While women in Iran burn their headscarves, Danish Muslims talk about a non-debatable God given order for men and women

I recognize the Muslims’ rhetoric about fixed gender roles from my time in the sect Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Iran is on fire – women are burning their headscarves and protesting in the streets in hopes of freedoms Western Muslims take for granted.

On September 16, Masha Amini, a young 22-year-old Iranian woman, was arrested by the morality police. A few hours later, she died in their costidy.

Across Iran, women are protesting against the hard line the country’s leaders are increasingly implementing. More than 76 protesters have been killed, over 1,300 have been arrested.

“Sometimes you have to listen for what is not being said and pay attention to what is implied.

What do these women who put their lives on the line have to lose? Nothing. They see no future for themselves or their fellow sisters – that´s why they are willing to put their lives on the line. As a side note, this is a stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands of Russian men who are leaving Russia in droves these days instead of fighting a system that suppresses basic human rights.

In tiny Denmark, a group of Western, privileged Muslims discuss gender and equality on a radio podcast. “Patriarchy and matriarchy: Do they apply in Islam?”, is the theme of the program.

Sometimes you have to listen for what is not being said and pay attention to what is implied.

In the studio, are two guests; a woman and a man. Hamid and Kasper. The male radio host consistently lets Kasper answer first throughout the broadcast. Kasper has a smooth voice, but his words are as dangerous as snake venom.

“Patriarchy and matriarchy are words used in a gender discourse that is dangerous and that you have to be very careful with as a Muslim,” Kasper says. As the most natural thing, he draws up a view of gender that I recognize with a chill from Jehovah’s Witnesses. He would like to avoid concepts of gender, but that is “unfortunately” not necessary in society, i.e. the Danish one, in which he lives.

It is clear that one can easily be called Kasper and be brought up in Denmark without becoming a democratically minded citizen. In his soft voice, he continues with an argument that the two sexes have strict, God-given roles. The world is determined by Allah, the relationship between women and men is not up for debate.

His arguments are full of sardonic juice frosted with academic terms. He even refers to the feminist Simone de Beauvoir’s book “The Second Sex”, and pronounces the title in beautiful French. I wonder if the French feminist would turn in her grave if she heard how her words are being twisted in the mouth of a misogynist?

“Men and women are created as one body. If one part hurts, the other parts will hurt. If one part … makes a power takeover, the body becomes in conflict with itself.” The monologue elicits an approving murmur from the other two present in the radio studio. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to listen to such incoherent, illogical nonsense. Would they be able to see beyond their indoctrinated gender views if I with a twinkle in my eye asked them how the analogy makes any sense given that men’s health is statistically so much worse than women’s?

The woman in the studio, Hamid, personifies women at their worst – arguing against gender equality. She is skeptical of the terminology examining power structures between the sexes. And then she says something that sends a chill down my spine: “It’s part of the reality we’re part of right now.”

“Right now.”

That term was widely used within Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Right now” suggests that it will not always be like this. It is an encouragement or a warning depending on ones temperament.

There are no critical questions asked about the views presented, there is only a tunnel-vision conversation about how different a Muslim mindset is from the Western one based on gender equality. “We have a different approach to life… we fundamentally do not share the same outlook on life with this way of thinking.”

“This way of thinking.”

You mean the Danish, Western and extremely well-functioning one with a focus on gender equality? My thoughts drifted to the debate about integration and to the fact that the Danes are regularly criticized for using a them-and-us rhetoric. Ditches can be dug on both sides of the value frontline.

Iranian women and Afghan schoolgirls will probably disagree with Danish Kasper, who says: “The roles of men and women must not be challenged. This is a violent trend in the West.” He continues: ‘In Muslim environments there is a difference between the sexes. It is a man who is an imam … a man who teaches. The women are at the back of the room … that’s how it is.’

No matter how many academic phrases like “gender discourse,” “power structures,” and “post-structuralist” Kasper and Hamid use, the pot is full of the same dirty scum. I came to think of an expression we use here in the US, which reads: “to put lipstick on a pig.” No matter how hard you try to make something unpleasant sound or look nice, there will always be a stinking pig underneath.

Words are powerful, words can be twisted, and words can create prisons for those who are not allowed to speak freely. That premise is what Iranian women are rebelling against these days. They pay with their lives when they try to question the order their gender has been forced into.

It leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth when I hear Danish Muslims comfortably sitting in a radio studio in Denmark and pseudo-talk about how it is not important, yes indeed, downright ungodly to question the place, role and rights of the sexes. Western, privileged Muslims should stand shoulder to shoulder with their co-religionists in Iran and Afghanistan and fight for women’s right to be independent individuals who are not subordinate to men.


Mens kvinder i Iran brænder deres tørklæder, sidder danske muslimer og taler om en fastlagt orden for mænd og kvinder

Muslimers retorik om faste kønsroller genkender jeg fra Jehovas Vidner.

