pakistan is based on democracy. Both believe in human rights.” He also said, “People who live in Denmark all wants to have a successful life.”  

The scholars regarded the family as crucial to the discussion about similar or dissimilar values.Quraishy said, “I would very much like to talk about Islamic values if there is such a thing. What I see as the paramount is the family values. Danes want good for their children, so do the Muslims.” Muslims want education, good upbringing, financial success, as well as a good marriage. “I do not know any parents who do not want good for their children,” said Quaraisy. “American Christian values are very much the same as Pakistani values.” 

Tim Jensen agreed: “The social situation has changed, so that families in Denmark are often very far apart. Even the Muslims that are in Denmark do not all live together. We all love our children. The basic values that inform people are the same. The ways we deal with things may be different, but it is the same values. The core values are the same, but the way you deal with it has to do with social and economic circumstances. We should not only focus on how we handle things. Underneath the surface you see the same values.” 

Not all the scholars agreed on similar family values. Alev insisted that we do not just look at values underneath the surface but also acknowledge the visible differences between secular Danish families and Muslim Danish families. He mentioned that divorce was based on materialism and career goals and thereby disagreed with Simonsen, who claims that divorces in Denmark are based on the higher value of self-improvement. 

There seems to be a tension between the traditional communality, consensus, and unity of Danish culture (in its own view of itself), and the rights of people with different ways of leading their personal and religious life. However, Alan Wolfe & Jytte Klausen seem to have an appropriate solution: “[Because] different groups have different values and understandings of right and wrong, the state would have to be neutral between them.”

Stig Jørgensen claimed that countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and to some degree Great Britain, which are countries based on extensive immigration, have not been able to establish the concept of nation which is necessary for the social solidarity on which the Danish welfare system is based. The United States has not been able to establish things like health care and social insurance for all its citizens, which he claims has implications for the dilemma Danish society is facing more and more: the opposition between multiculturalism and solidarity. 

Necef partly agrees with Jørgensen but also thinks his viewpoint is too conservative. Necef said in a lecture at the HIA program in Copenhagen that there is a strong movement against anything referred to as American conditions in Denmark. Neutrality about questions concerning the “good life” is basic in American policy. We asked Necef if he thought the Danish state system should become more American in the sense that it becomes more neutral on questions concerning values and aspects concerning the constitution of the good life. He said that he thought that the state should be neutral when it came to family organization but not about the core values.  According to Quraishy, the Danish comprehensive attitude is strange: “If they want to practice their religion within Danish laws: what is the problem?” He refers to a recent television broadcast that criticized Muslim children reading the Koran instead of playing. Indirectly, the broadcast wanted to stress that Islam oppresses children. Quraishy “cannot see the problem” but believes that “the only problem is that the non-Muslim Danes do not recognize the value of finding ones identity instead of playing.” Quraishy does not think that Danish society should be so comprehensive that it tells people how to live and raise children. He thinks that if one works, speaks the language, and obeys the law, it is up to people themselves to find out how to lead their lives. In the Danish law there is freedom of religion, but if there is something like Muslims values, it is castigated in the media. Quraishy speaks for a society where people can take part without sharing the same basic values and argues that this is how Denmark looks today: “You do not have to agree or disagree. Everybody has to speak Danish, pay taxes, and obey the law.” Also, Alev believes that it is important to think collectively also, but not in extremes. It is important to think collectively without forgetting the importance of individualism. “There has to be a balance between these two,” Alev states. “This is the Islamic thought.”

This discussion has to do with the unique Danish model of both strong collectivism and strong individualism. A criticism of Islam is that it supports the state over the individual. But such a value does not necessarily conflict with Danish values or for example, the welfare state. Quraishy mentioned that one is forbidden from making pilgrimage to Mecca if his family and neighbors are destitute. Islam requires that a Muslim contribute the money that would have gone to the pilgrimage to those in need.  Thus, Muslims sometimes place the well being of society above their own desires. Therefore, one would be remiss to charge that Islam places too much emphasis on society if one did not also consider the strong Danish commitment to the well being of society. There is evidence that traditional Islam does support democracy, and that there are compatible and similar values.

Quraishy holds a different view of family values than Alev. He believes that Danes and Muslims share the same family values. He said, “Danes want good for their children, so does the Muslims. Education, upbringing, help them financially - also for marriage. But when we do the same it is called interfering with the children’s daily life. I do not know any parents who do not want good for their children.”

