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Minister cancels appearance at anti-radicalism conference
The minister for integration and social affairs, Karen Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), has pulled out of a conference on religious radicalism next week after she discovered that one of the speakers helped fashion Pakistan's highly controversial anti-blasphemy laws.
The conference's organisers, the Danish Ethnic Youth Council, had invited the scholar Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, leader of the Muslim organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran, to speak on tackling religious radicalisation. The head of the domestic intelligence agency PET, Jakob Scharf, was also invited.
While ul-Qadri is best known for declaring a fatwa, or religious ruling, against terrorism, he also worked as a legal adviser to the Pakistani government in the shaping of anti-blasphemy laws that were recently used to arrest a mentally-challenged girl for allegedly burning the Koran.
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