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Muslimske mænd: Mand jer op!

Hvor er vestlige muslimers kamp for afghanske pigers ret til at gå i skole

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Muslim Men: Man Up!

Why are Muslims in Western countries not fighting for Afghan girls’ right to go to school?

It’s been a year since Biden threw in the towel and gave Afghanistan’s girls and women the middle finger. The American exit was a disaster and a scandal, both for the country’s reputation and for the Afghan girls and women who are now caged behind their veils and the walls of their homes. The United States has a responsibility for sure. But what is much worse is that Muslim men in Afghanistan and the rest of the world are not fighting for their Afghan mothers, sisters and daughters – and that is a disgrace worse than the failed US presence in Afghanistan.

A year ago, city after city in Afghanistan fell to the extreme Islamist group, Taliban. For more than 20 years, American soldiers had been present in the country and tried to make a difference in relation to democracy, gender equality, and showing the population an alternative to the Taliban’s regime of violence and terror.

“Where were the Afghan men who reportedly overwhelmingly support girls’ right to school? Why didn’t they form a protective ring around the women?

Faster than anyone could say failed democratization, Afghan men laid down their weapons that should have been used to defend the weakest part of the population, namely women and children. The coward for a president took his billions and fled the country.

We all remember the images of desperate people trying to get out of the country, clinging to the wings of an airplane but ending up dead, while we watched them fall to the ground like little dark specks as the plane took off. In a flash I remembered the towers in New York when they were hit and people jumped off the buildings and straight to their deaths.

Violence, panic, chaos; families that were torn apart; women gave birth on the premises of the base; people died of hunger and thirst in the scorching heat or as a result of violent episodes.

Thousands of Afghans desperately tried to get out of the country when they saw where things were headed. They remembered all too well what the regime of terror by the Taliban. They knew very well that the Taliban speak with a forked tongue. In particular, everyone knew how girls and women were treated.

Imagine how the girls and women who stayed back are doing now – the hell they are living in. Taliban leaders told the West it was only a matter of time before schools would reopen to middle school-age girls. So we waited, and so did the girls in Afghanistan. On the day that was supposed to be the first day of school, they were more than ready. They smiled, there was a spring in their step; this was the day they had been looking forward to. Finally, they could go back to school. But when they showed up, long-bearded, robe-clad cavemen waited for them and told them that they wouldn’t be allowed back to school after all. What a vicious exercise of power, what a dehumanizing humiliating display of power. Since then, the girls have been hidden away and are back in kitchens, doing the laundry, and scrubbing the floors. If they move outside, they risk being beaten or shot.

A few days ago, approximately 40 women demonstrated for equal rights. 40 brave women. One almost get a lump in ones throat. The BBC reported that the demonstration was quickly dissolved when the Taliban regime’s scoundrels shot into the air in a show of force. The message to the women was loud and clear: Go home, or we’ll lower our guns and shoot into your little group.

Where were the Afghan men who reportedly overwhelmingly support girls’ right to go to school? Why didn’t they form a protective ring around the women? Why don’t they speak up for these girls when they clearly have no problem declaring in front of an open screen and in various opinion polls that they most certainly support girls’ right to go to school and absolutely do not agree with the Taliban? And where are the Muslims living in the West when it comes to supporting their fellow Afghan sisters? Here in the West, they live in safety with no threat when they utter their views. Here in the West, in stark contrast to the Afghan girls and young women, their sisters, wives and daughters have all the rights and access to free education they could ever dream of. So why don’t we hear a peep from some of the voices that otherwise shout so loudly that their rights in western democratic countries are not respected?

It is a cheap shot and a double standard to criticize things that you consider not adhering and accommodating Muslim values in countries that are based on Western freedoms, while enjoying these freedoms and simultaneously advocating and demonstrating for more legislative changes that accommodate Muslim values. The fact that you don’t lift a finger, take to the streets, or collect signatures to shout out about and for the rights of women who need the loud shouts more than you need to implement Muslim values into the legislation in western democracies, leaves me with a strong disgust, distaste, and lack of respect. So Muslim men : Man you up!

Psykisk mistrivsel skal ikke føre til sænkelse af adgangskrav på videregående uddannelser

Drømmen kan blive til mareridt, hvis de unge kommer ind på deres drømmeuddannelser.

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The mental health crisis in youth should not lead to lowering of admission requirements in higher education

If GPA requirements for students are lowered, their dream could turn into a nightmare instead of a dream educations.

It’s finals time, and students feel the nervous energy. Do you remember the feeling? Did I take the right notes? What did the book say about …, again ? What if I forget everything at the exam table? I hope they will not ask me about…

Young people in Denmark and in many other countries are suffering mentally. Especially during finals time, we hear about young people having difficulty coping. One study after another shows that young people suffer from anxiety and depression. And, indeed, something needs to be done about that.

