In Wake of Cartoonist Attack, Denmark Veers Right

New immigration crackdown expected
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2010 3:46 AM CST
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, seen here in the offices of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, survived unharmed when a knife-weilding attacker broke into his home last week.   (AP Photo/Polfoto)

(Newser) – Denmark prides itself on being a liberal, tolerant society but the recent attack on cartoonist Kurt Westergaard is the latest incident to nudge Danish society the other way. The news that the attacker was a Muslim immigrant has sparked calls from politicians for the country's immigration laws—already among the strictest in Europe—to be tightened further and for it to be made easier to deport anybody linked to terror groups.

Anti-immigration groups and the country's Muslims have become more polarized in the years since 2005, when a Danish newspaper's publication of Westergaard's Mohammed cartoon outraged the Muslim world. "There’s a strange dialectic in the reaction,” a Danish political science professor tells the New York Times. “There is an identity crisis where we can no longer recognize ourselves. This view of ourselves as a liberal, relaxed society no longer fits the reality.” (Read more immigration stories.)

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