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Iraqis sheltering in Brorsons church: Morality vs. democracy

by Carl Frederik Waage Beck on maj 18, 2009

Last night as I had finished writing up my invitation for the reception in Brorsons church on may 28th, I flicked on the news and discovered that approximately 50 Iraqis have sought shelter in the church.
The Iraqis have been denied asylum in Denmark, and are now fearing repatriation to Iraq.

A similar case occurred in 1992 when a number of palestinian refugees sheltered in Bl├ągaards church which resides in the same church district as Brorson. This dragged on for several months, and resulted in politicians creating a special law granting them the right to stay in Denmark.

Traditionally Danish churches have chosen not to evict sheltering people.
The decision will be made tonight by the church board of which I became a member and vice chair only 6 months ago.

I see several conflicting issues in this case:

  • First of all I feel deeply with the sheltering families which are now fearing a return to a failed state that shows no promise of safety and comfort in the foreseeable future.
  • The decisions made by the Danish Parliament must be respected, or democracy disintegrates into lawlessness and anarchy.
  • Being responsible for Brorsons church I feel hijacked into a conflict that I do not wish to be a part of, even though I sympathize with the sheltering Iraqis and believe that the Danish state has failed in its handling of foreigh refugees.
  • In keeping with what I believe to be the duty of the church I will vote against evicting the Iraqis tonight.

I hope this situation can be resolved quickly to the benefit of everyone involved, and wish that the Iraqi refugees can have their case reevaluated on a more thorough investigation.

more on the news here:

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2009/05/16/72955.html

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090513/wl_mideast_afp/denmarkiraqunrestrefugees

Best regards, Carl

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