Danish politician says fasting is dangerous, Muslims stay off work during Ramadan
Cii Radio|Ayesha Ismail|22 May 2018|06 Ramadaan 1439
A Danish government minister has said that Muslims should not work during Ramadan because the month-long daylight fasting period poses safety hazards in some professions and makes the practice “dangerous for us all.”
The integration minister, Inger Støjberg, an immigration hardliner in Denmark’s centre-right government, questioned in a blog post on Monday how “commanding observance to a 1,400-year-old pillar of Islam” was compatible with modern labour markets.
In her post published by Danish tabloid BT, Støjberg cited bus drivers as an example of workers whose performance could be affected by foregoing food and drink during daylight hours of the holy month. She urged all Muslims to take leave from work during Ramadan “to avoid negative consequences for the rest of Danish society.”
The Finnish Muslim Union chair, Pia Jardi, called the minister’s suggestion “a completely absurd idea,” adding:
“There’s no information or statistics to show that bus drivers or other Muslim workers would somehow behave dangerously while fasting. In most Muslim countries, stores and businesses continue operating as normally.”
Muslims committed to fasting “have the responsibility to make sure that they get proper rest,” she said.
Millions of Muslims around the world began observing Ramadan last week. Denmark’s population of 5.7 million includes about 250,000 Muslims.
Støjberg is a member of the conservative Liberal party that alone forms Denmark’s current minority government, led by the prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, since 2015. In the past few years, she has become the spokeswoman for the government’s substantial tightening of asylum and immigration rules.
Denmark adopted a law in 2016 requiring newly arrived asylum seekers to hand over valuables such jewellery and gold to help pay for their stays in the country.
Source – The guardian