Riis, Ole. ‘Rejection of Religious Pluralism — the Danish Case’. Nordic Journal of Religion & Society, vol. 24, no. 1, May 2011, pp. 19–36.
In Denmark, religion has for generations been a non-issue in public debates. However, as Islam has become the second largest religion over just one generation, religion has become a public issue (Hunter 2002). The rise of Islam is mostly due to immigration, and religious pluralism is therefore associated with integration (European Parliament 2007). Central opinion makers and politicians have reacted to the new challenge of religious pluralism by either trying to exclude religion from the public sphere or by proposing to insulate and expel religions which do not fit into the established model. Islamic identities have thus become suspect as spokespersons for the Danish majority either adhere to a policy of secularism or to a civil religious reference to the Denmark’s Christian heritage. This article presents the major cleavages in the Danish debates about religious pluralism. The study is based on Danish material, such as articles in newspapers, public reports, and web-site discussions.