PM to skip mosque opening

Helle Thorning-Schmidt will stay away when controversial new mosque opens in May

When Denmark’s largest mosque opens in May in the Copenhagen district of Østerbro, PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (S) will not be a part of the ceremony. The prime minister has declined an invitation to be part of the opening ceremony, Jyllands-Posten newspaper reports.

Queen Margrethe II has also been invited to take part, but it is currently unknown if she will attend the opening. City politicians, including the deputy mayor for culture, Carl Christian Ebbesen (DF), have already said they will stay away from the opening ceremony. 

READ MORE: City politicians to skip mosque opening

The mosque has been under close scrutiny because of its 150 million kroner in funding from the former ruling emir of Qatar. The Danish Islamic Council insists that the donation will not impact the mosque’s political or religious line, but many local and national politicians remain heavily sceptical, and the council previously came under fire for saying it would allow the Hamas-run TV station Al-Asqa to use the mosque's facilities. 

Dansk Folkeparti praised the PM’s decision not to take part in the opening.