During fieldwork for the Journey into Europe project, Ambassador Ahmed and his team learned about the various challenges posed for the Muslim community by the rise of right wing parties across Europe, including in Denmark with the Danish People’s Party.
In order to further explore this position becoming more widespread across Europe, Ambassador Ahmed requested Harrison Akins to sit down with Mr. Soren Espersen, a member of the Danish Parliament and the Deputy Chairman of the Danish People’s Party. A former journalist and a member of parliament for 10 years, Mr. Espersen is the Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as his party’s spokesman on foreign affairs, and former Deputy Speaker in the Danish Parliament.
The Danish People’s Party, founded in 1995 and described by Mr. Espersen as a “national conservative party”, won nearly 27% of the vote in the recent European elections, the largest share of the vote in Denmark. The third largest political party in Denmark, it currently holds 22 seats out of 179 in the Danish Parliament.
During the interview, Mr. Espersen discussed the history and positions of the Danish People’s Party, the challenges Denmark faces with its Muslim population, and the issues surrounding increased immigration to Europe from the Muslim world.