Danish Uriasposten brings an interesting look at how the media works.
To understand the background: The Danish People's Party is no stranger to controversy. Søren Krarup, one of the party's parliament members, regularly appears on the news. In the past he had compared the Koran to Mein Kampf and the hijab to a swastika during parliamentary debates.
In this game there are two players - both the politicians and the newspapers want to get headlines, and both of them know exactly how to do it.
So.. what happens on a slow news day?
On Nov. 27th, Berlingske Tidende came out with the following headline: Krarup: Burqa wearers will lose voting right
"After keeping a low profile since his controversial comparison between the swastika and Muslim veils Danish People's Party's Søren Krarup again attacks Muslim clothing.
Krarup wants to forbid Muslim women from voting at the parliament elections, if they have covered their face with a burqa or niqab.
The proposal comes after the Canadian government introduced a bill that requires Muslim women to remove face-veils in voting booths, so they can't hide their identity."
The story was picked up by other news media:
- 27/10-07 (23.01) DR Online - Krarup: Reject burqa at voting booth .
" Both conservative leaders, Bendt Bendtsen and Minister of the Interior Lars Løkke Rasmussen reject the proposal."
- 28/10 (09.54) TV2 Online - Krarup: Burqa - zero voting right.
- 28/10-07 (12.44) Politiken - Krarup: Women with burqa will lose voting right.
- 29/10-07 (07.00) 180 Grader - Pia K: Strip burka-wearing voting right
" This is a frontal assault on the fundamental democratic freedoms. We completely don't care if people come with a top-hat, burqa or cassock.. such is democracy" (Morten Østergaard, deputy chairman of the of the Danish Social Liberal Party)
On Oct. 30th Søren Krarup published a letter in Berlingske Tidende in which he says the following:
Berlingske Tidende called me up and said that the Canadian government had prepared a bill that forbids Muslim women from wearing a burqa or other face-covering clothing, when they vote for parliament. They should be identified by their faces. What do you say? I answered that the bill was obviously correct, since obviously they should be identified at the voting place where they will vote. There are today so many fakes with cards and certificate. Bottom line, it's the face that indicates identity.
Berlingske Tidende then went on to report this as a minor sensation, saying Krarup wants to deprive Muslim women of their voting rights.
However, Krarup says his statements are exactly what Danish law says. According the parliamentary elections law, one must identify himself before voting, possible with an ID card. And according to the ID law, the identifying picture must be taken without a head covering.
If there's no news, why not create some?
Source: Uriasposten (Danish)
See also: Denmark: Hijab is as totalitarian as a swastika