Refugees from Syria hoping to receive asylum in Denmark wait for a train in Germany near the Danish border in January. Photo Credit : Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Who says you are a Dane?
Article in The New York Times
16 October, 2016
Tragic developments, if they foreshadow a deeply embedded populist exclusionary trend.
“An exchange in a recent debate on national TV was emblematic of changing times in Danish politics. An 18-year-old high school student named Jens Philip Yazdani waspitted againstMartin Henriksen, a member of Parliament for the far-right Danish People’s Party who isthe chairmanof an important parliamentary committee on immigration, integration and housing. When Mr. Yazdani asserted his Danish identity as someone born and brought up in Denmark, Mr. Henriksen interrupted him.
“This is not how one becomes Danish,” he said, starkly forcing to the fore the old question of what is “Danishness.” In that moment, the nationalist politician signaled an end to the uneasy truce that has long defined the immigration debate in Denmark. By rejecting the very possibility of ever “becoming” Danish, even down several generations, he effectively shelved the political project of integration of immigrants.”
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