But the answer is not to lower the requirements for higher education. It is understandable that the generation of power, that coincides in age with the parent generation of students, wants to help. But imagine how these young people will feel in an education they do not have the skills to follow let alone complete – not to mention how they will fair in a workplace after graduating.

“I was certainly not disappointed that my opportunity to end up as chief economist was not in the cards.

I would like to be operated on by a surgeon who knows the anatomy of the body before he puts his scalpel in me, I would like the anesthesiologist to easily calculate my anesthesia or pain relief so that I do not wake up in the middle of surgery. I would like to move in a public space where bridges, buildings and mobile masts stand as they should when it is a bit windy thanks to engineering calculations. And I would like to read articles in the newspaper edited by people who know Danish grammar and can spell most words.

Does this mean that there are young people who do not get into their dream education?

Yes, it does sometimes – and that’s the way it should be. Denmark is a fantastic country where anyone who wants it can get an education. But we do the young people a disservice if we tell them that they can become just anything they want – because only few can.

I graduated my one-year HH with a no-pass grade in accounting – but I was certainly not disappointed that my opportunity to end up as chief economist was not in the cards. On the other hand, I would have liked to have studied rhetoric, but my grade point average was not high enough for that. Denmark is a country that is known for not distinguishing between high and low – a country where the nurse assistant is worth as much as the doctor, where the carpenter can contribute something different than the architect.

Fortunately, there is a difference in competencies – and it is ultimately for the benefit of society, the individual citizen, and those whose grade point average has defined what education they could apply for.

Young people’s mental well-being is a problem that requires solutions and great focus. But even if it seems like a quick solution to young people’s mental health issues to lower the admission requirements for certain educations, it is a short-term solution. The dream could very well turn out to be a nightmare – for them and for society.

Fuck, de unge taler grimt!

De unge markerer identitet gennem sproget.

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Why the fuck do young people swear so much?

Young people show identity through their use of language.

“Fuck ! Shit! Nederen, LOL´eren, the chiller, meganeder”- I am watching a Danish dating show with my teenage daughter and can not quite find a facial expression suited for the situation. We are watching Wild Love on DR (Danish public service tv network)- for fun and because I want to introduce my daughter in a variety of ways to her Danish culture.

My daughter´s eyes are wide, and every now and then she side glances at me. I feel like a dinosaur. The way the Danish language is used has changed a lot both since I was young and since I lived in Denmark.

My daughter is shocked, but she is also fascinated. In the US, you get in trouble if you drop the f-bomb in school . On my end, I am both repulsed by the young people’s language at the same time rejoicing that they so clearly express identity. Because if there is one thing that is an identity marker, it is how we use language.

“I must say they swear a lot in Denmark,” my daughter states. The next day she starts to imitate the language she has been introduced to. “Fuck, I xxx,” “shit, I xxx…” first, I explain linguistically to her in which context you can use the words she is experimenting with and in which situations they are out of place – I am after all a former Danish Lecturer.

And so she starts experimenting. I sense that she thinks that part of her Danish heritage is exotically repulsive and attractive at the same time. Occasionally, she says something that clearly shows us that she is in the process of figuring out how far she can go before we as adults ask her to tone it down a bit.

My experience is that Danish kids and young adults use the f- and s-bomb in every other sentence and that it is a completely normal and accepted use of language. But here in the United States it is completely and utterly unheard of.

Friends regularly visit us from Denmark. They generally think it is immensely fun to blurt out the words in public I am trying to explain are not equally as accepted here as they are in Denmark.

And here is why. All though, in Denmark cursing expresses identity and has almost at present become a form of adjective and noun in line with any other, the use of the English words shit and fuck is culturally unacceptable here. Danes have a hard time understanding this – perhaps because they think that English swear words work here in the US since they are, after all, English.

Identity can be marked in many ways, but wanting to mark it presupposes that you are aware of which cultural codes you may be breaking – otherwise there is no point in the marker.

“You can not say that!” We exclaimed on the first semester of college to our professor at KUA (University of Copenhagen, Amager). And: “It’s not the correct use of Danish!” He had so much fun as he called us “old farts” and compared us to people who contacted tv and newspaper stations to complain about the journalists use of what they perceived as bad language. That semester, we learned that there is a difference between how people use language and in what situations – and that people do it to mark their identity.

So even though the old fart in me would like to be outraged at what honestly in my ears sounds rather simplistic and ridiculous, especially when English words are pronounced with excessive Danish pronunciation, I must at the same time rejoice that young people do what young people are best at – experimenting with who they are in the world and poking their fingers at the rest of us while doing so.

Ukrainske mænd kæmper for deres kvinder – hvorfor gør afghanske mænd ikke det samme?

