This Week’s Editorial: Hate preachers in the looking glass

Debating at Folketinget (photo: Heje)
May 12th, 2016 6:00 pm| by Ejvind Sandal

The Venstre minority government has proposed blacklisting individuals – read imams – who are negative or even subversive to Danish values.

Turned away
If individuals are listed as supporting terrorism or threatening to bring other negative vibes into the country, they are unwanted and will be turned back at the border.

It is already easy to turn away individuals from outside EU. They are denied visas arbitrarily and therefore denied access to Denmark.

For those already based in the EU, a special list detailing their unwanted views will be established.

Losing touch
Since the screening of TV2’s hidden-camera documentary ‘Mosques behind the veil’, there has been an increasing focus on imams and their roles in the integrations process.

Some imams are found to be too traditional and fundamental in their guidance of their worshippers, but there are also modern and progressive imams who are trying to encourage young Muslims to embrace Danish society and not lose their way.

The current climate risks alienating young, frustrated men to a point they join or form an extremist group. Their reasons for joining are rarely religious but more likely social.

Human rights at stake
Dansk Folkeparti supports Venstre’s plans, but others – particularly Socialdemokraterne – have warned they are contrary to Danish values and badly timed in this current climate.

Denmark risks earning a similar reputation to US for denying visas without an explanation. And having no legal control over the establishment of such a list increases the chance they will contravene human rights.

All societies have the right to protect themselves, but individuals are helpless and cannot protect themselves against false registrations.

If we have to have hate preachers protection lists, then let them be public so innocent individuals argue their case.



Ejvind Sandal

Copenhagen Post editor-in-chief Ejvind Sandal has never been afraid to voice his opinion. In 1997 he was fired after a ten-year stint as the chief executive of Politiken for daring to suggest the newspaper merged with Jyllands-Posten. He then joined the J-P board in 2001, finally departing in 2003, the very year it merged with Politiken. He is also a former chairman of the football club Brøndby IF (2000-05) where he memorably refused to give Michael Laudrup a new contract prior to his hasty departure. A practising lawyer until 2014, Sandal is also the former chairman of Vestas Wind Systems and Axcel Industriinvestor. He has been the owner of the Copenhagen Post since 2000.