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Denmark: Minister accuses Islamic Faith Society of thwarting integration

Source:Islam in Europe
Author:Esther
Date:24/12-2009

The Danish Employment and Equality minister Inger Støjberg (V) is accusing the Islamic Faith Society of thwarting integration in Denmark.

The accusation comes after the Islamic Faith Society refused a visit of Inger Støjberg, because she would only talk about equality during the visit and not about the problems - such as hidden racism - that Muslims meet on the job market.

"This clearly shows that people aren't interested in doing anything about the massive problems around social and cultural control, which make some immigrant women are subjected to norms which restrict their free choice. When we look at the numbers we can see, that the vast majority of immigrants are able to integrate in Danish society and join the labor-market. That we have an organization like this - which pulls in the other direction - is a shame," says the Employment and Equality Minister.

Inger Støjberg invited herself to a visit at the Islamic Faith Society in relation to the fall campaign about equality between the sexes. but the Faith Society says that the visit is a welcome opportunity to bring up other problems.

Though the Employment and Equality Minister stresses that she has no problems discussing other issues than equality with the Islamic Faith Society, she says she does intend to meet just to discuss employment policies.

"I'm not sure there's a basis for further debate. I can see that while an increasing number of immigrant are integrating - and joining the labor market - it's clear that this organization is openly led by people, who have a questionable attitude to equality and a questionable attitude to the entire debate about equality," says Inger Støjberg.

Last week the Islamic Faith Society accused Inger Støjberg of acting against the law by saying that Muslim women could lose welfare benefits if they refuse to work in a place which required them to remove their headscarf. The Islamic Faith Society said that Støjberg was attacking those women's constitutionally protected rights.