• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Danish PM vows to take on radical imams
Imam Abu Bilal at Aarhus's Grimhøj Mosque. Photo: Brian Rasmussen/Scanpix

Danish PM vows to take on radical imams

The Local · 15 Mar 2016, 15:47

Published: 15 Mar 2016 15:47 GMT+01:00

The recent TV2 documentary ‘Mosques behind the veil’ (Moskeerne bag sløret) has created a heated debate across Denmark that on Tuesday reached the highest level of government, with the PM saying he would work with parliament to find a way to combat extreme religious views.  

The documentary from broadcaster TV2 showed hidden camera footage from inside Denmark's eight largest mosques, including clips showing imams condoning the stoning of adulterers and calling on parents to physically punish children who do not pray.

The PM said in parliament on Tuesday that he will ask the leaders of all political parties to band together to try and find a solution to extremism in Denmark.

“Immediately after Easter, I will invite party leaders to a meeting at the prime minister’s office to begin discussions with Church Minister Bertel Haarder and Integration Minister Inger Støjberg and other relevant ministers to find solutions that work,” Løkke said, according to broadcaster DR.

"We are fundamentally challenged by those who abuse and undermine the freedoms that have been built over generations," he said. 

Rasmussen said that he wants to see if there are solutions within the constitution that would allow the government to have more control over what is said by religious leaders without violating their rights to free speech and assembly. One possible solution he floated was creating tougher rules for the establishment of religious societies. 

Story continues below…

“There need to be solutions that allow us to disavow those who attempt to limit our freedoms and take a hard line against those who basically want to challenge the free society we all know and love,” he continued.

There have been numerous unsuccessful political attempts to close down controversial mosques in the past, particularly the Grimhøj Mosque in Aarhus, which made international headlines in September 2014 after declaring its support for the terrorist group Isis. In January 2015, the mosques’ chairman doubled down on the comments, saying “we want the Islamic State to come out on top. We want an Islamic state in the world.”

Although the mosque has continued to operate despite the negative attention, the recent TV2 programme has once again brought the issue to the forefront. This time, there may be political consensus to take action, as Social Democrat leader Mette Frederiksen told DR that her party is ready to negotiate with Rasmussen on the issue.
 
“We have parallel societies in which religious leaders believe they have a stronger voice than our constitution and human rights. We must stand up against them," she said.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Photo gallery
IN PICS: Celebrating Copenhagen beer... in Boston
Danish beer culture took over Boston's City Hall Plaza for the weekend. Photo: Samer Khudairi

What happens when Mikkeller decides to throw a beer party in Beantown? The Local had a photographer there to find out.

Danes acquitted of aiding 2015 Copenhagen attacker
The trial of the four men was held under heavy security in Copenhagen. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Four men accused of helping a Copenhagen gunman who killed a filmmaker and a Jewish security guard were acquitted on terror charges.

Danish kids among the fittest in the world: study
The study compared kids' 20m shuttle run times. Photo: Mikkel Zibrandtsen/Flickr

Danish kids have some of the highest level of aerobic fitness in the world, according to a recently-released international study.

Copenhagen police arrest teen as car fires continue
Firefighters extinguish a car fire in Valby over the weekend. Photo: Mathias Øgendal/Scanpix

UPDATED: A 17-year-old has been charged in connection with one of the 11 new fires over the weekend.

Danish nationalists hand out cans of 'refugee spray'
The party said it distributed more than 100 cans of its 'refugee spray'. Photo: Daniel Carlsen/ Danskernes Parti

The nationalist Danes’ Party elicited strong reactions went it took to the streets of Haderslev to hand out cans of what it called ‘refugee spray’.

Video
Metallica to open new Copenhagen arena
Metallica's James Hetfield at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in New York City's Central Park on Saturday. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Scanpix

Copenhagen’s coming multi-purpose arena will be opened in grand style with two nights of shows with the legendary band.

Melting Greenland ice could expose Cold War waste
If the ice melt is no longer offset by snowfall, toxic chemicals could start leaking into the environment. Photo: an-Morten Bjørnbakk / Scanpix

A snow-covered former US army base in Greenland -- dubbed "a city under ice" -- could leak pollutants into the environment as the climate changes, raising difficult questions over who is responsible for a clean-up.

Denmark’s asylum numbers at five-year low
Refugees and immigrants at a 'welcome party' earlier this month. Photo: Uffe Weng/Scanpix

Fewer than 300 people sought asylum in August, according to new figures released by the Immigration Ministry.

Police cameras in Pusher Street promptly torn down
Two police video cameras were installed in Christiania on Friday and more will come, police said. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

UPDATED: Copenhagen Police on Friday installed surveillance cameras in the infamous stretch of Christiania, but they lasted only a few hours.

Denmark leads effort to stop money flow to Isis
File photo of children next to a burnt vehicle during clashes between Iraqi security forces and Isis in Mosul, Iraq . Photo: Stringer/Reuters/Scanpix

A former head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET) has been tapped to dry up the terror group's finances.

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
International
Danish F-16s part of attack that allegedly hit Syrian forces
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Travel
Copenhagen declared world's most livable city - again!
Record number of Danes leave the church
Society
Record number of Danes leave the church
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
National
3,000-year-old stinky cheese found in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Society
Why Denmark could be the next 'right to die' battleground
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
National
Christiania residents shut down Pusher Street
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Analysis & Opinion
Denmark is locking every door to immigrants
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
National
Denmark wants it to be even harder to get residency
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
National
Denmark's asylum numbers hit new low
Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Society
Expats: Denmark 'worst place in the world' for making friends
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Business & Money
Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
2,235
jobs available