The Prime Minister of Denmark, on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, announced the parliamentary elections to be held on June 5. This time with Rasmus Paludan and his party “Hard Line” on the ballot. In this regard, the Prime Minister said that an extreme and xenophobic debate can be dangerous. This comes from the same prime minister who has repeatedly described residential areas with a large proportion of Muslims as “holes in the map of Denmark”.
Danish politicians and authorities have paved the way for Paludan and his Nazi party program aimed at Islam and Muslims in Denmark, with the rather selectively applied freedom of expression as an argument. With massive police protection, Paludan, week after week, has been allowed to burn and throw around the Quran while venting his hateful attacks against Islam and Muslims, regardless of the cost. And now he has been allowed to run in the general elections.
Politicians and opinion-makers have argued that trouble-makers in the Nørrebro area are responsible for the fact that “Hard Line” has reached its current status. But one thing is certain: Paludan would not have stood a chance if his extreme opinions were not a natural continuation of the mainstream media discourse and the policies of parliament’s largest parties, targeting Muslims in Denmark, as well as the system that facilitates his participation in it.
When comparing significant parts of the “Hard Line” party program with the government and Social Democrats’ policies, it is apparent that the distance between them is smaller than what many would like to believe. The government, the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democratic Party introduced a “paradigm shift”; the purpose of which is precisely to deport people from primarily Muslim countries, and they have shifted the focus from integration to, instead, make repatriation and temporality the central points of the immigration policy. The mindset behind this policy is not very different from Hard Line’s policy of repatriating all Muslims from Denmark.
The real difference between the established parties and “Hard Line” is that the aforementioned wrap their policies up in fine headlines and legal subtleties, so that they are just short of being in conflict with the constitution of the country as well as international conventions. Paludan appears to be more grotesque than most, but the fight against Islam and criminalization of Muslims have become a fixed policy in Denmark for long now. Anti-radicalization plans, the imam law, the ghetto plan, the tightening grip on free schools, and the struggle against “social control” are all examples of government attacks on the Muslim community launched by the established parties. This is a political course aimed specifically at eliminating the presence of Islam as a way of life, values and identity, even in Muslim homes. Paludan is taking the consequence of this course and wants to ban Islam in its entirety and directly rather than gradually and indirectly.
By now, it should be clear to everyone that 20 years of anti-Islamic policies have left their clear marks on society; among other things in the form of state radicalization of the population, so that part of the voters consider Islam and Muslims to be real threats that require immediate and radical political action.
The political artillery will continue to be directed at the Muslims with clear demands for assimilation. Rasmus Paludan and the fear of the extreme right will be used as an argument for getting Muslims to the polling stations with the false claim that they can thereby change or influence the adopted policy.
We Muslims should not be directed by superficiality and fear but take a clear Islamic stand by distancing ourselves from the entire un-Islamic, deceptive democratic process.
Umar ibn al-Khattab (raa) used to say: “Oh Allah, make the Truth clear for us and allow us to follow it. And make the falsehood clear for us and allow us to abstain from it.” (Reported by Bayhaqi inMuntaha al-Iradat 3/497)