The latest report by the Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission regrets to note that Muslims in Denmark are increasingly depicted, including by politicians of different political parties, as a threat to Danish values and culture.
Hate speech in Denmark benefited from "police protection" under "the name of freedom of expression," said the latest report of the Council of Europe’s anti-racism commission ECRI.
The report was brought to the fore again amid furore over recent Islamophobic acts by Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan, leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) Party, who burned copies of the Quran in both Denmark and Sweden.
"As regards hate speech, ECRI regrets to note that Muslims in Denmark, including guest workers and persons who have been granted asylum, are increasingly depicted, including by politicians of different political parties, as a threat to Danish values and culture," said the ECRI's 2022 Denmark report.
"In the worst manifestation of this trend, one political party has made it its main political platform to advocate the 'cleansing' of Muslims and to threaten, scorn and insult Muslims and Black people in their own neighbourhoods, with almost no counter speech following from other politicians, and often under police protection provided in the name of freedom of expression," it stated.
Underlining that Paludan's party is entitled to significant public financial support, the report urged cutting off “all financial and other forms of support by public bodies from political parties and other organisations that use hate speech or fail to sanction its use by their members."
It also warned that "the strong focus" on freedom of speech may result in a lack of sufficient action against hate speech among pupils and students in schools.
The ECRI encouraged Danish authorities to strengthen the training of teachers and other educational professionals to address the matter.
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