MLT – Opening Comments

Ministry of Integration in Denmark

1. Daisy Khan’s opening

a. Conference planned before cartoon crisis in Copenhagen

b. Now need to heal wounds

c. Introducing Susanne Clausen from Integration Ministry

2. Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs

3. Danish gov’t had no control over publication of cartoons in private newspapers

a. Could emphasize freedom of speech, freedom of religion were co-existent

b. Protests in Denmark were peaceful

i. International scene clouded scene in Denmark

c. 210,000 (3.9%) population is Muslim

d. 85 approved communities, 19 of which are Muslim (aside from National Church)

e. 120 prayer rooms

f. Muslims are free to establish prayer space

g. Imams of recognized communities are authorized by the state for marriages, death, etc..

4. Core elements of Danish integration policies

a. Historically Denmark has been homogeneous until recently

b. Objective of welfare state system is to create harmonious society

i. Two way street

1. Receive state help

2. Must try to belong (learn language, look for work, etc.)

c. Integration program

i. Language

ii. Education

iii. Work

iv. Dialogue forums

d. New programs for dialogue

i. Require mutual trust

e. Need to establish common ground

i. Non-discrimination

ii. Equal opportunities

iii. Freedom of speech

iv. Freedom of religion

v. Respect for individual

vi. Participate in civil society

f. Trying to establish positive role models

g. Goes through several programs that encourage integration

i. Red Card Against Racism (with professional soccer players)

h. On-going decrease in negative perception of minorities (including during cartoon crisis)

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