Three members of the Free Press Society’s advisory committee have resigned in the wake of comments made by the society’s president.
Lars Hedegaard has gone on a veritable tirade against Muslims in an interview with website Snaphanen, accusing them of raping their own children, lying without conscience and basically having no morals whatsoever.
‘When a Muslim man rapes a woman, it is his right to do it,’ he said in the interview, referring to his interpretation of the tenets of Islam.
‘Whenever it is prudent for a Muslim to hide his true intentions by lying or making a false oath in his own or in Islam’s service, then it is ok to do it,’ Hedegaard said.
Kathrine Lilleør, a Christian minister, author and member of the society’s advisory committee, said she would quit the committee if Hedegaard was not dismissed from his post.
The committee instead kicked Lilleør out. Subsequent to that action, MPs Søren Pind of the Liberal party and Naser Khader of the Conservatives both handed in their resignations from the advisory committee.
The Free Press Society’s board supports Hedegaard’s comments, although not necessarily agreeing with them 100 percent.
Board member Jette Plesner Dali said Hedegaard’s comments were valuable in that they broke the taboo of not criticising problems with Islam.
‘It’s a very off-limits and delicate issue that one has to address with a certain sensitivity – something that isn’t especially characteristic of Lars,’ she told Politiken newspaper. ‘It’s my feeling that an organisation such as the Free Press Society actually needs a president who can bulldoze his way through things a bit.’
Several leading media personalities are now challenging the society’s leadership and other members to take a stand on the issue, saying either they should come out in support of Hedegaard’s statements or quit the organisation.
Hedegaard sent out a press release yesterday as a follow-up to his interview. In it, he stood by his comments, although he attempted to soften the bluntness somewhat by saying he was referring more to the tenets of Islam than to individual Muslims.
‘I’ve always said that I’m not talking about all Muslims but about Islam and its fundamental view on women,’ the statement said. ‘It can be read in the holy scriptures about the Prophet’s actions and teachings.’
‘I don’t think all Muslims are aggressive, just that the ideology behind Islam is.’
Hedegaard has been reported to the police for racism over his comments by Yilmaz Evcil of the City of Århus’ integration council.