It’s being called the “meatball war” — something that sounds as harmless as an elementary school cafeteria food fight. But it’s actually something far more damaging.
The municipality of Randers, Denmark’s sixth largest city, has passed a proposal that would require day care and kindergarten centers to serve pork dishes on their lunch menus.
Denmark, a seemingly innocuous country in which equality in the welfare state is the crux of values, has taken one step too far in ensuring the preservation of Danish culture in times of refugee integration.
The Danish People’s Party has used the platform of “safeguarding Danish values” as a means to fight against Islamic rules and cultural integration.
I understand Denmark is a very homogeneous place that honors their culture dearly. I studied abroad there for a semester, and while I am no expert, I know that they’re one of the world’s largest pig meat exports. Danish farm culture, especially pigs, is not to be taken lightly.
That being said, this decision, among others, shows the issue is going overboard.
Identity checks have been re-introduced along the borderline of Germany and Denmark.
There is a proposal to have refugees hand over valuables, including jewelry and extra money they have to help pay for their lodging.
I understand many Danes are concerned with the idea of “freeloaders” and this proposal simply wishes to prevent that from happening. Nevertheless, it isn’t a good idea to take the one thing these people have managed to hold onto all this time.
This proposal, along with the pork debacle, is used mainly to scare away those that merely wish to start over. It says, “We don’t want you, your traditions or your religion to be here.”
In times of utter despondency toward refugees who don’t have a home, how does a country quiver under the pretense of losing their national identity?
Denmark is a place that honors equal opportunity as a means of good living and these proposals are uncharacteristic.
Many states in the United Nations, along with concerned human rights groups, are looking at the Scandinavian country in utter disbelief.
Don’t pick on an identity-less group of individuals who don’t speak your language. They simply want a place to rest their eyes. We shouldn’t make them uncomfortable by feeding them the one food their religious beliefs prevent them from consuming.
It’s a shame something so harmless as a pig is being skewed into a harbinger of what’s to come.
This article was originally published as a column for the Indiana Daily Student on 21 January 2016.