Danish Imam threatens Muslim MP with 'suicide bomber': Caught on Hidden Camera
A group of Danish Muslims led by MP Naser Khedar yesterday launched the 'Democratic Muslims of Denmark', but not before local Imams were caught on hidden camera hinting the MP could die if he became the country's 'Minister of Integration'.
I spoke on behalf of the Muslim Candian Congress and the Progressive Muslim Union of North America at the session, and today's Danish newspapers have covered the event as their main front page story.
Here is how the Imam vs. the MP story has been reported in the Copehangen Post.
Read and reflect.
March 30, 2006
MP shaken by Imam's death 'joke'
Naser Khader takes time off from Danish politics after an imam jokes that he could be killed if he becomes a minister
A thinly veiled death threat directed at Naser Khader led the prominent MP to withdraw from the public scene last week.
Khader�s move came after the broadcast of a French documentary aired last Thursday. The documentary used a hidden camera to capture an imam suggesting that Khader could attract suicide bombers if he became minister of integration affairs.
The imam who made the alleged threat, Ahmed Akkari, was pictured driving in a car with other Muslim clerics who were recorded saying that pressure should be maintained on daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten in the wake of the Mohammed caricature row and that the paper was controlled by Jews.
Akkari recanted his comments on Thursday and said he meant the comment as a joke.
Khader, who has received death threats in the past, failed to see the humour, however. Although he appeared at an awards ceremony honouring him at Tivoli on Friday, he quickly retreated again, accompanied by agents from the Police Intelligence Service.
Rumours circulated that the threats had unnerved Khader and forced him to consider leaving Danish politics. The Social Liberal MP born to Syrian and Palestinian parents has seen his popularity skyrocket since founding the Democratic Muslims, a moderate group designed to counteract radical Islamists.
The organisation was scheduled to hold its general assembly this Saturday, but questions remained as to whether Khader was prepared to return from his hiatus.
�I�ve always said I will weather the threats, but I just can�t anymore. It�s become too much,� Khader told daily newspaper Ekstra Bladet last week.
He denied on his homepage, however, that he had suffered a nervous breakdown and gone underground.
�I need to relax after several months of stress, and I need to be with my family,� he said.
The national Islamic congregation fired Akkari as its spokesman after his comments were released. �Akkari can�t be a spokesman after these comments,� said Kasem Said Ahmad, a member of the congregation�s board.
A number of politicians also criticised the statements, including PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
�It�s shocking that someone threatens an elected official in Denmark this way,� said Rasmussen. �I expect that the police will investigate this case from top to bottom.