Nearly monthly, new studies and books about the problems with the integration of Muslims in Germany and whole Europe are published. In France, Great Britain and the Netherlands the problems seem to be most obviously, but also in small Denmark. In the aftermath of the Mohammed-cartoon crisis, there have been some changes concerning Muslims in politics and public opinion. Citizen Times talked to Nicolai Sennels, a psychologist who worked for several years with young criminal Muslims in a Copenhagen prison, about recent developments.
Citizen Times: Mr. Sennels, since the publishing of your book “Among Criminal Muslims” in 2008 and our last interview, there have been some changes in the Danish integration policy. For instance, the Danish government just announced a tenfold increase in payments to encourage reverse migration. This is one of your main requests: paying Muslims, who are not willing to integrate, to return to their countries of origin.
Nicolai Sennels: It is clear that my book had an influence on the debate. Many politicians quoted my book, and it is clear that the book has contributed to a more free debate in Denmark. My experiences from extensive travelling throughout our continent, my lectures and of course international media, is, that Denmark is Europe’s tip of the spear when it comes to acknowledging the problems with Islam and Muslim immigration. Parties that talk openly about these problems are growing, and parties that don’t are close to extinction. Even the two biggest left wing parties agree – the Social Democracy Party and Socialistic Peoples Party – that they will not change the strict immigration laws that have been made by the Dansk Folkeparti.
Soon we will probably get a law that will kick immigrants out of Denmark if they block or interfere with police work. This law is crucial to regain secular control of Muslim-dominated areas. While the prospect of imprisonment does not seem to scare immigrants from committing serious and dangerous crimes, it seems that losing the chance to live in our country is the only thing that really scares them. This is also my own experience from working with criminal Muslims: The one thing they fear is being deported.
Unfortunately, the chiefs of the police are very much holding back their efforts in Muslim areas. They claim that they „do not want to throw gasoline on the fire.“ In the short run, this may of course be a reasonable strategy, but it also means that Islamic laws and authorities become more powerful in these areas every day.
My experience from working psychologically with Muslims shows that the Muslim culture does not find it easy to be „equal.“ Either you are over or you are under: You can be different and unequal, but you cannot be different and equal. The chiefs of the police and many politicians hope for some kind of „mutual acceptance,“ but this is not possible in cultures developed under Islam.
Citizen Times: Concerning these no-go-areas, even for the police, and the growing influence of the Islamic clerics, you recently wrote in your blog at Jyllands Posten about Muslim imams as a kind of Fourth Branch of Government.
Nicolai Sennels: Imams, Islamic priests, have a strong influence on their followers. For many Muslims the words of an imam are law – and for even more Muslims they are guidelines for lifestyle and political views. The power of Islamic authorities among Muslims is very often much more influential and respected than secular laws and norms.
Representatives for secular authorities are very often attacked in Muslim-dominated areas in Denmark and the rest of Europe. The police and politicians are not safe in these areas. Police get mocked, receive threats and are often attacked physically when entering Muslim areas. We recently had the tragic yet comical experience of seeing one of our most politically correct politicians, the mayor of integration in Copenhagen, Jakob Hougaard, being attacked by Muslims who tried to stone him and a journalist during an interview in the Muslim ghetto, Tingbjerg. The ironic thing is that Hougaard is “on their side,” claiming that there are no problems with violence in Tingbjerg and that Islam has nothing to do with terror and integration problems. Hougaard even promised in the Islamic magazine “Akhbar” to sponsor religious Islamic festivals if he got re-elected as mayor at the elections on November 17th, 2009 – which, by the way, he did not win.
Policemen and politicians are not the only ones who are attacked, stoned, etc. Ambulance drivers, firemen and even completely normal people who assist the elderly are also attacked. The problem they have with the people assisting the elderly is apparently that these people wear clothes that bear the logo of the state.
