Mr Khader goes to Washington

Mr Khader goes to Washington

The article is written with Syrian refugees, among others, in mind (photo: iStock)
November 29th, 2011 10:11 am| by admin
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DenmarkÂ’s first immigrant MP is leaving politics to work for the Washington, DC-based think tankHudson Institute.

The Konservative politician Naser Khader used his Facebook page on Sunday to announce that he was quitting Danish politics.

“I’ll be travelling around the Arab world conducting research on freedom of expression and the growth of democracy. It will also have to do with the consequences of the Arab Spring,” Khader wrote, adding that he would continue to live in Denmark, while commuting to Washington and the Middle East.

During the Mohammed cartoon crisis in 2005 Khader rose to prominence as one of Denmark’s most outspoken – Arab and Muslim – defenders of the media’s right to publish satirical cartoons about Muslims and the prophet Mohammed.

In the aftermath of the crisis – which pitted jihadists against media in the Western world – Khader helped start Demokratiske Muslimer, a Danish NGO of Muslims for democracy.

In 2001, Khader, then a member of Radikale, became the first immigrant elected to parliament. In 2007, he left the party to help launch the Ny Alliance. Two years later he jumped parties once again to join the Konservatives. But in the parliamentary elections in September – which were disastrous for the Konservative party – he lost his seat. On Sunday Khader announced that he would not run for parliament again.

Instead he was looking forward to his new work with the American think tank.

“Think tanks are much more active in American politics than they are in Denmark,” he wrote. “In the US, politicians really listen to think tanks. And the US is in fact really politically correct. They have discussions there that remind me of the sort we had before the Mohammed crisis.”

Khader added that, for the moment, he had no regrets about his career change.

“Funny enough, I don’t miss being active in Danish politics at all.”

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