Rise In Muslim Voters In Denmark Raise Concerns Of Electoral Shift

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The Muslim population in Denmark has risen enough to earn electoral significance. However, the ongoing mobilization of Muslim voters in urban districts that are included in Danish government’s “ghetto list” have sparked concerns on electoral shift.

“Different associations have joined
together: Pakistanis, Arabs and Turks. Fortunately, was still Ramadan, so we
met in mosques every day. 

“Lastly, we have been working to get
people mobilized to vote for specific candidates. It’s been successful,” Kasim
Ahmad, a former spokesman for the Islamic Society, told Jyllands-Posten.

For example, in the Gellerup district
of Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, Muslim residents were advised people
to vote for the Social Liberals and the Red-Green Coalition.

Mobilization campaigns were also seen
in Vollsmose, Tingbjerg and in Norrebro where the Red-Green Alliance performed
well.

“This worries me, because it
testifies that there is no separation of powers, but an association that does
not take place on political grounds, but the premises of Islam. It can affect
the very basic uniformity we have in Danish society,” debater and high school
teacher Søren Hviid Pedersen, who holds a PhD in political theory, told
Jyllands-Posten.

Pastor Sørine Gotfredsen also opposed
the Muslim mobilization.

“With this type of mobilization, when
you go so far as to recommend a particular party, the parallel state goes from
being introverted and hemmed in to being an integral feature of society. The
parallel state takes a step further into the struggle over what Denmark is all
about.”

However, Religion scholar
and sociologist Brian Arly Jacobsen at the University of Copenhagen thinks
otherwise. He does not believe that imams should be blamed or that Muslim
mobilization is wrong: 

“In a democracy, it is a legal argument that
they have used, and in that perspective, I do not think it is a problem that
they have mobilized on the basis of certain interests. There are also other
community groups that do that.”

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