Danish Muslim youth organisation criticised for inviting controversial imam to speak at event

Shahid Mehdi has been quoted associating women not wearing headscarves with rape

The Muslim youth organisation Muslimsk Ungdom i Danmark has attracted strong criticism for its decision to invite the controversial preacher Shahid Mehdi to speak at an event on Sunday, TV2 News reports.

Mehdi was quoted in 2004 as saying that women who don’t wear headscarves are in many ways themselves to blame if they are raped.

Bad timing
Lars Aslan Rasmussen, a member of Copenhagen’s municipal council for Socialdemokraterne, is among the critics of Mehdi’s involvement in the event. Rasmussen commented on the event’s timing, coming soon after multiple sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve in the German city of Cologne, in which North African and Arabic men are the suspects.

“The timing is extremely bad in light of what happened in Cologne. It would have been very good to have an imam that, for example, spoke about equal rights of women and men instead,” he said.

Damaging to Muslims’ reputation
According to Rasmussen, Muslimsk Ungdom giving Mehdi a platform risks exacerbating the feeling some Muslims are experiencing of being under suspicion as rapists.

“This is very unfortunate and I’m sure that it will damage many Muslims’ reputation,” he said.

The event is being held at the premises of the Danish Islamic Society Det Islamiske Trossamfund, with which Copenhagen Municipality decided to sever co-operation last year. Neither Muslimsk Ungdom i Danmark nor Det Islamiske Trossamfund responded to TV2’s request for comment on the case.





  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.