Last month, the government of Denmark placed an advertisement in four Lebanese newspapers. Published in both Arabic and English, the message listed a number of new, more restrictive laws on refugees in the country. The advertisement had a clear message for Syrians: Don't come to Denmark, go elsewhere.

The Danish government's advertisement made headlines around the world. However, not all Danes were happy with the advertisement. So, on Friday, a new advertisement was published in the same four Lebanese newspapers.

While the first advertisement was funded by the Danish government, this new ad was funded by donations from Danish citizens. As People Reaching Out, the group behind the campaign, put it, the new advertisements were "replicas of the original ads, but with a twist."

"Sorry for the hostility towards refugees expressed here," the new advertisement reads. "As ordinary Danes we wish to extend our sympathy and compassion to anyone fleeing war and despair."

Denmark has taken a harder stance on refugees than its neighbors, a stance that has grown stricter since the center-right Liberal Party formed a minority government in June. The government has imposed a number of laws designed to discourage migrants from coming to the country, including a severe cut to the benefits offered to refugees, and Integration Minister Inger Stojberg promised to run advertisements that would contain "sobering" information for refugees.

However, when the government placed the advertisement last month, many in Denmark were outraged. “This must be the worst timing for an ad in the history of the world,” Uffe Elbaek, the leader of the left-leaning Alternative Party, wrote on Twitter.

According to Lotus Turell, a member of People Reaching Out, about 167,460 Danish Krone (around $25,000) was raised from donations to place the advertisement – less than what the Danish government spent on their advertisements, which are under investigation by Denmark's parliamentary ombudsman over allegations that they are misleading.

In a news release, People Reaching Out said the government's advertisement had not reflected the "Danish tradition of humanity," and the group pointed to a recent Gallup poll that showed that 56 percent of Danes believed their country should grant more residency permits to refugees — compared with 36 percent in similar polls conducted last year.

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