In Denmark, one Muslim MP stands up for LGBT rights

Published: November 4, 2010

I will stand up, because in my culture we use our hands a lot, and someone will get hurt if I am just sitting here (between Francois and ILGA Europe chair).

Moved to Denmark as a small child, been elected to Parliament in 2001, 2005, 2007, and an election coming soon.

People kept asking me about LGBT issues and I didn’t know why, and then I found out that because I have a Muslim background people kept expecting me to have a certain attitude. Equal rights were one of my issues, and soon LGBT rights became my issue. I was one of the first people to attend a gay parade in Denmark who was not gay himself. At first there was opposition within the Parliament and even within my own party, but I said that this was an opportunity to make clear if we really believed in equality or if we did not. And after struggle my party (socialist People’s Party) accepted this.

I was a spokesman on integration as well as on equal rights: I was the first male ever to be a spokesman for equal rights in the Parliament. When I joined the gay parade in Denmark in 2002 this became a big issue.

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