While things like this happen on a daily basis throughout Denmark, it is clear that “Muslim authorities” have completely other conditions when exerting influence on other Muslims. So called “father groups” consisting of mature Muslim men can patrol the streets of e.g. Muslim-dominated areas such as Nørrebro and Gellerup without getting attacked or mocked. They are respected and can walk around freely, telling tough Muslim criminals to behave, go to school, etc. There is of course also the example of the imams, who give their speeches every Friday. These speeches are not only religious, but also political. Approximately ten thousand Muslims in Denmark go to these speeches every week and get to know which political views are accepted, which reactions they should have to this or that, how to treat women, children, Non-Muslims, etc.
While non-Islamic authorities earn very little respect and are often even disrespected and attacked in Muslim-dominated areas, imams, heads of Muslim families, etc., have great power over a majority of Muslims in our Western countries. This power is uncontrollable and very often does not respect secular laws. For many Muslims, this power has a much greater authority than the three secular powers in our countries (legislative, executive and judiciary).
This fourth power enjoys a growing acceptance, especially among local politicians and the police. Local politicians in Copenhagen pay the Danish convert and imam, Abdul Wahid Pedersen, to write books on “real Islamic values” for Muslim children in our capital. Pedersen openly accepts the stoning of women and supports honour killings and vigilantes. In the name of dialogue, and because the local politicians have realized that they lack power in the Muslim community, they put Pedersen on the payroll.
In the same way, the police hire imams to calm Muslims when the police arrest Muslims suspected of being terrorists. This strategy might save the police some extra work in the short run, but affirming imams as official legal authorities by hiring them as shepherds to tell their flock to “calm down” is clearly the wrong approach.
Citizen Times: In the European Elections in June 2009, Geert Wilders and his right-wing Populist Party became the second-strongest in the Netherlands. Is there a new anti-Muslim, anti-migration area emerging in Europe?
Nicolai Sennels: Absolutely! More and more Europeans have felt the impact of Islam and Muslim immigrations in their own lives. Danes are forced out of their neighbourhoods by Muslim dominance and criminals; more and more people have close friends or family who have been physically threatened or injured in connection with Muslims; more and more parents experience how Muslim children ruin their own children’s day in school, etc. Women have increasingly experienced that Muslim men are looking or treating them chauvinistically, and people are now seeing signs of civil war on TV and outside of their own kitchen windows.
The economic consequences are equally catastrophic. A Muslim coming to Denmark costs the Danish taxpayers 300,000 euros on average. Schools, hospitals, homes for the elderly, public salaries, etc. suffer tremendously due to this expenditure.
Almost everything that the critics of Islam and Muslim integration warned about last century has become reality today. The only thing that has not yet happened is the emergence of a strong Islamic party. It is certain that this will also happen, but my own feeling is that the lack of sympathizers in the government will prevent the party from becoming too powerful; at least in Denmark. On the other side, I am sure that it is not necessary to have a strong Islamic party in order for Muslims to wreak havoc in our cities and destroy our social societies. It is also not necessary to have an Islamic party to create Muslim parallel societies that are beyond the reach of non-Islamic authorities. Actually, it seems that Denmark and other countries in Europe will have their own Gaza Strips. According to the cultural-psychological trait in Muslim culture – that different cultures and religions cannot be equal – these parallel societies will never be able to exist in harmony with their surroundings.
We also do not need an Islamic party to create periodic or permanent martial law in certain areas of Europe. The only thing we need for this is politically correct politicians, a fearful police force and normal, thinking individuals who don’t bother to write letters to the editors and talk openly about their views on Islam and criminal Muslims at their workplace, family dinners, etc.
Nicolai Sennels is the author of the Danish book “Among criminal Muslims. A psychologist’s experience from Copenhagen” published in 2008. It has been translated into English, French and Swedish. The author is a psychologist and has worked for the Copenhagen authorities for several years. From 2005 to 2008 he worked at the Sønderbro youth prison in Copenhagen.