Afghanske kvinder og ukrainske mænd er villige til at sætte livet på spil for frihed.

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Ukrainian men fight for their women – why are Afghan men not doing the same?

Afghan women and Ukrainian men are willing to risk their lives for freedom.

They get their women and children on trains and wave their goodbyes. Then take up arms, for many for the first time in their lives. Or they make sure that wives, mothers, and sisters are safe in shelters deep underground, while heading out to fight against a brutal supremacy.

When journalists ask Ukrainian soldiers what they are fighting for, they reply “peace” and “the future of my children.”

Most of us have been deeply touched by the willingness of Ukrainians to fight for the freedom the country has only known since 1991, when they gained their independence. That is about as long as most of Afghanistan´s women experienced freedom from the oppressing cavemen of Taliban.

“It’s like being in a room that’s too small and too dark,” a young Afghan woman told a journalist on the New York Times podcast The Daily.

Yesterday, the Afghan girls were supposed to be back in schools after being sentenced to months of household chores indoors. The first thing the Taliban did when they took power in August last year, of course, was to cut off girls from education.

The girls’ dreams turned out to be just that – dreams. Because when the excited, happy, giddy girls showed up at their schools, they were sent home again if they went to a higher grade level than 6th grade. BBC World News shows pictures of covered girls with tearstained cheeks collapsing in anguish and others with an expressionless gaze.

The misogyny is devastatingly heartbreaking! Men were waving the girls biggest dreams in front of them, letting them rejoice, letting them get their classrooms ready, wiping chairs and school desks off – and then telling them that they can not get the education they have been looking forward to.

Far from all girls have the opportunity to participate in online learning. But those who do, study foreign languages, art, literature, physics, and chemistry. Some go to the bookstore and buy books, devouring as much learning as they can at home. Others draw, do dance groups with girlfriends, meet secretly.

In short – the girls have a will to fight, even if it is deadly dangerous if discovered that they spend their time on something other than domestic chores, which the Taliban believes is a woman’s ultimate purpose in life.

But the men in Afghanistan underestimate their girls and women if they think they are content with doing the dishes, cleaning, cooking, and give birth. Men have always underestimated women. And women have always had to do the dishes, clean, cook, and give birth – while completing an education.

This generation of Afghan women has access to the Internet – and thus to a knowledge of how women and girls in other parts of the world live. I wonder if they marvel at how men in Ukraine are willing to sacrifice their lives in the fight for their women and girls freedom.

Imagine what Afghanistan would look like, how the country and its citizens could flourish, if the Afghan men put their foot down and went against the Taliban brutality that has forced itself into power in the country. Imagine if the girls were allowed to believe in a future where they can live out their dreams and immense potential!

But since it does not seem to be the case that Afghan men want to fight for their women’s right to a free and peaceful life, like the Ukrainian men are willing to do, Afghan girls and women must fight for themselves. It should not have to be like that, but as I already said, there is nothing new in women having to fight for their rights without the aid of men.

I hope that Afghan women have as much fighting spirit as the Ukrainian men, since Afghan men have proven to be cowards.

Jeg får lyst til at stille mig op med en stor megafon og råbeskrige

Når vi lader som om, vi er ubekymrede over for terrorangreb, så har vi allerede tabt.

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I feel like standing up with a big megaphone and shake the world up by screaming

When we pretend we are carefree about terrorist attacks, then we have already lost.

Then it happened again. We have become so used to it, does it cause anything other than a shrug? Another bomb attack, once again reports of many dead and maimed bodies. It’s so far away, what can be done against religious fanaticism?

Maybe we’re just pretending we’re carefree. We must not let our anxiety and fear get the better of us. We must live as before, even though we know that before it no longer exists. We trivialize the ideological evil that Lars Saabye Christensen writes in the third volume of his novel series “Byens Spor”. After all, there is so much more that is more dangerous, the probability of dying in a terrorist attack is less than of dying in traffic.

I feel like standing up with a big megaphone and screaming. How can we just let another madness attack lie like a shrug while we look down and away and not let ourselves be noticed that evil has once again shown its bloody face and laughed at us and our principles of equality right up in our face?

This time the attack was on a girls’ school in Kabul, and it is not Copenhagen, fortunately. The car bomb and the subsequent 2 explosions killed 85 people, mainly schoolgirls. 147 are injured.

What makes this bombing so heartbreaking is that it was targeted at a school – but not just any school. Quite deliberately, the terrorists went after the girls.

The Taliban has denied any involvement in the attack. But I wonder if it now also fits, we know how they feel about girls, and with the combination of girls and education. Girls become women and women with education are dangerous, they could go and think something about one thing or another and become difficult to control.

No no, if you have to control girls and women, and you obviously have to, then you have to assassinate yourself to power and hope that you scare enough parents to keep their daughters indoors, far away from books and education.

