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COPENHAGEN: Asser­tions by Denmark’s immigration minister that Muslims fasting for Ramazan pose a safety hazard in some jobs do not represent the views of the country’s government, a spokeswoman for the ruling coalition said on Tuesday.

Integration Minister Inger Stoejberg faced growing criticism over a blog post published on Monday that urged residents observing a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting to take leave from work “to avoid negative consequences for the rest of Danish society.”

Karen Ellemann, chief whip of the Liberal Party, said on Tuesday after an ordinary party meeting that Stoejberg’s remarks were not a formal proposal to change the law. Ellemann added that fellow party member Stoejberg “had the right to start this debate.”

Others within the party distanced themselves from the minister’s comments. Senior Liberal Party member Jacob Jensen wrote on Facebook that “maybe we politicians should focus on finding solutions to the real problems first.” “I don’t agree with Inger Stoejberg,” Jensen said, adding that politicians should not interfere with employers’ internal affairs.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2018

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