Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
|Member of the Danish Parliament|
for Østjyllands Storkreds
|Assumed office |
18 June 2015
|Born||1 July 1963|
|Radikale Venstre, Ny Alliance|
|Domestic partner||Bente Dalsbæk (until 2010)|
|Occupation||Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute, Middle East expert and TV commentator, Radio host|
Naser Khader (Arabic: ناصر خضر Levantine pronunciation: [ˈnɑːsˤer xɑdˤer]) (born 1 July 1963) is Danish-Syrian and a member of the Parliament of Denmark for the Conservative People's Party. He was first elected to Parliament representing the Danish Social Liberal Party in 2001. In 2007 he left this party to found New Alliance (later Liberal Alliance), whom he represented from 2007 until 5 January 2009. A leading proponent of peaceful co-existence of democracy and Islam, he established a new movement, Moderate Muslims (later renamed Democratic Muslims), when the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began.
In the national elections on 13 November 2007, Naser Khader's New Alliance party won five parliamentary seats. After a tumultuous year, in which two MPs left the party, one was excluded from the parliamentary group, and the party was renamed to Liberal Alliance, Naser Khader too left the party. Following a short period as an Independent Member of the Danish Parliament, Naser Khader joined the Conservative People's Party on 17 March 2009. Khader lost his seat in the 2011 Danish parliamentary election, but regained it in the 2015 election.
Khader co-founded an association of Islamism critics in 2008, with the aim to promote freedom of speech and inspire moderate Muslims worldwide. Khader and the Conservative Party advocate a complete ban on the burqa as part of an integration initiative by the Conservatives' parliamentary group, describing it as "un-Danish" and "oppression against women".
Naser Khader is the son of a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother. He was raised in a small rural town outside Damascus in the traditional Syrian way. As a Palestinian refugee, his father had difficulties getting a good job in Syria, and although they lived in the village of his wife, she was often referred to as "The one who married a stranger".
Naser Khader was named after Egyptian president Nasser. Khader's father emigrated to Europe in the 1960s—a period when European countries had begun the call for foreign workers. Naser himself did not join his father until 1974, when he moved from his village in Syria to a flat in central Copenhagen, Denmark. He graduated from the Rysensteen Gymnasium in 1983.
Freedom of Expression and Jyllands-Posten
In 2006, he was awarded Jyllands-Posten's Freedom of Expression award. As the newspaper had published cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad the award affected the perception of Khader among "practicing Muslims" according to Tim Jensen,.
When it was reported that Ahmed Akkari, spokesman for the group of Danish Imams that toured the Middle East seeking support during the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, said "...If Khader becomes Minister of Integration, it would be likely that someone dispatched two guys to blow him and the Ministry up?...".Vid. (Fr.) Naser Khader stated that he had to consider whether or not to continue in politics. When Akkari was later confronted with his statement, he said that he was joking. Later, on April 1, 2006, Khader indicated that he would return to politics.
Network of journalists and political consultants
Naser Khader is well connected among political commentators and journalists. He is on friendly terms with two of the former press secretaries of the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as well as the current press secretary, Michael Ulveman. In a documentary about the Mohammed-cartoons crisis, Naser Khader is shown jogging with political commentator Henrik Qvortrup, exclaiming: "I don't want to give that idiot any more screentime" (referring to Ahmed Akkari).
During the 2007 parliamentary election campaign, Qvortrup published a story in his tabloid magazine Se og Hør, accusing Khader of tax fraud on the basis of one paid anonymous source, and without any substantiated evidence to support the claim. Several anonymous workers were reported to having admitted to moonlighting at Khader's private home. In reaction, Khader called Qvortrup a "swine", a common Danish insult similar to the word "jerk", and declined to comment on the story; shortly after, he expressed regret for the use of that word. Khader claimed he had documents proving that everything was legitimate and threatened to sue the magazine for libel, which he later did. Khader won the case against Se og Hør in December 2012 and was thus completely exonerated of the allegations of fraud that may have cost him his parliamentary seat in 2007. Qvortrup, however, maintains that the story was correct.
New political party
Previously a member of the Social Liberals Party, Khader withdrew from the Party on 7 May 2007 in order to create his own party, Ny Alliance, which about a year later regrouped to become Liberal Alliance.
In the national election held on 13 November 2007, Naser Khader's Liberal Alliance party succeeded in winning five seats. On 5 January 2009 Khader himself left the party, retaining his seat in the Danish Parliament. He later joined the Conservative Party but was not re-elected in the 2011 Danish general elections. He was reelected as a member of the Conservative Party on 18 June 2015 and is currently representing that party in Parliament.
- Berndt, Thomas (16 September 2011). "Disse folketingsmedlemmer har fået sparket". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- "Folketinget - Naser Khader". Retrieved August 26, 2015.
- "Khader stifter forening mod islamisme" (in Danish). Jyllands-Posten. 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
- Danish Conservatives Call for Burqa Ban
- Tim JENSEN (2003). "ISLAM AND MUSLIMS IN DENMARK: AN INTRODUCTION". Universidad de Odense.
- Khaders magtfulde netværk | Journalisten
- TV-Avisen, October 31, 2007
- Naser Khader fremlægger dokumentation mod Se og Hør - Danmark
- http://politiken.dk/indland/article416501.ece - November 2
- "Khader bekræfter R-exit" (in Danish). Politiken. 2007-05-07. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
- Popular MP to create own party, The Copenhagen Post, May 7th, 2007
This biography of a living person relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2007) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Khader, Naser (2000). Khader.dk Aschehoug, Denmark. ISBN 87-11-11464-9 (biography).
- Khader, Naser (2001). Nasers brevkasse Gyldendal Uddannelse, Denmark. ISBN 87-00-49372-4 (Naser's mailbox).
- Khader, Naser (2003). Ære og skam Borgen, Denmark. ISBN 87-21-02298-4 (about the Islamic family- and lifepattern in Denmark and the Middle East).
- Khader, Naser (2003). Modsætninger mødes Forum, Denmark. ISBN 87-553-3331-1 (discussions with the former Jewish rabbi Bent Melchior).
- Dalsbæk, Bente (2006): Med underkop - Livet med min muslimske svigermor. Ekstra Bladets forlag, Denmark. ISBN 87-7731-276-7 (about Khader's mother Sada, and Arab-Danish family life under the Muhammad cartoons controversy).