Fringe Islamic group calls for boycott of Denmark election

Fringe Islamic group calls for boycott of Denmark election
Hizb ut-Tahrir says democracy is "fundamentally incompatible" with Islam, prompting calls for the group to be banned.
2 min read
12 June, 2015
Election posters in Denmark [Nasser al-Sahli]
A the pan-Islamic movement has called on Muslims in Denmark to boycott a forthcoming election, saying "democracy is fundamentally incompatible with Islam".

Mainstream Muslim groups rejected the call by Hizb ut-Tahrir, which advocates the creation of a caliphate for all Muslims under sharia law, and has been at the centre of numerous controversies in Denmark.

"We are committed to being active participants in our society, but it has to be on Islam's terms, without compromising our own principles and values," the group said. "Democracy is fundamentally incompatible with Islam, and it is a sinking ship."

Danish politicians have called for the group to be banned. It has already been banned in Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Russia and China. 

In an interview with TV2 News, the Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said: "We simply do not understand what people who hate our democracy are doing in Denmark."

The Danish press covered the boycott call extensively, regarding it as dangerous in a country in which secularism is one of the constitution's sacred cornerstones.

Conservative and right wing politicians warned of the "Islamification of the country", while Muslims in Denmark complain they are all painted as extremists in an election where the main issues are integration and immigration.

Nasser Khader, a former conservative MP of Syrian descent and current parliamentary candidate, called for people who espouse anti-democratic sentiments to be kicked out of the country.

Al-Araby al-Jadeed spoke to a number of Danes of Palestinian descent who said they would vote for the leftist parties because they defend minority rights.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.