Denmark is leading the west in measures to prevent non-assimilation among its mostly Muslim immigrant population. Back in July The New York Times reported:
When Rokhaia Naassan gives birth in the coming days, she and her baby boy will enter a new category in the eyes of Danish law. Because she lives in a low-income immigrant neighborhood described by the government as a “ghetto,” Rokhaia will be what the Danish newspapers call a “ghetto parent” and he will be a “ghetto child.”
Starting at the age of 1, “ghetto children” must be separated from their families for at least 25 hours a week, not including nap time, for mandatory instruction in “Danish values,” including the traditions of Christmas and Easter, and Danish language. Noncompliance could result in a stoppage of welfare payments. Other Danish citizens are free to choose whether to enroll children in preschool up to the age of six.
Denmark’s government is introducing a new set of laws to regulate life in 25 low-income and heavily Muslim enclaves, saying that if families there do not willingly merge into the country’s mainstream, they should be compelled.
Now, the Danish government is going even further, forcing immigrants to shake hands at their naturalization ceremonies. It doesn’t seem like much, but for immigrants coming from places where touching members of the opposite sex, even to shake their hand, is considered a taboo, it’s a reminder that they are living in a place where both genders are treated equally. Martin Selsoe Sorensen reports on the new development for The New York Times, writing:
Denmark will require anyone who takes Danish citizenship to shake hands at the naturalization ceremony, under a law passed on Thursday, which lawmakers say is aimed at Muslims who refuse on religious grounds to touch members of the opposite sex.
The law has prompted strong reactions from some of the mayors who must conduct such ceremonies, and who are upset that they will become the faces and fists of a policy they call awkward, “purely symbolic” and irrelevant to an applicant’s qualifications. They say the Danish Parliament, which approved the measure, has artificially elevated a social custom to a national value.
But Denmark is not alone. Authorities in Switzerland and France have recently cited “lack of assimilation” in rejection of citizenship to foreigners who refuse to shake hands with officials.
“If you arrive in Denmark, where it’s custom to shake hands when you greet, if you don’t do it it’s disrespectful,” said Martin Henriksen, a lawmaker who has been critical of Islam and is the right-wing Danish People’s Party’s spokesman on immigration. “If one can’t do something that simple and straightforward, there’s no reason to become a Danish citizen.”
Read more here.