The participation of a leading spokesperson from a prominent Muslim organisation has politicians up in arms
The surprising participation of an eminent member of a large Muslim organisation, in a Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration last Friday, has caused concern among MPs.
In a press release last week, Kassem Ahmad, the spokesperson for the Islamic Society in Denmark, called for dialogue in the wake of the arrest of three men accused of planning the murder of Kurt Westergaard, Jyllands-Postens illustrator responsible for the controversial Mohammed drawing.
'We extend a hand out to the Danish society to participate in dialogue in understanding and respecting each other,' he wrote. He also stated he would support the fight against extremism.
Three days later, he was photographed next to Fadi Abdullatif, leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir Denmark, heading a demonstration where a direct threat against Danish society was issued.
This has several politicians wondering why a spokesperson for the Islamic Society, an organisation known for its moderate stance, was participating in a demonstration led by an extremist group.
Henrik Dam Kristensen, integration spokesperson for the Social Democrats said: 'If the Islamic Society chooses spokespeople who sympathise with the Hizb ut-Tahrir and participates in this sort of demonstration, then to me, the society has lost a large portion of its legitimacy.'
The Conservative party's political spokesperson, Henriette Kjær echoed his views stating that Ahmad's participation in the demonstration was very 'destructive' and put the Islamic Society in bad light.
She also said it meant that politicians had to distance themselves from the society when the spokesperson so active in a demonstration that wanted to overthrow Danish democracy.
Ahmad denied the criticism and did not see anything wrong in his participation.
'It was a well-organised demonstration and perfectly law-abiding,' he said. 'Even though we don't necessarily agree with the Hizb ut-Tahrir about certain things, the message was clear: we will not accept the ridicule of our prophet.'
Pia Kjærsgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party, did not buy his argument.
'The Islamic Society says one thing in the press release and another by participating in the demonstration,' she said.
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