Vinding, Niels Valdemar. ‘Discrimination of Muslims in Denmark’. (2020)

Vinding, Niels Valdemar. ‘Discrimination of Muslims in Denmark’. State, Religion and Muslims Between Discrimination and Protection at the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Levels, Eds. Melek Saral and Şerif Onur Bahçecik, Leiden: Brill, 2020, 144–196.,

This chapter investigates the question of discrimination of Muslims in the Danish context. This is considered across the branches of government, looking at political discourse and legislation, at ministerial administration and at the judiciary and quasi-judicial rulings. While both freedom of speech and freedom of religion are constitutionally guaranteed, and non-discrimination is protected across the branches of government, the current state of discourse on Muslims has the adverse effect of legitimising, condoning or even promoting discrimination of Muslims in Denmark. Analysing concrete cases across five major themes in discrimination against Muslims, the chapter finds a worrying tendency to explicitly legitimize and even normalize discrimination. National and international reports, studies and other sources all point to the particularly harsh and alienating discourse and debate on Muslims. Not only is discrimination against Muslims a challenge across all three branches of Danish government, but the perception of discrimination is particularly pertinent and little seems to be done by government to limit this. There is a political readiness and willingness to discriminate and to violate some of the foundational principles of both the constitution and Denmark’s international commitments, and government misses a number of important opportunities to right divisive wrongs in Danish society.