A third of Danish Muslims feel looked down upon

Harsh public debate regarding Islam has population group feeling more marginalised

According to a new Megafon survey on behalf of Politiken newspaper and TV2, one third of Denmark’s 280,000 Muslims feel looked down upon in Danish society.

The results of the survey revealed that 37 percent of Danish Muslims agree or partially agree that they are looked down on because of their Muslim backgrounds.

“We all know that the question of Islam and Muslims take up a lot of space in the public debate in Danish society, and at times the debate can be very hard,” Brian Arly Jacobsen, a religion sociologist at the University of Copenhagen, told TV2 News.

“The consequences are that people who feel looked down upon or discriminated against may isolate themselves and remain in their own group. That works directly against the intention of Danish society to integrate immigrants and their descendants.”

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Deteriorating view
The survey also revealed that 50 percent of Muslims in Denmark completely or partially disagree that they were looked down on, while 13 percent were ambivalent.

The survey showed that 64 percent of Muslims agree or partially agree that they can practise their religion in Denmark as they please, while 15 percent completely or partially disagree.

Furthermore, the survey showed that 33 percent of Muslims in Denmark have experienced it being more difficult for them to find employment due to their Muslim background. And perhaps the most telling response of the survey revealed that 80 percent of Muslims in Denmark agree or partially agree that the view of Islam and Muslims has declined over the past decade.

“When population groups are painted with one brush or are discriminated against, it leads to social marginalisation,” said Jacobsen.

“Then they isolate themselves. And that’s unfortunately a tendency that we see among certain Muslim groups in Danish society.”