Monday, February 13, 2006

Anders Fogh Rasmussen calls for Dialogue

The Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has ended his meeting with Democratic Muslims today. According to spokesman and leader Naser Khader it has about 700 members and 3000 supporters.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen thanked them for their active contribution to solving the crisis of the Mohammed drawings.
- They have corrected a lot of the misinformation spread in the muslim world about Denmark. A false image of Denmark as a closed and intolerant society has thus emerged. According to the PM, that is wrong. Denmark is an "open and tolerant society", where every individual is free to express his or her religion. Since the conservative-liberal government took over in 2001 the number of work permits given to foreigners has increased, acording to the PM, and an increased number of foreigners study in Denmark. Besides the total employment of immigrants has gone up with nearly 15.000, the prime minister said.
He admitted that Denmark was confronted with big challenges in its integration policy. He was glad that Democratic Muslims had given him suggestions for the government's policy in the government initiated globalisation council that is preparing Denmark for the challenges of globalisation. More jobs must be found for immigrants, he said.

Big deal! Rasmussen explained why the imams and more radical groups among the immigrant population were not invited to the meeting. He had previously held a meeting with them and saw a more urgent need for listening to advice from the new organisation of moderate muslims.
It is part of a parliamentary balancing act. The conservative-liberal government depends on support from the islamophobic Danish People's Party. The 15.000 jobs is not an issue that can be considered a feat of the present government. It is largely due to the economic boom Denmark has experienced lately. The labour market is running out of employable labour, and employers are ready to do anything to get workers, including luring muslim women homerunners into jobs. No wonder unemployment among the immigrant population falls. Nor is the PM willing to listen to voices that demand a withdrawal of the Danish troops in Iraq. Denmark is part of the American led "coalition of the willing".

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