Denmark: Free Press Society president charged with racism (UPDATE: Reactions)

Denmark: Free Press Society president charged with racism

The Copenhagen Public Prosecutor decided to press charges (DA) against the president of the Free Press Society, Lars Hedegaard, for racist remarks.

In an interview last year Hedegaard said that Muslims rape their children.


Lars Hedegaard stands by his statements (DA), but says that he doesn't wish to comment further.

Naser Khader, integration spokesperson for the Conservatives, says that Hedergaard is not a racist (DA) and his statements are not racist.

Khader was a member of the Free Press Society, but left after Hedergaard's statements. Today he says that Hedegaard had "crossed the line", but that the racism is law is being abused in this case. He wants a political discussion about the law and about whether it should be abolished. Khader says that people should be judged by what they do, not by what they say.

One of Hedegaard's critics, integration consultant and author Mohammad Rafiq, says the charges were "a victory for integration" (DA) . he says he's incredibly glad that the prosecutor made this decision since it shows that Danish Muslims are taken seriously. Instead of feeling alienated, he says, we now have a feeling that we're listened to like equal citizens. Rafiq says that the decision sends society a sign that such statements are unacceptable.

Rafiq had previously turned to the police against Hedegaard and sued for libel.