Some European countries have been influenced dramatically in recent years by Muslim immigrants who choose not to integrate, forming separate socities.
In Britain, districts have developed where immigrant communities police their own and adjudicate conflicts through Shariah courts.
But officials in Denmark intend to stop such developments.
“As a society, for too many years we have not made the necessary demands of newcomers,” said a new Danish government report, “Showdown with Parallel Societies.” “We have had far too low expectations for the refugees and immigrants who came to Denmark. We have not made sufficiently tangible demands on jobs and self-sufficiency.”
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that as a society, “we must step more into character and stick to our Danish values.”
“We must not accept that democracy is replaced with hatred in parallel societies. Radicalization must not be protected. It must be revealed,” the prime minister said.
The nation’s efforts were profiled by Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
He noted that Denmark is putting a cap on the percentage of non-Western immigrants allowed to live in a residential neighborhood.
“The aim is to preserve social cohesion in the country by encouraging integration and discouraging ethnic and social self-segregation,” he explained.
The effort comes just after the nation approved a ban on foreign funding of mosques.
The moves have made Denmark the “vanguard of European efforts to preserve local traditions and values in the face of mass migration, runaway multiculturalism and the encroachment of political Islam,” Kern said.
The neighborhood requirements call for relocating residents of non-Western origin so that, over the next 10 years, “they do not comprise more than 30% of the total population of any neighborhood or housing area in Denmark.”
“Ghetto areas” also are being targeted.
“The term ‘ghetto,’ which refers to areas with high concentrations of immigrants, unemployment and crime, first came into official use in Denmark in 2010,” Kern wrote. They are identified by a high percentage of non-Western residents, large numbers unemployed, large numbers convicted of crimes and low average income.
The government previously explained it wants “a cohesive Denmark. A Denmark that is based on democratic values such as freedom and the rule of law, equality and freedom. Tolerance and equality. A Denmark where everyone participates actively.”
But while there were 5.1 million Danes in 1980, there are 5.8 million now.
“The majority of the new Danes have a non-Western background,” the government said. “In 1980, there were about 50,000 people with non-Western backgrounds in Denmark. Today there are almost half a million. This corresponds to an increase from approximately one percent of the population to approximately 8.5 percent.”
Immigrants, the government is insisting, have “the responsibility to learn Danish, to get a job and become part of the local community and to be integrated into his new homeland.”
Low demands have resulted in low accomplishment.
“Third, for decades too many refugees and family-reunified people have not been integrated into Danish society. They have been allowed to clump together in ghetto areas without contact with the surrounding community, even after many years in Denmark, because we have not made clear demands on them to become part of the Danish community,” the government said.
Kern said that according to Interior and Housing Minister Kaare Dybvad Bek, the nation’s effort to reduce the number of “ghettos” already is underway, with the number of such neighborhoods dropping from 29 in 2018 to 15 in 2020.
Frederiksen also said her government intends to limit significantly the number of people seeking asylum in Denmark.
“Our goal is zero asylum seekers. We cannot promise zero asylum seekers, but we can establish the vision for a new asylum system, and then do what we can to implement it. We must be careful that not too many people come to our country, otherwise our social cohesion cannot exist. It is already being challenged,” she said.
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