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21 May, 2018 15:27

‘Ramadan puts us all at risk’: Danish minister calls for fasting Muslims to take time off work

‘Ramadan puts us all at risk’: Danish minister calls for fasting Muslims to take time off work

A minister from Denmark's center-right Liberal Party has called for Muslims to take time off during the holy month of Ramadan as their fasting could put wider society at risk.

Immigration and Integration Minister Inger Stojberg made the remarks in an op-ed for Danish newspaper BT Sunday, saying that Muslims who fast for up to 18 hours a day are placing themselves and others at risk, particularly bus drivers, machine workers, and hospital staff.

Stolberg argued that there are greater demands "in a modern, efficient society like Denmark's than there were in Medina during the time of Muhammad."  

"I wonder if a religious order commanding observance to a 1,400-year-old pillar of Islam is compatible with the society and labour market that we have in Denmark in 2018," she added.

She also noted that religion is a private matter, but "it is necessary for us to debate how to ensure that it does not becomes a social issue."

This is not the first time Stolberg has courted controversy. In April, the minister, who is known for her anti-immigration stance, decried a “significant group” among refugees that “cheats, lies and abuses” the trust of Danish people.

In March, the minister was pictured posing with a cake commemorating Denmark's 50th piece of legislation designed to tighten immigration laws. One such law afforded police the right to confiscate valuables from refugees.

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