A Danish minister has claimed Muslims fasting during Ramadan could pose a danger in the workplace.
Integration Minister Inger Stoejberg, an immigration hardliner in Denmark’s centre-right government, questioned how “commanding observance to a 1,400-year-old pillar of Islam” was compatible with modern labour markets.
Stoejberg cited bus drivers as an example of workers whose performance could be affected by foregoing food and drink throughout the holy month.
She urged all Muslims in the Nordic country to take leave from work during Ramadan “to avoid negative consequences for the rest of Danish society.”
Millions of Muslims around the world began observing Ramadan last week. Some 250,000 Muslims are estimated to live in Denmark, a country of 5.7 million.
Stoejberg is a member of the conservative Liberal Party, which since November 2016 has governed Denmark in a coalition with the centre-right Liberal-Alliance and the Conservative Party.
In the past few years, she has become the spokeswoman for the government’s substantial tightening of asylum and immigration rules.
Denmark adopted a law in 2016 requiring newly arrived asylum-seekers to hand over valuables such jewelry and gold to help pay for their stays in the country.