Vi må ikke vise skolebørnene Muhammedtegninger, men de må gerne synge om den hyggelige ramadan. Det skurrer i mine ører.
Ramadan singing in the Folk High School songbook is a way to force feed Islam to the Danes
We are not allowed to show school children Muhammad drawings, but they are welcome to sing about the pleasant Ramadan. That sentiment is out of tune.
The folk high school songbook reflects not only our common singing culture but our general Danish culture and identity. Year after year, one school class after another sits and sings along to songs taken from the Folk High School songbook as part of their general formation process.
The latest version also shares the waters this time, the balance between tradition and renewal is not easy. On Thursday 12 November, the 19th edition of Højskolesangbogen was published, which has not been edited since 2006.
Over time, the songbook has been renewed, each time focusing on reflecting its time. New songs are added and old ones smoke out as time changes. But when society changes, attitudes are broken. Therefore, each new edition of the Folk High School Songbook is both cultural and political.
Jørgen Carlsen, chairman of the Folk High School Songbook Committee and former headmaster at Testrup Folk High School, has stated several times that the committee’s work is not political. But of course it is.
Islam is being discussed like never before, not just in Denmark but throughout Europe. Despite what imams and Islamic spokespeople say, it is quite common Dane hard to see religious direction as the religion of peace, we get by knowing it.
But Islam is a part of Danish society, whether we like it or not. This suggests that we include the Ramadan song in the Folk High School songbook.
Still, I get a weird taste in my mouth when I hear Isam B’s song. Because I feel manipulated. My brain will not really understand that every day I hear about new atrocities committed by the same religion, which is now to be staged as a cozy date-eater by candlelight in a Nørrebro apartment.
At the same time, I find it extremely inappropriate that certain songs are smoked out of the Folk High School songbook due to their implicit archaic attitudes towards women but that a song about Ramadan, and thus implied Islam, with its petrified female ideals takes the place.
If you know a little bit about Isam B. and the band Outlandish , you will know that there have been several controversies that stand in sharp contrast to the self-understanding that most Danes identify with, especially when it comes to the relationship to freedom of speech, women and alcohol.
The two Muslim members of the band have thus performed at an event called Reviving the Islamic Spirit , where homosexuals and Jews were put to hatred.
And then there was the story of the Norwegian singer Herborg Kråkevik who had to be sent to the opposite end of the stage at DR’s rehearsal on their Christmas show with the Danish Radio Entertainment Orchestra, because Outlandish would not be on the same stage with a woman whose shoulders were not covered. An episode the band very deftly has refused to comment on.
And last but not least, it is well known that the band before, during and after several of their concerts did not want to allow the beer tents to sell alcohol.
It seems to me somewhat backwards that inclusion only goes one way. It is an invitation into the Danish community when the song is included in the Folk High School songbook. But the Ramadan song itself represents through its Islamic connotations the exact opposite of inclusion.
And how does the chairman of the Folk High School Songbook Committee Jørgen Carlsen then explain the choice of the Ramadan song? “It’s not for the sake of Muslims, it’s for all of us non-Muslims. Because it is about a piece of Danish reality as it takes shape in a part of the population. ” That claim could rightly be said to take care of a lot of other subcultures in Denmark?
The folk high school songbook should not represent what I think, but it should represent the Danish people. But that does not mean that everyone should be represented.
I have it for example. fine that two sects that in their basic essence are anything but embracing, namely Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, do not appear in the inclusive High School Songbook. I find it strange that Islam, especially considering how dogmatic the faith is, must be included in the Folk High School songbook and thus get a place in the Danish song tax.
And then it is ironic that the little pods in the coming primary school classes have to sit and sing along to a song about Ramadan at the same time as they are not allowed to learn about the Muhammad cartoons – it rubs in the ears.
Some songs have been smoked out, 151 have been added. Such must be the case in a song treasure that tries to move with time.
I am aware that it is easy to throw away the Islamophobic card . But for me to see the inclusion of an Islam-glorifying song goes directly against the intention of the Folk High School songbook, when the dialogue only goes one way.