The Danish Parliament's presidency is in a state of alert in case Asmaa Abdol-Hamid will be called in to replace Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen. The representative of the Danish People's Party's (DPP) in the presidency, Søren Espersen, threatened to stop Abdol-Hamid from coming in with her headscarf if he's chairing the session.
The presidency had planned a seminar in April where the question will be discussed and new guidelines prepared. However, Espersen had said that he will do everything to forbid any form of head covering in the parliament hall. He wants to make it clear to Abdol-Hamid that if he's chairing the session when she comes in, she will either take off her headscarf or leave. He says it's not a discussion club, though she could of course complain to the presidency afterwards about the decision. He says he hopes it won't be realistic before the presidency discusses the issue.
Asmaa Abdol Hamid is currently the first replacement for Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen for the Red-Green Alliance. The party normally makes good use of deputies, so it's not improbably that Abdol-Hamid will enter the parliamentary hall.
In contrast to those elected, according to the parliament's uniform regulation employees are allowed to go with a head covering for religious reasons, but it must be issues by the parliament, so that it would fit in with the rest of the uniform.
Abdol-Hamid says that she thinks Espersen's threat is undemocratic. Denmark is a democratic country with a democratic leadership. If the DPP has problems with the values in Denmark they must find another place. It should be a place that is more similar to them - maybe a place in the Middle East.
She says she's doesn't believe she will be kicked out of Parliament. There's a stable, live democracy and the DPP should learn that. The Danes talk and the Danes decide - not the DPP or Søren Espersen. We can't have them making specific laws. She thinks it's very dictatorial and doesn't belong in a democracy. We will fight all undemocratic forces in our society.
She says she would like to see the politicians who came out fighting against undemocratic forces in society such as Hizb ut-Tahrir also stand up and say that Espersen's attitude isn't acceptable.
Abdol-Hamid's party, the Red Green Alliance, had requested clarification regarding the parliament's rules about head covering.
Per Clausen, deputy chairman, says they think Espersen's demand is against the rule and expect the Parliament's chairman to abide by the rules and not to make up their own rules. It's their clear understanding that according to the current regulations it's not possible to prevent a parliament member from wearing a headscarf.
Sources :Politiken 1, 2, 3 (Danish)
See also: Denmark: Can a parliament member wear hijab, Denmark: When the media has no story