Joe Biden has announced that the United States will withdraw its forces by September 11th. In itself, the date is ironic and does not make sense – at least not if you want to signal that you have won.

For why is it now that the United States is in Afghanistan? – it all started on September 11, and with great fanfare, Biden now says: “Ok, dark forces, you win. From your earth caves you have proved that by primitive means, but with ideological misogyny, you can fight the world’s largest military and our Western values. And girls and women : sorry, you are on your own. ”

What the actual fuck, Biden !?

(Google translate)

Hvis man som skoleelev ikke vil lade sig teste, bør man ikke have lov til at komme i skole

Børn bliver måske ikke så syge af Covid, men det gør deres bedsteforældre.

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If you are a student and does not want to be tested, you should not be allowed to go to school

Children may not get as sick from covid-19, but so do their grandparents.

The schools are opening around Denmark. It is well. However, children under the age of 12 do not have to be tested, and if they are over the age of 12, they are strongly encouraged to do so, but it is not a requirement to be able to go to school.

Excuse me: How can it be okay for a student to refuse to be tested and potentially infect right and left to innocent students who risk bringing the infection home to their parents and grandparents?

Politicians should either announce that no one should be tested or that everyone should be tested. A principle of voluntariness that exists between two chairs can only lead to misunderstandings and frictions between students, teachers and parents.

In addition, the principle of volunteering means that those students who themselves have a weakened immune system or have parents and grandparents who are particularly vulnerable are forced to stay at home at the expense of students who are free to stroll around the school without taking into account their classmates and thus fellow citizens. It is a form of bullying where the strongest decide; it has apparently never been the intention of the schoolyard bully to set the agenda.

In Denmark, we are known for taking care of the weak, thinking of the community rather than ourselves. This makes up for the principle of voluntariness in relation to the students’ tests.

One thing is that the little students do not get very sick when they get covid-19, and one obviously therefore thinks it is okay that they should not be tested, something else is that they may be infected when they have a virus in nose and throat – without even knowing it. Here, some would say that children do not infect as much as adults. For me to see, it does not matter if they are as contagious as the adults: If they are contagious, there is a risk. There have been various reports from science – it is uncertain how much children with coronavirus are contagious, our knowledge is constantly evolving with this disease. Therefore, it makes sense to test everyone, just in case.

Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either, Looks like BT aint for me either. ?

Schools should test all students at all grade levels. If they do not have the resources to do so, they must wait to open until they have the resources required for all students to be tested.

If there are students who refuse to be tested, they should be sent home – for the sake of the efforts and the sacrifices that large sections of the population make to keep the number of infections down.

(Google translate)

Ramadansang i Højskolesangbogen er en måde at få islam ind med modermælken

Vi må ikke vise skolebørnene Muhammedtegninger, men de må gerne synge om den hyggelige ramadan. Det skurrer i mine ører.

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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 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.

(Google translate)

Vi hjælper gerne minoriteter – bare ikke, hvis de er højt intelligente

Kronik i Jyllands-Posten 4. september, 2020

Børn med høj intelligens er ofte sårbare og har særlige behov, som skolesystemet ikke er dygtigt nok til at tage sig af.

[object Object]

Danmark er kendt for at tage sig af de svageste. Det er godt, sådan skal det være i et velfærdssamfund. Men én minoritetsgruppe vil vi partout ikke hjælpe, uanset hvilken pris disse udsatte børn og unge betaler i form af lavt selvværd, angst og depression.

Pernille Rozenkrantz-Theil (S) burde stå på børnenes hold, men der er åbenbart forskel på, hvilke minoriteter det er værd at støtte. For i december 2019 lukkede ministeren ned for en enhed, der skulle se på kloge børns undervisningsbehov.

Jeg har selv set resultaterne af børns mistrivsel. Jeg bor i en forstad til Seattle og har to børn, der begge nu er i det, der her hedder AL (Advanced Learning), bedre kendt som the gifted program . Jeg sidder i en forældreforening under skolebestyrelsen, hvor jeg repræsenterer børn med høj iq kombineret med en indlæringsvanskelighed. Ja, du læste rigtigt: Man kan have en høj iq og samtidig have indlæringsvanskeligheder, f.eks. syns- og hørehandicap, adhd, autisme mv. Disse børn bliver på grund af deres handicap sjældent identificeret som højt intelligente med særlige intellektuelle behov for læring.

