In this regard, it is also helpful to compare them with the 350 years of residence in Denmark of the Jewish population of the country. A large part of the Danish Jewish population of the country at the time of Hans Christian Andersen circa 1800 simply “disappeared” through assimilation and full integration into the surrounding society. Had the Jewish population then of 2,000 kept up a growth equal to the general surrounding Christian population) without any emigration or immigration), there would be close to 20,000 Danish Jews today without any further immigration from abroad after 1850, instead of only 7,000 (many of them not affiliated to a synagogue). Where did they go? Most demographers agree that they must have freely chosen to fully assimilate. The ancestors of most of today’s Danish Jews are refugees from Czarist Russia and Poland who entered the country from 1880 to 1914.
Prime Minister Rasmussen acknowledged that Muslims have taken control of parts of Denmark where the authorities tread with utmost care or ignore, regarding them as parallel societies. Queen Margrethe II has used similar language in warning Muslim immigrants they must obey the law equally This is part of a continuing debate on parallel societies, which neither Denmark nor any other Western country has successfully overcome.
The Prime Minister specifically mentioned Muslims in connection with the problematic legal situation that has arisen in those parts of the country regarded as “no-go areas” (as in France, England, Spain) and expressed his foreboding that the state is unable to maintain law and order in places controlled by criminal Muslim gangs:
The experience of the last 40 years has demonstrated the inability of anywhere near a majority of the growing Muslim community to seek acceptance and integration into Danish culture. Excluding the possibility of a Christian revivalist movement to challenge this trend, the secular state in Denmark will continue to wither on the vine. The Danish Cartoon controversy was proof of this. Muslim religious institutions and the power of imams and their all-encompassing religious ideology reinforce the view that divides the world in to Dar al-Islam(The House of Islam, i.e. the Muslim world-wide community which has accepted and succumbed to Islam) and the Dar al-Harb (The House of non-believers, or the House of War).
Norman Berdichevsky is the author of The Left is Seldom Right and Modern Hebrew: The Past and Future of a Revitalized Language.
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