Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has called on the country “to show our opposition to Islam”, regardless of the opprobium such a stance provokes abroad. Her comments further undermined the image of Denmark as a liberal haven for those seeking a new life in northern Europe.
The Danish government has already been accused of fuelling xenophobia by introducing measures which effectively closed the country to asylum seekers. But in overtly political passages from an official biography published yesterday Queen Margrethe makes comments certain to complicate her nation’s relationship with Muslims.
She said: “We are being challenged by Islam these years – globally as well as locally. It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and lazy.
“We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance. And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction.”
See also “Danish queen says Islam poses global threat”, Islam Online, 15 April 2005
Update: However, it was later argued that the Queen’s words had been misrepresented by the press and that her comments were directed at “radical Islam”.
See “Media distorted queen’s Islam remarks: Danish Muslim”, Islam Online, 18 April 2005