Thursday, March 16, 2006

Khader in conflict over Democratic Muslims

A few weeks after forming his organisation Democratic Muslims, Naser Khader has got into a bitter conflict with another member. It is co-founder Hadi Khan. Some remarks of the latter to conservative paper Berlinske Tidende has angered Khader so much that he will bring the issue on the agenda for a meeting in the board of Democratic Muslims on Friday.

Hadi Khan said to the paper that “Khader is not enough Muslim, and Islamic faith Community (with imams) is too much muslim”. He added that one may be in favour of sharia, but without supporting stoning and physical maiming as a punishment. He does not agree with Khader in the need to reject sharia as a precondition for membership in Democratic Muslims.

Khader also blames Khan for not being open about his membership of a competing muslim organisation, Critical Muslims, which according to Khader has a problematic view of Sharia: “You cannot flirt with Sharia as legal basis for the country, and be a member of our association, but you can be a practising muslim and be in favour of Sharia as a belief. We must make that distinction”, says Khader. The prominent Danish businessman Asger Aamund (Neurosearch), who is chairman of Democratic Muslims Supportorganisation, agrees with Khader’s membership policy. Hadi Khan does not understand what the disagreement is about. “I don’t want to lure a Medieval sharia-interpretation into our association, but on the other hand I don’t think such a basic element should not be excluded from the discussion in the first place”, he says.

In the course of the cartoons crisis Khader has moved to the top level of leadership in the Radicals, the social liberal centre party he represents in the Danish parliament. He had been given the top post of immigration policy spokesman. However, yesterday he got into disagreement with party chairwoman Marianne Jelved on her remarks on Prime minister Rasmussen. Jelved is increasingly – and successfully – casting herself in the role of leader of the opposition against the Rasmussen government. A few days ago she said that “Rasmussen is a mishap to Denmark” and he is creating “dangerous divisions” in Danish society by his distinguishing between “sheep and goats” (the “good guys” and “bad guys”) in the debate on freedom of speech. Khader criticised the coining of the criticism as too harsh. Jelved however got general support from the parliamentary group of the Radicals in parliament.

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