‘Immigrants must celebrate Christmas to be Danish’: DF

The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti, DF) is demanding that immigrants celebrate Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter if they want to call themselves ‘Danish’.

'Immigrants must celebrate Christmas to be Danish': DF
Children attend a nativity play in Aalborg Cathedral. Photo: Aalborg Stift
“Going to church,” the party’s immigration spokesman Martin Henriksen added, would at least put new arrivals “on the right track”. 
The call came after a week when Denmark’s parliament revisited the vexed question of what it means to be a Dane. 
Henriksen said he believed that celebrating Christian festivals would help new arrivals to Denmark understand the majority culture in the country.
“To do that, you need to understand Christianity and its meaning for the Danish people,” he argued. “You have to participate in that part of our cultural package to experience the things that bind the majority of our population together through common rituals and traditions.” 
This he argued, would include celebrating Christian festivals such as Easter and Christmas, and even visiting Danish churches.   “One could imagine that you could pop into a church at Easter, if only just to see how it is done,” he said. 
The Danish People’s Party’s suggestion has been sharply criticised by the other parties, with the Liberal Alliance’s immigration spokesperson Laura Lindahl denouncing the attempt to tie national identity to religion as “un-Danish”.
“It is very dangerous to make Danishness a matter of religion,” argued the Social Democrats’ immigration spokesman Dan Jørgensen. “In fact, I think that one of the most Danish things there is is not interfering in what others are thinking and believe in.”


France ‘will not welcome migrants’ from Lampedusa: interior minister

France "will not welcome migrants" from the island, Gérald Darmanin has insisted

France 'will not welcome migrants' from Lampedusa: interior minister

France will not welcome any migrants coming from Italy’s Lampedusa, interior minister Gérald Darmanin has said after the Mediterranean island saw record numbers of arrivals.

Some 8,500 people arrived on Lampedusa on 199 boats between Monday and Wednesday last week, according to the UN’s International Organisation for
Migration, prompting European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to travel there Sunday to announce an emergency action plan.

According to Darmanin, Paris told Italy it was “ready to help them return people to countries with which we have good diplomatic relations”, giving the
example of Ivory Coast and Senegal.

But France “will not welcome migrants” from the island, he said, speaking on French television on Tuesday evening.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has called on Italy’s EU partners to share more of the responsibility.

The recent arrivals on Lampedusa equal more than the whole population of the tiny Italian island.

The mass movement has stoked the immigration debate in France, where political parties in the country’s hung parliament are wrangling over a draft law governing new arrivals.

France is expected to face a call from Pope Francis for greater tolerance towards migrants later this week during a high-profile visit to Mediterranean city Marseille, where the pontiff will meet President Emmanuel Macron and celebrate mass before tens of thousands in a stadium.