Denmark: Paludan banned from political festival

Denmark's political elite will come together with citizens for four days at the Folkemøde festival, which starts on Thursday. The far-right Danish-Swedish politician Rasmus Paludan, who became notorious in Sweden for actions such as burning Korans, has been banned by Danish authorities from attending the popular festival, which features political debates as well as entertainment, for security reasons. A sensible decision?

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Berlingske (DK) /

Denmark has become weak

Berlingske is dissatisfied with the ban:

“It's difficult to accept the decision. It's difficult to accept that Denmark has clearly become so weak that we can no longer protect the people's right to freedom of expression. That the enemies of democracy have succeeded in excluding political parties from our most important political festival. That the banning of a violent man has gained such significance.”

Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Don't make a martyr of Paludan

Kristeligt Dagblad fears that Paludan could exploit the ban:

“The biggest risk with the current ban is also that Paludan could use it to present himself as a martry. If he has to be taken away by the police at the harbour in Rønne [on Bornholm], it will probably give his political communication a big boost. It's no easy task for Danish democracy to deal with the Paludan phenomenon, as he deliberately exploits the limits of an open, tolerant society. So far, he has had limited success with his project in the Danish context. Let's hope it stays that way.”