Rise In Muslim Voters In Denmark Raise Concerns Of Electoral Shift

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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