Is there a clash between individualism in the West and collectivism in the East, as Jørgensen claims. Quraishy does not believe that collectivism is unique to Islam. “Collectivism is not something Islamic, it is something Eastern. It has to be seen in relation to social well-being. You give up individual rights for the benefit of the group.” Quraishy agrees that there is a difference, but it is a cultural thing. In fact, in Pakistan individuals criticize the government and do all those things that we do in Denmark. Actually, Quraishy thinks that Pakistan is more individually based than Denmark if one focuses on the extensive Danish laws. Danes claim to be very individualistic, but there is a paradox between what we say and what we do. Quraishy believes that if Pakistan is more collectivistic, there are some advantages in saying that the society is more important than the individuals. According to Simonsen, if “you go to some of the Muslim countries, then you will see social benefits, and welfare society.”

Quraishy continues: “In the west we talk a lot about individual rights, but the west is the most law obeying societies. The individual can get drunk, shout in the street or date 10 women. The society is like a brick house. If you take out one brick the house collapse. The state in Denmark has taken over the moral obligations. If Denmark were poor, we would be slaughtering each other on the street. We have beer, a house, computer, etc., and we feel okay, but the individuals in Denmark are not strong. They have given up the governance of their well-being to the state.” This criticism relates to parts of Alev’s criticism of western materialism, even though Alev stresses western lack of spirituality more than Quraishy. According to Alev, what the West calls the higher value of individual freedom instead should be called materialism. The problem is that there are no spiritual values. When you do away with spiritual values, then a society can grow into something very ugly. There have to be some moral adjustments of the physical or materialistic values. Without these moral adjustments this society will collapse. 

Alev makes a distinction between Muslim family values and the Danish values of today. He believes that Islamic family values cannot be compromised. Danish society used to hold similar family values, which were strong Christian principles, but now Denmark is moving away from its religious values and is materialistic. Alev, who is also head of the Danish Muslim Student Association, thinks the Muslims should speak out against the claims of Danish media. In his opinion, it is not Islam but the West that has a problem. ”It is not Muslims who are facing problems concerning moral decay and social irresponsibility.” To his local community in Copenhagen he said: ”We know Islam contains a complete solution to the problems of modern man.” In this way he is trying to enter a dialogue with non-Muslim Danish society, whereas his more traditional colleagues do not want to speak to the press. He thinks the situation in Denmark is so hostile that Muslims must respond. Yet, it is not clear that it is only the West that has experienced social decay.  Simonsen says, “If you go to Saudi Arabia, you will see materialism at a level far above what you see up here.”

Are there any Muslim values that are not compatible with Danish society? Khader names as an example some marriage practices, such as the tradition of marrying more than one wife in some Islamic countries. "We have to accept that it's illegal to be married to more than one wife," says Khader. "Democratic values have to come first." Prime Minister Rasmussen says, "There are certain sides of Islam which I cannot accept. It should be absolutely stressed that in Denmark, we only work at a workplace. The work will be interrupted if a person prays four times a day. We should be honest enough to say that." Necef adds that even though many Danish Muslims are very moderate and anti-fundamentalist, it is important to say, “that there are certain fundamental principles which cannot be challenged, even if we live in a multicultural society. Religion and politics should be separated, and we shall protect the human rights.”

But with a few exceptions, it seems that Islam values democracy. Therefore, we would like to discuss the role of dialogue. Through our interviews, we determined that the best approach was neither the essentialist or social constructivist viewpoint, but that it would be better for Danes and Muslim Danes if both are allowed to have their own core values. We see a paradox in Denmark and the Western World. On the one hand it is claimed that our present knowledge, enlightened view, and our values are based on a long and strong tradition. On the other hand, no other time period in Danish history has been destroying traditional customs and traditions so fast as ours. We want to take the traditions of the immigrants. But in burning our bridges, we also loose contact with the traditions and cultures that fostered our present values. This makes it harder and harder to explain why these cherished values are so important. Therefore we tend to argue more and more for our values in a fundamentalist way, which is what we claim only the Muslims do. We argue that values cannot be discussed, challenged or changed. This seems to be our present value paradox, which might lead to horrible consequences for Denmark.

