Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends his translation of a brief article from Dagbladet about a miniature clash of civilizations in Denmark. The translator includes this note:
The articles concerns the refusal of a Muslim majority body corporate to fund the purchase a Christmas tree. The corporate body of the housing estate in question had, however, no qualms about sponsoring the local Eid celebrations on the estate to the sum of Dk 60,000.
If this scenario had occurred in Norway there would have been a tree on the grounds within a day or two. The forests of Norway are full of spruce and pine trees, and a forest is never that far away.
The translated article:
A Muslim majority body corporate (housing association board) refused to fund a Christmas tree, but allocated DK 60,000 to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid.
(Dagbladet): A housing estate in Kokkedal in Northern Jutland in Denmark spent DK 60,000 to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid. When the body corporate was voting on whether they should allocate DK 5,000 to purchase a Christmas tree the proposal was voted down, according to Berlingske Tidende.
It has been a longstanding tradition to place a Christmas tree on the communal ground of the Egedalsvænge housing estate, but now the board has put an end to it. The decision came three days after the board sponsored the Eid celebrations.
The estate is home to many Muslims, many of whom are on the board. Residents are now worried that the decision could trigger a conflict among the residents.
None of the board members have thus far wanted to make a public comment about the matter, according to the local newspaper Frederiksborg Amts Avis.
Possible Political motive
“It appears that some people have a need to promote themselves. It could be a signal that some want a confrontation,” says Kirstine Sinclair, a lecturer at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Southern Denmark to Frederiksborg Amts Avis. She has conducted research on Islamic groups and minorities from the Middle East in Europe.
A group of residents have started a fundraiser to ensure that the Christmas tree tradition is kept alive.
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