Intelligente børn er sårbare børn med særlige behov for læring

Der er hverken i det offentlige danske skolesystem eller i den almene befolkning opbakning til systematiserede foranstaltninger og særlig hjælp til børn med høj intelligens. De slaver det ene år efter det andet væk i deres skolegang. Joh, Jante lever skam i Danmark i bedste velgående. Vi vil hellere mase de små spirende poder ind i en form, der er lavet, så det passer til det gennemsnitlige skolebarn. Vi har stor sympati for de børn, der ligger i begyndelsen af klokkekurven – altså under gennemsnittet, mens de, der ligger i den anden ende af kurven – over gennemsnittet, må klare sig selv. Der er lige mange børn på hver side af kurven – så hvorfor behandles børn, der falder uden for normalen, ikke ens? Disse børn har særlige behov. Og det skal vi i den almene gruppe snart forstå, så vi kan støtte og hjælpe deres trivsel.

Mange højintelligente børn har det svært. Rigtigt svært. De mistrives og bliver misforstået igennem hele deres skolegang. Mange risikerer aldrig at fuldføre en uddannelse, der er en overrepræsentation af unge, der falder fra deres uddannelse i gruppen. Gruppen er desuden i risiko for angst og depression, og de er overrepræsenterede i selvmordsstatistikkerne. Så er det så underligt, at jeg råber op om børnenes behov, når jeg nu kender til statistikkerne?

Forudindfattede holdninger gør det endnu sværere for børnene

Det overrasker mig ikke, at ny forskning viser, at danske læger og psykologer i mange tilfælde, et ud af tre, overser, at de har at gøre med højintelligente børn, når de udreder børn, der mistrives i skolen. Psykologerne og lægerne er jo selv et produkt af det danske samfunds tankegang – og indtil for nylig har højintelligente børns behov ikke været en del af agendaen.

Jeg har mødt adskillige danske lærere og læger, der har en enorm bias, når det handler om at tage særlige hensyn til intelligente børns læringsbehov. Den gængse respons er, at disse børn skal lære at klare sig med andre børn, at de ikke har behov, der adskiller sig fra andre børns behov.

Hvis man keder sig er der større risiko for, at man laver ballade

Mange højintelligente skolebørn ender med at være ”problembørn”, der laver ballade og forstyrrer undervisningen for de andre. Det har vi særdeles gode erfaringer med i min familie. Vores søn gik 0. klasse om, fordi han var socialt umoden og hele tiden lavede ballade. På det tidspunkt havde vi ingen idé om, at der kunne ligge andre årsager til grund for hans opførsel. Vi fik konstant e-mails om, at han opfordrede sine klassekammerater til at følge sit dårlige eksempel, at han stillede spørgsmål til lærernes autoritet, og at han sjældent stillede sig tilfreds med de svar, han fik.

Vi havde ingen idé om, at vi havde en søn med høj intelligens. For at være ærlig var vi ved at rive håret ud af hovedet herhjemme, fordi han var sådan et krævende barn. Til tider kunne han sige noget forbløffende analytisk eller dybt, som gjorde, at vi som forældre kiggede måbende på hinanden – men for det meste opførte han sig som et barn, der var yngre, end han egentlig var.

Så det var noget af en overraskelse, da vi her i USA sad på børneneuropsykologens kontor og fik resultatet af de mange tests – han har adhd og en intelligens, der ligger et godt stykke over 140.

Der var ingen glæde hos os, kun fornægtelse og sorg. Vi anede ikke, hvad adhd var, men DET havde vores søn i hvert fald ikke. Efter at have deltaget i workshops, meldt os ind i adhd-foreninger og læst bøger om emnet ændrede vores fokus sig fra fornægtelse til, hvordan vi bedst kunne hjælpe ham og være de forældre, han havde brug for, at vi var.

Med hensyn til den høje intelligens er der aldrig normale stunder i huset. Vores autoritet bliver konstant udfordret. Løgn og manipulation er en del af hverdagen. Det lyder ikke rart, vel? Men tabuer skal brydes, det gøres gennem at turde stå frem og ærligt fortælle om den virkelighed, vi og mange andre forældre står i til daglig. Det er åbenbart helt normalt for børn med høj intelligens. Tænk, hvor mange familier der ikke tør sætte ord på det, de kæmper med derhjemme, fordi der er så stort et stigma forbundet med at nævne, at man har børn med høj intelligens. Vi har brug for den hjælp og støtte, vi kan få fra vores sociale netværk og fra (skole)systemet generelt.

Jantelov og uvilje til at handle hæmmer børnenes trivsel

Der er identitet i forældrerollen. Det er svært at gå fra at være dén slags forælder, man gerne vil være, til den forælder, ens barn har brug for, at man er. Ligeledes er det med skolesystemet. Måske er vi nødt til at turde gøre op med den model, vi har troet er bedst for børnene, og rent faktisk give dem et skoleforløb, de trives i?

Højt intelligente børn bliver ofte misforstået og slet ikke opdaget pga. det, eksperterne kalder den asynkrone udvikling. Måske læser barnet, når det er fire, programmerer og interesserer sig for universets sorte huller, men kan ikke binde sit snørebånd, til hun er 10. Eller den 10-årige har på visse punkter et abstraktionsniveau svarende til en gymnasieelevs, men opfører sig som en treårig, når han ikke får sin vilje.

