Scanorama, the passenger magazine of SAS, the Scandinavian public airline, has pulled a profile of a popular Danish politician and member of parliament who is known for his fierce stand against radical Islam.
Naser Khader, a Syrian born Palastinian with a secular Muslim background who grew up in Denmark, emerged as a rallying national figure during the cartoon crisis in 2006. Khader founded the organization Democratic Muslims when Denmark’s embassies were set on fire in the Middle East, and he spoke out against a group of radical imams in Denmark who had incited public opinion and governments in the Muslim world against Denmark.
Khader has received several death threats and is living with additional security around the clock. Last year he founded a new political party New Alliance that won five seats in parliament in the November election.
According to Khader Scanorama had been working on the profile for months, and the magazine was planning to put him on the cover of its February issue. The story was supposed to focus on his fight against islamists and the price he has been paying in terms of threats to himself and his family.
Jyllands-Posten has learned that the decision to pull the profile was made due to security. Scanorama’s editor Sandra Carpenter has refused to comment on the decision and to explain what kind of security risk the profile of Khader constitutes to SAS.
Naser Khader is dissappointed by the decision.
“If true, this means that they have given in to threats or imagined threats, and that’s bending the knee to the islamists,” says Khader.
At the corporate headquarters in Sweden SAS spokesman Bertil Ternert insists that neither the top management nor the security department have been involved in the decision to pull the profile.