After growing reports of male refugees and asylum centres harassing female guests, several nightclubs are now requiring that all patrons be able to speak Danish, English or German in order to come in.
Women in at least three Danish cities have reported in recent days that they feel uncomfortable at night because of the way refugees and asylum seekers behave in bars and nightclubs. As a result, some drinking establishments have implemented new procedures to keep harassment to a minimum. Some have turned to having extra security guards while others have started a new policy to keep out guests who are unable to communicate with staff.
“If you have a group of guests that comes in and displays threatening behaviour then it presents some security-related challenges if you cannot enter into a dialogue,” the industry group Danmarks Restauranter og Cafeer organization’s managing director, Torben Hoffmann Rosenstock, told TV2.
Buddy Holly discotheque in Sonderborg is among the clubs which have adopted the new rules.
“A large number of the male guests who come from the local asylum centre have a very hard time respecting the opposite sex,” an employee at another Sonderborg club, Den Flyvende Hollænder, told TV Syd. “In my eyes, it is harassment when one or more men continue to touch a young woman after she has said ‘stop’.”
It comes as a town official in Thisted, who oversees a nearby camp containing more than 300 migrants, said that young Danish women “feel unsafe on the streets” because they have “already been accosted by asylum seekers.”
“Several young women have felt unsafe on the streets, where they have been accosted by asylum seekers. The same thing has happened on the dance floor out in the nightlife,” Lars Sloth, the director of the city’s children and families unit, told news agency Ritzau. City official Sloth said that public workers and the police would undergo a campaign to inform asylum seekers about what constitutes acceptable behaviour in Danish society.
Rafi Ibrahim, a Syrian who has lived in Denmark for years, said that in Hadserslev the city’s new refugees and asylum centres “don’t know the rules” about how to behave around Danish women.
“If they see a girl, they go nuts. They simply can’t handle it. The try to grab ahold of the girl’s clothes or paw her,” he told TV Syd. Ibrahim said that there simply is a marked difference between the newcomers’ view of women and what is the norm in Denmark. “In Syria and many other countries, it is not normal for a strange woman to smile at you. Those girls who are harassed aren’t necessarily scantily-dressed or drunk. Some times it is enough just to be a girl,” he said.
The proposals have reportedly been condemned by the Danish branch of Amnesty International, which said the clubs were discriminating against migrants.