As previous surveys have indicated, nearly four out of ten Danish Muslims would like to have the country’s laws at least partly based on Sharia law, and over 10 percent even said Denmark’s laws should be solely based on Sharia.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has strongly denounced recent examples of Sharia law practised by certain imams in the country.
Among others things, controversial imam Abu Bashar (civil name Mohamad Al-Khaled Samha) from the city of Odense has demanded than women sign divorce contracts, which is contrary to Danish law. According to them, a woman loses custody of her children if she remarries or behaves in a way that “violates her own or her family’s honour”, and additionally must provide her husband with money to obtain a divorce.
Odense Mayor Peter Rahbæk Juel was shocked and distressed by the news.
“It is psychological violence, carried out by means of Sharia law. It’s unacceptable, and it hurts my stomach to read these things”, he told the newspaper Berlingske, calling this a “wake-up call” about the situation in parallel societies.
The imam was subsequently reported to the police for psychological violence, which is punishable by up to three years in prison. The extent of similar arrangements bypassing Danish law remains unknown.
Juel expressed hope that strong action will send “a clear societal signal to imams and preachers who practise Sharia law that it is punishable in Denmark”.
Frederiksen issued a stern condemnation, stressing that Sharia “doesn’t belong in Denmark”.
“It is wrong. It is oppressive of women. It is not Danish. And it must never, ever become Danish”, Frederiksen wrote in a Facebook post.
Furthermore, Frederiksen pledged that the government will do “everything in its power to stop this”.
“An imam should not interfere in divorce at all. It is only a choice to be made by the two persons who in their time entered into the marriage. Nobody else. This confirms our fearful suspicions about the undemocratic tendencies that exist in parts of Denmark”, Frederiksen wrote.
Previous surveys in the country indicated that four out of ten Danish Muslims would like to have laws at least partly based on Sharia law, and over 10 percent even said the nation’s laws should be solely based on Sharia.
A more recent report by the Danish Justice Ministry found that nearly eight out of ten Danish Muslims would like to make criticism of Islam illegal, as opposed to merely 18 percent of the general population.
Islam is Denmark’s largest minority religion at over 300,000 Muslims, or 5.4 percent of the total population.