Minister cancels appearance at anti-radicalism conference

Integration minister says she will not share stage with a controversial Muslim scholar that helped create Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws

September 6th, 2012 1:37 pm| by admin

The minister for integration and social affairs, Karen Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), has pulled out of a conference on religious radicalism next week after she discovered that one of the speakers helped fashion Pakistan’s highly controversial anti-blasphemy laws.

The conference’s organisers, the Danish Ethnic Youth Council, had invited the scholar Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, leader of the Muslim organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran, to speak on tackling religious radicalisation. The head of the domestic intelligence agency PET, Jakob Scharf, was also invited.

While ul-Qadri is best known for declaring a fatwa, or religious ruling, against terrorism, he also worked as a legal adviser to the Pakistani government in the shaping of anti-blasphemy laws that were recently used to arrest a mentally-challenged girl for allegedly burning the Koran.

This morning, Hækkerup announced that had she would not have agreed to speak at the Conference for Political and Religious Radicalism, which is being held at Copenhagen Business School on September 11, if she had known that ul-Qadri was also planning on attending.

“I am very angry at being connected with something that is so contrary to my views,” Hækkerup told Ritzau. “Politically, I see no reason to take part in the debate. I think it is deplorable that he is coming.”

On the conference's event page, the Danish Ethnic Youth Council confirmed that Hækkerup had cancelled.

Jaleh Tavakoli, a blogger for Jyllands-Posten newspaper and member of City Council, wrote on Sunday that the only reason that ul-Qadri would be a partner in the fight against religious radicalism, is his 2010 fatwa against terrorism.

“The leader of Minhaj-ul-Quran, who is expected to speak at the conference in Copenhagen, is a proponent of, and has actively participated in, the process of Islamisation that lead to the type of legislation that the girl is being charged under,” Tavakoli wrote. “Simply put, he has been a legal adviser in connection with [Pakistan's] establishing of Sharia law and blasphemy laws which could mean death for many Christians, atheists and Muslims.”

Ul-Qadri is on a six-day tour of Denmark that includes speaking at the European Peace Conference at Tivoli Congress Center on Sunday. He was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize and has taken a prominent stance against the use of the Koran to justify terrorism.

The royal affair is portrayed in by Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander in 'A Royal Affair' (photo: Jiri Hanzn)
The dictatorial doctor, aristocratic adulterer and mad masturbator
When Johann Struensee first met the young British princess Caroline Mathild...
One of the deleted scenes from 'Forrest Gump' in which he realises there is nothing quaint about life in east Berlin
Film review: ‘Bridge of Spies’
The credit ‘A film by Steven Spielberg’ has for several decades now car...
Bridge of Spies
At Cinemas: The fall of man, and the fall of a god
There’s currently a pre-Xmas rush for your ticket money, exploiting this ...
Adele's first tour for five years (photo: Youtube)
Adele coming to Denmark
Adele has announced she will perform two concerts in Denmark while touring...
Anne-Marie Rindom is hoping to get nominated for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (photo: Facebook/Anne-Marie Rindom)
Danish fleet racer wins women’s world championship in Oman
Danish fleet racer Anne-Marie Rindom has today won the Laser Radial Women...
Construction of the immersed tunnel that will connect Rødby in southern Zealand with Puttgarden in Germany (photo: Youtube)
Fehmarn Belt opening set for 2026
The Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link – an immersed tunnel that will connect sout...