Pakistani Muslims, burning the flag of Denmark

Growing numbers of Danish Muslims say they have faced verbal abuse, exclusion and hate crimes since mainstream political parties began adopting anti-immigrant policies previously the preserve of the far right. The ruling centre-right Liberal Party and the opposition Social Democrats both say a tough stance in immigration is needed to protect Denmark’s cherished welfare system and to integrate the migrants and refugees already in the country. But Manilla Ghafuri, 26, who came to Denmark from Afghanistan in 2001 as a refugee, fears that anti-Muslim attitudes could harden further as the immigration debate heats up ahead of a general election on June 5. “In 2015 I thought: ‘Wow, what’s happening?’ and I think it has got a lot worse over the last few years,” she told Reuters. Ghafuri, who has more than once been told to go back to her “own country”, said she has been kicked out of a supermarket while shopping with her family. While she was working at a bakery a male customer refused to be served by her. “I asked if I could help him, but he didn’t look at me at all. He just stood and waited for another girl who is an ethnic Danish girl,” said Ghafuri, who also works as a teacher and has a degree in Danish. The number of immigrants from non-Western countries and their descendants who have experienced discrimination because of their ethnic background rose to 48% last year from 43% two years earlier, according to the National Integration Barometer. “If…

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