Denmark's Identity Crisis

Understanding Denmark's growing anti-immigration stance

Denmark's Identity Crisis Denmark has long had a reputation as one of the world's most open and equal countries, welcoming migrants and protecting its minorities. But the mood of tolerance has shifted, and many feel stigmatized.
“When do you feel Danish? What is Danish?” asks actress and comedian Ellie Jokar. Born in Iran, now a Dane, Ellie struggles to understand why her once friendly country has pulled up the welcome mat. "I define myself as a grey zone kid because people like me are not accepted by the Danes and not accepted by the Muslims", she says. In recent years, the government has passed a hundred laws which place strict controls on immigrants: they’ve frozen the intake of refugees, banned the burqa in public and made it mandatory for children of migrants to attend Danish cultural training from the age of one. Rasmus Paludan leads extreme right-wing party Stram Kurs, gaining increasing popularity and a police escort by desecrating the Koran in public. "When [Muslims] tell me they're just as much Dane as I am, I find that extremely offensive", says Paludan.

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