Earlier this week, the New York Times published a piece outlining some of the new laws the Danish parliament has passed since the government, led by the center-right Venestre party under Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, introduced a package of immigrant-related reforms in early March.
Denmark has officially designated some urban areas as ghettos – areas that have dense populations of immigrants with high rates of unemployment and increasing levels of violence and gang activity. In one of the country's worst ghettos, for example, unemployment is almost 45%, 82% are from non-Western backgrounds, 53% have very little education, and 51% are low-income.
Specifically targeted at 25 of these low-income ghettos, the new laws are designed to discourage the congregation of immigrants in these areas, and to force assimilation where there is an unwillingness in the population to integrate into Danish society.
According to the Times:
One measure under consideration would allow courts to double the punishment for certain crimes if they are committed in one of the 25 neighborhoods classified as ghettos, based on residents' income, employment status, education levels, number of criminal convictions and "non-Western background." Another would impose a four-year prison sentence on immigrant parents who force their children to make extended visits to their country of origin – described here as "re-education trips" – in that way damaging their "schooling, language and well-being." Another would allow local authorities to increase their monitoring and surveillance of "ghetto" families.
Some proposals have proven too radical for the population – which is becoming increasingly center-right-leaning, largely as a result of the perceived need to defend a generous welfare system from the cost burden of supporting large numbers of refugees and immigrants – including one that would have confined children from ghetto areas to their homes after 8 P.M.
The parliament has already implemented a number of proposals (in addition to a recently implemented ban on wearing the burqa and the niqab), including one directed at exposing children to Danish ideals from a young age:
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.
To be certain, this particular proposal uses the threat of removal of social support payments as the stick to encourage ghetto families to enroll their children in government-sponsored daycare to ensure they are instilled with Danish traditions, including the ideals of gender equality and democracy, an appreciation for cultural holidays, and learning the Danish language from an early age.
One resident was quoted as defending the measure from the perspective that "[t]o me this is about, no matter who lives in these areas and who they believe in, they have to profess to the values required to have a good life in Denmark."
Another expressed the increasing frustration felt at the influx of refugees and immigrants that is seen as disrupting Danish culture and weighing heavily on the Danish welfare system: "[m]orally, they should be grateful to be allowed into our system, which was built over generations."
Almost 15% of the population of Denmark are non-Danish immigrants and their descendants, with two thirds of these from non-Western backgrounds, a number that has increased significantly in recent years as the waves of Afghan, Iraqi, and Syrian refugees flowing into Europe have also flowed into Denmark.
Rational observers told the Danes – and all of Europe – that generous welfare systems would act as magnets to the rest of the world, and that migrants would flood across their borders. The Danes didn't listen. Then, when the migration began, we told the Danes to close their borders. They didn't listen. When the migration turned from a flood into a tsunami, we again advised the Danes to seal the borders. Again, they ignored us.
After the mass of non-Western migrants started to settle into the country, we instructed the Danes on how these individuals do not share the Danes' political, socio-economic, religious, and cultural ideology and history that the Danish nation was built on, and that deportation was the only solution. We were ignored and, worse yet, told to stop being xenophobic and racist and to start embracing the new diverse multicultural world order. Now the Danes realize they have a major problem that presents a clear and present danger to the existence of their beloved nation-state. Alas, it may be too late for the Danish patient to survive.
The lessons for the rest of the West are clear. Avoid the fate of Denmark, because it – like much of Europe – may already be past the point of no return.