Der er mange årsager til, at mange børn med høj intelligens mistrives i skolerne. En åbenlys grund er selvfølgelig, at de ikke bliver fagligt stimuleret. En anden er, at de mistrives socialt. De leger simpelthen på en anden måde end deres jævnaldrende. Og det burde være o.k. Men igen og igen mødes disse børn med forventninger om at skulle tilpasse sig til majoriteten. Forestil dig, at du i dit sociale liv var tvunget til at omgås folk, der ikke delte de samme interesser som dig. At du skulle socialisere med folk, du ikke følte, du klikkede med. Sådan er det for mange af de her børn. Det er synd, at de ikke får lov til at være sammen med ligesindede. Resultatet er, at de kommer til at føle sig mærkelige og udenfor, de føler sig forkerte – og det påvirker dem mentalt og socialt resten af livet.

Bitter jantelovserfaring skulle måske have lært mig at holde min mund. Jeg har ikke tal på, hvor mange gange jeg er blevet hånet, når jeg har luftet frustrationer, der har at gøre med de udfordringer, der er med at have højintelligente børn. Alle børn, der mistrives, har brug for, at der er voksne, der taler deres sag – også dem, vi traditionelt, men misforstået, tror er stærke.

Det er mig en gåde, at samfundet generelt, men især mange danske skolelærere, praktiserende læger og (skole)psykologer ikke kan se det enorme potentiale, disse oversete børn og unge har – og åbenbart ikke føler noget ansvar for deres akademiske eller psykiske velbefindende.

Politikere løber fra ansvaret for kloge børn

Trykt i Jyllands-Posten, 29. december, 2019

De klogeste børn betaler en høj pris, når Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil hellere vil bruge penge på at løfte folkeskolen generelt end på dem. Holdningen er blind over for de udfordringer, som mange intelligente børn har.

Vidste du, at højt intelligente børn og unge, der ikke får den læring, de har behov for, har en højere selvmordsrate end andre børn og unge? Vidste du, at de lider mere af angst og depression, at de føler sig ensomme og misforståede, at de har en større sandsynlighed for at droppe ud af videregående uddannelser?

“Kunne det tænkes, at en faktabaseret forkert

forudindtaget holdning om og til børn og unge

med høj intelligens står i vejen for den trivsel,

som alle børn har ret til?

Børrne- og Undervisninsminister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Teil (S) lukker en særlig talentenhed, der skulle støtte undervisningen af de dygtigste elever. Må jeg blot i parentes bemærke, at det ikke nødvendigvis er de elever med den højeste iq, der skiller sig ud i en klasse som de dygtigste.

Den gængse holdning er, at højtintelligente børn er stærke børn, der nok skal klare sig. Men forsking og statistik taler et andet sprog (note). Et sprog, politikere i årevis har lukket øjne og ører for. Desværre betaler minoritetsgruppen af af højtintelligente børn og unge prisen for politikernes indstilling.

Alment anerkendt forskning (note) peger på, at der i en vestlig befolkning er 2%, der har en IQ på 135 og derover. Disse børn har et umådeligt potentiale, men de er også umådeligt sårbare, hvis de ikke får den undervisning, de har brug for, og hvis de ikke møder andre børn og unge, de kan identificere sig med.

Ligesom børn med talevanskeligheder har brug for højt specialiserede talepædagoger og børn med ordblindhed har brug for specialuddannede professionelle indenfor netop dette felt, så har børn med høj intelligens også behov for spcialuddannede lærere med viden om, hvordan disse børns hjerner fungerer og lærer bedst.

Jeg bor i en forstad til Seattle og har 2 børn, der begge er i det, der her hedder AL (Advanced Lerning), bedre kendt som the gifted program. Desuden sidder jeg i en forælderforening under skolebestyrelsen, hvor jeg repræsenterer børn med høj IQ kombineret med en indlæringsvanskelighed. Ja, du læste rigtigt: man kan have en høj IQ og samtidig have indlæringsvanskeligheder, fx syns- og hørehandikap, ADHD, autisme mv. Disse børn bliver på grund af deres handikap sjældent, selv ikke af deres lærere, identificeret som højt intelligente med særlige intellektuelle behov for læring.

Det program, mine børn går i er et systematiseret undervisningsforløb fra 1.-udgangen af gymnasiet for børn med en høj IQ. De børn, der tester i de højeste 2% tilbydes en plads i en klasse med jævnaldrende, der ligeledes har en høj IQ. Lærerne i dette program er uddannede med en specialviden om undervisning af denne gruppe.

