Minister cancels appearance at anti-radicalism conference
Integration minister says she will not share stage with a controversial Muslim scholar that helped create Pakistan's anti-blasphemy laws The minister for integration and social affairs, Karen Hakkerup (Socialdemokraterne), has pulled out of a conference on religious radicalism next week after she discovered that one of the speakers helped fashion Pakistan’s highly controversial anti-blasphemy laws.
The conference’s organisers, the Danish Ethnic Youth Council, had invited the scholar Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, leader of the Muslim organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran, to speak on tackling religious radicalisation. The head of the domestic intelligence agency PET, Jakob Scharf, was also invited.
While ul-Qadri is best known for declaring a fatwa, or religious ruling, against terrorism, he also worked as a legal adviser to the Pakistani government in the shaping of anti-blasphemy laws that were recently used to arrest a mentally-challenged girl for allegedly burning the Koran.
This morning, Hakkerup announced that had she would not have agreed to speak at the Conference for Political and Religious Radicalism, which is being held at Copenhagen Business School on September 11, if she had known that ul-Qadri was also planning on attending. (...)