Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Danish Candidate MP: «OK to Attack Danish Troops in Iraq»

Asmaa Abdol-HamidThe Danish-Palestinian politician Asmaa Abdol-Hamid caused quite a stir in the Danish media yesterday when she said in an interview with the tabloid newspaper B.T. that she supported the «resistance» movement in Iraq and had no problems with Danish troops being attacked. Asmaa Abdol-Hamid plans to run for the extreme-left Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) at the next elections for the Danish Parliament (Folketinget).

Asmaa Abdol-Hamid told B.T. that «she supports the Iraqi resistance movement against the occupation forces» and that «they have the right to live in a country where they can make their own decisions». She therefore does not want to distance herself from Iraqis using weapons against Danish forces in Iraq either. In a reaction to the controversy her first interview started, she maintained her support for the Iraqi resistance, and even went as far as to compare them to the Danish resistance movement against the German occupation during Second World War. She thinks resistance against a foreign occupation is not only legitimate but even a human right.

Naser Khader, the founder of the new conservative political party New Alliance (Ny Alliance) said in a reaction that Asmaa Abdol-Hamid is a confused young woman who has already said so many things and contradicted herself numerous times. He points out that she's completely wrong in this case, since the Iraqi government is legitimate and recognized by the United Nations, and therefore should be supported over the resistance movement. Other politicians from other parties agreed with Naser Khader.

Asmaa Abdol-Hamid was backed up by her own party, the Red-Green Alliance, with Frank Aaen, MP for that party, saying that in Iraq, combat against amongst others Danish soldiers is legitimate. He adds though that he's against terror in general, and assumes Asmaa Abdol-Hamid is too. The Danish imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen, who backs Asmaa Abdol-Hamid's candidacy for the Danish Parliament on the Red-Green Alliance's list, supports her too, saying he still thinks she'll make a good Danish MP. According to him, what she has said isn't controversial at all.

Asmaa Abdol-Hamid came to Denmark as a Palestinian refugee in 1986 together with her family. She is a social worker and made first national headlines when she refused to shake hands to a male colleague after she got elected as a deputy member of the Odense city council in 2005 for the Red-Green Alliance. She was later the spokesperson for 11 Muslim organizations acting against Jyllands-Posten in the famous cartoon controversy, and hosted in 2006 a TV show called Adam and Asmaa on public television together with journalist (and atheist) Adam Holm. That show caused a debate too since she wore a hijab, thereby being the first TV host on Danish television to do so. She has already announced that if she gets elected for the Danish Parliament, she'll wear the hijab in the Parliament too.

In the interview with B.T. she also said she has never had any boy-friend, but she has already said no to many men. She doesn't know how the perfect man for her should be like, but for her, the more important question is how she'll meet him – e.g. through «the traditional way where another family knows her family, and she can learn to know their son».

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