This pessimistic view is furthered if one considers racism, fear of an Islamic takeover, and fear of foreigners, which Quraishy mentions as other reasons for prejudice against Muslims in Denmark. Quraishy said in a discussion about Danish cohesiveness, “Black people cannot be part of this. When a foreigner shows up, then all the ideals disappear. Color plays a big part.  Today with the language of political correctness, you cannot say that somebody is inferior because of the skin-color. Therefore they use the religion as an excuse. You construct an enemy after the ending of the cold war.”

Fortunately enough, there seem to be movements trying to further dialogue in Denmark between Islam and the rest of Danish society. Alev wants the young Muslims to play more of a role in the discussions about Islam in Denmark instead of just waiting for critique. Simonsen (who is part of a discussion group with Alev) agrees that if we do not start a dialogue, only the orthodox Muslims will paint the picture, and it will be easy for the right wing in Denmark to find a scapegoat. We have to discuss how to form a multicultural Denmark in opposition to those who think that Denmark should be as it was in the old days. He thinks its dangerous if the majority in the Danish society scares off the Muslims from taking part in a dialogue. Furthermore, Simonsen mentions the positive aspects that Islam can provide Denmark. “You may say that the Islamic traditions, the Muslim traditions of living family life may give a positive reaction to the rest of the society,” says Simonsen. 

Many of the religion experts we talked to were eager to undermine any talk of differences. This is the opposite view of some scholars, a large part of the public – Christians and Muslims, and politicians from across the political spectrum. This might not be the best way to deal with the process of dialogue. Somewhere in between there might be more fruitful discussions. Sad as it may be, this eagerness to do away with tensions between Muslim and Danish values may be due to the strongly articulated viewpoints of people who claim that there is a clash between value horizons. Reluctance to acknowledge differences made it difficult for us to delve into our starting question. Simonsen thanks young Muslims for having changed the discussion from a debate about culture to a debate about bureaucracy. But, we would like to thank Alev for re-opening the discussion about differences in values. We do not think that we should cling to static categories of culture and values but hope that the differences in values can be discussed freely in Denmark. Through this type of discussion, both sets of values can remain alive. 


Telephone Interviews:

Mehmet Necef, Associate Professor of Middle East Studies, University of Odense 

Naser Khader, Author, Lecturer, and Politician

Dr. Stig Jørgensen, Professor of Law, Århus University


Lars Halskov, Journalist for Politiken

Fatih Alev, Imam and IT consultant

Tim Jensen, Author and Professor of Religion, University of Odense

Bashy Quraishy, Vice President of European Network Against Racism and editor of Medie Watch

Jørgen Bæk Simonsen, Professor at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute for Near Eastern Studies, University of Copenhagen

Newspaper Articles:

“Velfærdsstat eller multikultur, Stig Jørgensen, Information, 7 March 2000

“Danmark er blevet sort/hvid”, Ida Damsgaard Andersen, Information, 6 May 2000

“Islam på den danske måde”, Naser Khader & Fatih Alev, Politiken, 12 May 2001

“Radikal dobbelttænkning”, Stig Jørgensen, Politiken, 10 June 2001

“Muslimer I modoffensiv”, Lars Halskov & Henrik Røjgaard, Politiken, 17 June 2001

“Imam ønsker respect for islam”, Lars Halskov & Henrik Røjgaard, Politiken, 17 June 2001

“Danske muslimer ved en korsvej”, Lars Halskov & Henrik Røjgaard, Politiken, 17 June 2001 

“Frit valg på tyrkisk”, Lars Halskov & Henrik Røjgaard, Politiken, 24 June 2001

“Dansker blev muslim i en Mazda”, Lars Halskov & Henrik Røjgaard, Politiken, 24 June 2001 

“De uanstændige”, Helle Merete Brix, Politiken 24 June 2001

“Islam er ikke politik”, Ahmed Idrisse, Politiken 24 June 2001

Journal Articles:

“Other People,” Alan Wolfe and Jytte Klausen, Prospect, December 2000.

“Constitutional Rights and Religious Freedom in Practice: The Case of Islam in Denmark,” Jørgen Bæk Simonsen.


Amartya Sen: Development as Freedom, 1999, chapter 10.

Internet Sources:

“Activities in Denmark,” European Network Against Racism, http://www.enar-eu.org/en/national/dk.shtml

“Islam, Islamists, and Democracy” by Ali R. Abootalebi in Meria. Middle East Review of International Affairs. Vol. 3, no. 1, march 1999, http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/meria/journal/1999/issue1/jv3n1a2.html

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