Muslims in Denmark have laughed off the suggestion of integration minister that Muslims take time off work during Ramadan to avoid potential safety risks that fasting may cause to the rest of society.
Integration Minister Inger Stojberg, an immigration hardliner in Denmark’s center-right government, questioned in a blog post published on Monday how “commanding observance to a 1,400-year-old pillar ofIslam” was compatible with modern labour markets.
In her post published by Danish Berlingske Tidende (BT) newspaper, Stojberg cited bus drivers and hospital employees as examples of workers whose performance could be affected by foregoing food and drink during daylight hours of the holy month.
Suggesting that fasting could affect “safety and productivity”, Stojberg urgedall Muslims to take leave from work during Ramadan.
“I want to call on Muslims to take leave from work during the month of Ramadan to avoid negative consequences for the rest of Danish society,” she said.
Danish Muslims received her comments with mockery, saying that they were unfounded and best to be ignored.
Gina al-Farra, consultant radiologist who works 14-hour shifts at the Herleve-Gentofte University Hospital in Copenhagen while fasting, told Al Jazeera that she has never faced any problems.
“I take short breaks but I find no issues doing my work while fasting,” said Al-Farra.
Muslims can make their own judgement on whether to fast or not, and for how long. Our priority is to protect and care for our patients. We will never p