Det har været noget af en omvæltning at komme her til Seattleområdet med vores danske kulturelle baggrund og blive hvirvlet ind i en helt anden indstilling till undervisning end den, vi havde med os. Men den betydning, det har haft på vores børn er den overvejende grund til, at jeg skriver disse linjer.

Da vi kom til USA, valgte vi bevidst en børnehave, der fokuserede på læring gennem leg. Det var jo det, vi var vant til fra Danmark, det var det, vi troede fungerede for vores datter. Inden vores datter testede ind i programmet, klagede hun over, at hun ikke kunne finde nogen at lege med, at børnene i hendes klasse havde helt andre interesser, at de talte om ting, hun syntes var kedelige.

Min datter oplever stadig at være anderledes, fx når hun går til forskellige fritidsaktiviteter. Det er ok, hun skal også lære, at ikke alle tænker og oplever verden som hende. Forskellen er, at hun nu går i en klasse, hvor hun blot er én ud at 30, der oplever verden og ser nuancer, som hun gør. Børnene er ikke ens, blot fordi de alle har en høj IQ, tværtimod, men kognitivt fungerer de på en anden måde, de lærer anderledes end den gængse. Møder man ikke disse behov, risikerer man, at marginalisere og kvæle en gruppe, der kunne trives og blomstre.

Og så er der min søn. Ham ville de færreste have udpeget som højt intelligent. Han har mit hjerteblod, for han har flere odds imod sig, Han har et synshandikap, har ADHD og har en høj intelligens (140+). Hverken vi som forældre eller hans lærer havde udpeget ham som havende specielle behov for læring ud over, hvad der havde med hans syn at gøre.

For begge børn betyder deres muligheder for at få speciel undervisning særligt tilrettelagt deres høje IQ flere ting. De trives bedre socialt, fordi de ikke føler sig anderledes, ikke føler sig forkerte. Identifikationen er så umådelig vigtig, trives man ikke socialt er al anden læring vanskelig.

Og så er der den akademiske læring. Med mine danske briller, frygtede jeg, at programmet her var identist med børn, der sad bag en række små skolepulte, hvor de terpede udenadslære og løste det ene vanskelige matematiske stykke efter det andet. Men virkeligheden er en helt anden. Børn med høj intelligens er jo stadig børn, og det forstår lærerne. Så da min datter i 4. klasse skulle lave en boganalyse, hvor tema og personkarakteristik var en del af opgaven, kombinerede læreren det med en opgave, hvor analysen kom hjem som en dodekahedron, som indeholdt både analyse og farverige illustrationer. At lære på et højt niveau kan sagtens kombineres med at få lov til at være barn, det er blot et udtryk for at blive set og mødt der, hvor man er. Noget alle børn bør have ret til.   

Når ministeren foreslår, at den enkelte lærer skal have ansvaret for at tilvejebringe stimulerende undervisning til de højtintelligente børn, er det en ansvarsforflygtigelse, og forslaget går imod bedre vidende. Der er flere problematiske faktorer, denne tilgang ikke tager i betragtning.

For det første tilsidesætter den alle børns behov for at fungere socialt, for at kunne identificere sig med ligesindede. Det kan man ikke, hvis man aldrig får lov til at lære sammen med andre børn, der fungerer kognitivt på samme måde som en selv.

For det andet, så bør ansvaret for de højtbegavede børns læring systematiseres, så man får den samme undervisning uanset, hvor i landet, man går i skole.

For det tredje er det påvist (note), at mange lærere på grund af deres egne bias opretholder et stigma om disse børn og derfor ikke er indstillede på og motierede til at udarbejde særlige læringsplaner for dem. Er særligt lærerkorps med interesse for denne gruppe af børn og unge ville medvirke til, at børnene blev mødt at en voksen, der både menneskeligt og akademisk var motiveret.

Børn med høj intelligens er lige så forskellige som andre børn. De interesserer sig for forskellige ting, nøjagtigt som almindeligt begavede børn. Men i forhold til normaltbegavede børn, har de ofte en asynkron udvikling, der betyder, at de intellektuelt kan være flere år forud for børn på deres egen aldre men at de motorisk og socialt kan være flere år bagud. At placere højtbegavede børn med en ældre gruppe børn og unge ved at rykke dem et klassetrin op, kan gøre disse børn endnu mere sårbare, end de allerede er.

Danmark er et gennemreguleret land, der tager hånd om især borgere med særlige behov, og det er godt. Desværre er der ikke den store interesse for at varetage denne minoritetsgruppes behov. Selv ministeren, der vel ret beset burde være på børnenes side, udviser en problematisk uvidenhed ved sin nedladende henvisning til, at de da helt sikkert vil kunne få ”hjerneguf” i deres almene klasselokale. Kunne det tænkes, at en faktabaseret forkert forudindtaget holdning om og til børn og unge med høj intelligens står i vejen for den trivsel alle børn har ret til?