Over a quarter of Danes support the right-wing New Right party's idea to toughen up the nation's immigration policy further by denying devout, practicing Muslims Danish citizenship, a survey carried out by pollster YouGov on behalf of the tabloid daily newspaper BT revealed.
A total of 27 percent of respondents "wholly" or "partly" agree with New Right leader Pernille Vermund's idea that practicing Muslims should be cut off from obtaining Danish citizenship regardless of other circumstances.
Another 45 percent would like to see their citizenship revoked in cases where a person has violated the criminal code. Furthermore, 44 percent of Danes believe people should be expelled from Denmark once they are convicted of a crime, regardless of whether they have Danish citizenship.
Jacob Torfing, a PhD at Roskilde University, found the numbers exceptionally high.
"It sounds outrageous. And this viewpoint doesn't sit well with the spirit of the constitution, according to which we have freedom of thought and religion," Torfind said. He also ventured that if the question was differently formulated, such as "Do you wish to abolish the basic freedom of thought and belief we have in Denmark," then the answer would have been a resounding "no."
Johannes Andersen, an associate professor of political science at Aalborg University, argued that the poll is indicative of a significant proportion of Danes who are determined to suppress Islamic influence by all means.
"There is indeed a relatively large group that does not like Muslims," Andersen said. "If people really think this way, then the freedom of religion is under pressure. However, many may think that the matter is so important that you have to look broadly at the rules of the game," he explained.
New Right leader Pernille Vermund, on the other hand, is pleased with the results of the poll.
"If you look at those countries where a large proportion of the population are devout Muslims, not secular or moderate, you can see it's a society we shouldn't be emulating," Vermund explained her standpoint.
Vermund reminded the public of the fact that four out of ten Muslims living in Denmark argue that the constitution should revolve around the Quran and its teachings. Supporting this idea is irreconcilable with Danish values, she added.
The New Right is a right-wing party founded by dissenters from the Conservative People's Party in 2015. It maintains a strict anti-immigration and anti-Islam line, arguing that Danish citizenship should only be limited to people who "contribute positively" to society. The New Right also maintains a libertarian economic policy, advocating tax cuts, the abolishment of all corporate taxes and a pullout from the EU, which it portrays as a "monstrosity of rules and laws, undermining Denmark's democracy and prosperity."
Rising steadily in recent years, the New Right attracted 4.6 percent of the vote in the latest study by pollster Norstat, thus easily exceeding the 2 percent barrier and surpassing the two junior government parties, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives (with 4.1 and 4.4 percent, respectively).