Asmaa Abdol-Hamid (Arabic : أسماء عبد الحميد) (born November 22, 1981) is an Arab-Danish social worker and former politician living in Odense.
Abdol-Hamid is one of seven children.She was born in the United Arab Emirates to parents of Palestinian descent. Her father grew up in a Lebanese refugee camp. Her mother's family also lived in Lebanon, but moved to Saudi Arabia for a few years. In the 1970s, her parents moved to the United Arab Emirates before they contacted Dansk Flygtningehjælp during the mid-1980s, due to the police's harassment. The family was granted political asylum in Denmark, moving to Genner, Southern Jutland.
She and her family are practicing Muslims. When she was 14 the family moved to Rødekro, and then in 1998 they moved to Vollsmose, Odense, to give the children more opportunities for higher education.
In 2004, she graduated with a degree in social worker from Odense University College of Lillebaelt and worked as family coordinator in Roskilde. She also started a successful girl's club. She is now working in Vollsmose.
Asmaa Abdol-Hamid was the first hijab-clad television host in Denmark and got elected as a deputy in the Danish Parliament, and she is the first woman with a scarf to attend the Danish City Council in Denmark.
In high school Abdol-Hamid joined Social Democratic Youth of Denmark.
In 2005 she was elected as deputy member of the Odense city council for the Red-Green Alliance. She then first came to media attention when she refused to shake a male colleague's hand, instead putting her hand on her heart in greeting.
She served as spokesperson for the eleven Muslim organizations who filed a complaint with the police after the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, contending that Jyllands-Posten should be criminally prosecuted for publishing editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad. After a two-month investigation the Regional Public Prosecutor concluded that no apparent violation of Danish law had been committed that would trump the publishers' right to free speech.
In 2006, Abdol-Hamid hosted a TV show "Adam og Asmaa" together with Adam Holm. The show caused much debate since it was the first time a TV host in Denmark wore a hijab. The Danish feminist group Feminist Forum said her appearance "strengthens ethnic and gender equality in Denmark" but the Women for Freedom association said, "The choice of Asma Abdol-Hamid (sic) ... is an insult to both Danish and Muslim women."
In 2007, she announced her plans to run for the Folketing, gaining the candidacy for a Copenhagen seat for the Red-Green Alliance.She is listed seventh on the party's parliamentary candidate list. Her candidacy caused debate in Denmark over the fact that she intends to serve wearing a hijab. She also received support from some imams during the elections. Although she was not elected, she may still appear in the parliament as a substitute for Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen. Pia Kjærsgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party, threatened that "we" would throw Asmaa out of the Folketing if she were to stand at the pulpit and open a speech with an invocation to God.
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