A Danish nightclub boss facing prosecution for banning all migrants who don’t speak his language says he would rather go to jail than back down – because they ‘need to learn a smile isn’t an invitation for sex’.
Tom Holden Jensen has excluded all men from Syria and Afghanistan who cannot speak Danish, English or German from his Buddy Holly club in Søenderborg after a number of women said they felt threatened and intimidated by sexually aggressive men who groped and ‘raped them with hands’ on the dance floor.
But the decision means he could face as long as six months behind bars for breaching Denmark’s racial discrimination laws, yet he has vowed to uphold the controversial policy.
‘The challenge we face is that we can’t communicate with refugees, they don’t understand what I am saying at all.’ said Mr Jensen.
Security staff complained to Mr Jensen that migrant men don’t understand Denmark’s sexual etiquette and need to learn that a woman smiling isn’t an invitation for sex.
Mr Jensen said: ‘In those situations we will have to be physical rather than verbal to them, and we have no desire to be. And we have actually had this language rule since 1997.’
The Buddy Holly club is not alone in banning migrants in Søenderborg as Den Flyvende Hollender (‘The Flying Dutchman’) has done the same.
And Den Flyvende owner Glenn Hollender is just as convinced he has made the right decision.
Mr Hollender said: ‘In my eyes, it is harassment when one or more men continue to touch a young woman after she has said ‘stop’.
The decisions were made after more than 21,000 migrants and refugees arrived in the country last year, with 3,000 now living in Søenderborg, a town of just 27,000 residents.
The influx has led to an increase in sexual offences committed on women in pubs and nightclubs and women complain they are afraid to go out alone at night in a town where an innocent smile can be misinterpreted.
That’s exactly what happened to Marlene, a supermarket cashier, who smiled at a Syrian man, only to have him walk up and put his hands on her face.
‘I tried to push him away but he just wouldn’t give up. I was scared. Later he turned up at the supermarket with his friend. I should never have smiled at him.’ She added: ‘Now I don’t dare walk around in the town alone at night.’
There has yet to be a complaint made against the club owners, according to the police – but if there were, they would investigate.
However, Mr Jensen says it is nothing to do with race, but simply a decision to ensure the club can continue to make money while not spending large amounts of time dealing with problems on the dance floor.
‘There have been no charges filed against me at all and when a lawyer says they think it might be illegal it says to me that he is also not on safe ground in his judgements,’ he said.