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November newsmaker: Nationalpartiet

 
The new political party Nationalpartiet wants to challenge the anti-immigration agenda and rhetoric

Far-right Nationalpartiet Danmark (NPD) was a short-lived party founded in 1990 with a strong anti-immigration agenda. This October, a new political party has emerged with a very similar name – Nationalpartiet. Its logo is the Danish flag, which is also the first image that visitors to their website see.

But this is a new kind of nationalism. Nationalpartiet Danmark was started by three Pakistani brothers who want to challenge the pervasive hostility towards immigrants and immigration and to promote values of inclusion and respect.

“There is a discourse in society in which immigrants are made into negative objects,” party chairman Kashif Ahmad told Politiken newspaper.

“The rhetoric has become so extreme that we now need to defend the Danish values that our parents were met with when they arrived in Denmark – a country where we were born and brought up, and which we consider our home country.”

The party was subjected to an online hate campaign immediately after its launch. Kaj Vilhelmsen, leader of the original NPD, wrote on Twitter: “[NPD] stood for: out with the Pakis! Pakistanis have no right to use the name Nationalpartiet.”

 

Nationalpartiet Danmark stod for: Ud med perkerne! Pakistanere har ingen ret til at bruge navnet Nationalpartiet. @politiken, #drpol

— Kaj Vilhelmsen (@kajvilhelmsen) October 17, 2014

 

Ahmad responded that the attacks they faced only demonstrated that the hardened tone towards immigrants and immigration by politicians and the media had only served to make people scared.

“We are interested in community and solidarity and bringing an end to this negative language which has been used for far too many years,” Ahmed said.

The party’s central political platform is focussed on easing immigration requirements and increasing religious freedoms. They also want to increase the quality of schooling and improve staffing in the health sector.

The party needs to secure 20,000 signatures in order to run in next year’s highly anticipated general election. M

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By Peter Stanners

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief. Occasional photographer.

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