Muslim Woman Runs for Danish Parliament

April 27, 2007


Source: The Kansas City Star

Wire Service: AP

A Muslim woman denounced and ridiculed by nationalists for wearing an Islamic head scarf announced Friday she was running for Parliament - a move bound to rekindle heated debate about Islam in Denmark.

The next election is not expected until 2009, but the mere thought of Asama Abdol-Hamid entering the legislature has revived fears of clashing cultures that emerged last year when Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad sparked riots in Muslim countries.

Even mainstream politicians and party colleagues in the left-wing Red-Green Alliance have questioned whether Abdol-Hamid, who moved to Denmark at age 6 with her Palestinian family, shares the fundamental values of Danish society.

Besides covering her hair, the 25-year-old refuses to shake hands with men. Instead, she greets them by laying her right hand on her heart in Muslim tradition.