The following informational essay was sent to us by JA, a reader in Denmark. He says that it was inspired by an article of the same title in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen.
The Prohibited Words
The title of an article presented in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen (2008-07-04)
In the beginning of 2008 the Copenhagen City Deputy Mayor for Integration Jakob Hougaard (Socialdemokratiet — moderate socialist) arranged a conference on integration in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen.
The psychologist Nicolai Sennels, who was then working at a correction facility for criminal youngsters, attended the conference. He was concerned by the difficulties he was faced with every day in his work with the young criminals — “one should not bypass the fact that most of the young criminals were of Muslim background,” and furthermore “one should not ignore the fact that the Quran and the Hadith encourage violence against non-Muslims,” Nicolai Sennels said at the conference.
Nicolai Sennels (wrongly) thought that the idea behind the conference was to develop a new strategy for the integration effort in Copenhagen and that every opinion was being welcomed.
He made it clear that one should not be blind to the importance of the cultural background of these young criminals, as most were of Muslim background. Nicolai Sennels had made observations that the young criminals with a Muslim background were responding differently to anger management techniques than young criminals with non-Muslim backgrounds.
He told the newspaper that a lot of the participants expressed support for his statements, but that they did not dare to do so publicly.
At the day of the conference Sami El Shimy, a team leader of an “on-the-streets team”, called Nicolai Sennels’ employer and made an official complaint. Nicolai Sennels’ employer informed his boss, the Vice Chief of Social Affairs of Copenhagen.
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Some two months later Nicolai Sennels was informed by the Vice Chief of Social Affairs of Copenhagen that his statements were not compatible with the “basic values” of the municipality of Copenhagen and that several participants of the conference had been offended by his statements.
Presented with this official reprimand, Nicolai Sennels left his job.
The leader of the conference, Jakob Hougaard, was not offended by the statements and, according to the newspaper, is afraid that “the whole matter” might derail the integration efforts. This point of view does not seem to concern the Copenhagen City Deputy Mayor for Social Affairs, Mikkel Warming (Enhedslisten, left-wing socialist), who was Nicolai Sennels’ political superior — “a representative of the municipality of Copenhagen cannot generalize,” Mikkel Warming told the newspaper.
But Nicolai Sennels is completely right in the fact that non-Western immigrants are over-represented in the crime statistics in Denmark.
Below are some numbers concerning criminal penalties in Denmark in 2002 (males from 15 to 64 years of age) presented by national statistician Jan Plovsing in the newspaper Berlingske Tidende (2004.12.12).
The numbers describe the differences between non-Western immigrants and Danes.
A “Dane” is a person having Danish citizenship or a person with at least one parent who has Danish citizenship.
Furthermore, one should be aware of the fact that the statisticians have counted the number of criminals and not the number of criminal offences.
Physical assault penalties (being part of major crime penalties):
- 261 to 89 (100 being the mean) corrected for age*
- 143 to 96 (100 being the mean) corrected for age and socioeconomic status**
Major crime penalties:
- 241 to 90 (100 being the mean) corrected for age*
- 24 to 89 (100 being the mean) corrected for age and socioeconomic status**
|*||Correction for age is a generally accepted statistical method of correction.|
|**||Correction for socioeconomic status is a more debatable statistical method of correction.|