Joining the long list of European countries to have taken varied measures to fight Islamist Extremism, the Parliament of Denmark has approved a new law that bans foreign countries from funding and financing mosques in the country. This step comes after reports of Muslim countries like Algeria, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and UAE disbursing hundreds of millions of Euros to spread Islam in Europe.
The new law garnered support from all major political parties of Denmark. The country’s Social Democrat Immigration and Integration Minister Mattias Tesfaye labeled the law as an important step to curb ‘Islamist extremism’.
The law, bypassing naming the religion, states, “The purpose of the Act is to prevent natural and legal persons, including foreign state authorities and state-run organizations and companies, from working against or undermining democracy and fundamental freedoms and human rights by making donations.”
“Anyone who receives one or more donations that individually or together exceed DKK 10,000 (€1,350; $1,600) within 12 consecutive calendar months, from a natural or legal person who is included on the public ban list … is punishable by a fine.”
Denmark is the second European country to restrict foreign donations to mosque. The government got into action after a news report in January 2020 revealed that Taiba Mosque, located in Nørrebro district of Denmark had received 4.9 million Danish kroner from Saudi Arabia.
Taiba Mosque is said to be the base for number of Islamists convicted of terrorist charges. On the other hand, Turkey has said to have supplied donations to construct 27 mosques in Denmark including in the cities of Aarhus, Ringsted and Roskilde and in the towns of Fredericia, Hedehusene and Holbæk.
It is interesting to note the demographic change in Denmark. According to a report released in 2020, Denmark has a population of 2,50,000 Muslims which is 4.4% of the population whereas the population was a mere 0.6% in 1980.