Danish MP wants immigrants to celebrate Christmas to become ‘Danes’

Danish politician Martin Henriksen (L). © Getty Images / Global Look Press

Danish politician Martin Henriksen (L). © Getty Images / Global Look Press

RT.com – February 2017

The Danish People’s Party has sparked outrage after calling for immigrants and refugees to celebrate Christmas and other Christian festivals if they wish to call themselves “Danish.”

According to the right-wing party’s spokesperson, Martin Henriksen, making new arrivals go to church would put them “on the right track.”

Henriksen added that celebrating Christian festivals would help new arrivals “become Danes.”

“To do that, you need to understand Christianity and its meaning for the Danish people,” he said. “You have to participate in that part of our cultural package to experience the things that bind the majority of our population together through common rituals and traditions.”

Opposition party spokesperson Laura Lindahl, from the Liberal Alliance, described the DPP’s idea as being “un-Danish,” while the Social Democrats said the notion went against Danish norms.

“It is very dangerous to make Danishness a matter of religion,” Social Democrats’ immigration spokesman Dan Jørgensen said. “In fact, I think that one of the most Danish things there is is not interfering in what others are thinking and believe in.”

Last week, the DPP introduced a statement in parliament expressing its concern over the number of “immigrants from non-Western countries and their descendants” living in Copenhagen’s Brøndby Strand, sparking debate about what “Danishness” encapsulates.