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Danish minister Stojberg provokes Ramadan row

Danish minister Stojberg provokes Ramadan row

Denmark’s immigration minister has been widely rebuffed after she suggested Muslims should take time off work during Ramadan because of potential safety risks to the rest of society.

Inger Stojberg, who has a reputation for hardline immigration policies, said fasting throughout the working day raised challenges for modern society.

She cited potential risks for bus drivers and in hospitals.

Bus companies were among the first to say they had no problem with Ramadan.

Arriva, which runs a number of bus routes in Denmark, said it had never had any accidents involving drivers who were fasting. “So de facto it’s not a problem for us,” spokeswoman Pia Hammershoy Splittorff told Berlingske Tidende (BT) newspaper.

The same message came from Denmark’s 3F transport union, whose leader Jan Villadsen wondered if the minister was trying to create a problem that did not yet exist.

Denmark’s Muslim Union posted a message on social media thanking Ms Stojberg for her concern, but pointed out that Muslims were adults who were perfectly capable of looking after themselves and society, “even when we fast”.

A party colleague of the minister, Jacob Jensen, suggested politicians should focus on solving “real problems” rather than interfering.