What looks like an innocent photo of a woman holding a birthday cake sparked outrage in Denmark as the photo caption revealed that the Immigration, Integration and Housing Minister Inger Stojberg ordered a cake to celebrate the 50th amendment to tighten immigration.
The 43-year-old minister – whose birthday is on 16 March – wrote on Facebook on 14 March that the occasion called for a celebration and added a link to the 50 amendments promoted during her time in the government.
Stojberg, from the centre-right ruling party Venstre, is not new to controversy. She was criticised in the past for contributing to a bill depriving refugees of their valuables, spreading a false anecdote about a daycare centre banning pork from children's meals in January 2016, and publishing an anti-refugee ad in a Lebanese newspaper in September 2015.
Her Facebook post attracted 5,000 reactions and 600 comments within the first hour of publication, according to the news website Local DK. Her post has now received more than 28,000 reactions, 8,000 comments and 4,000 shares as the image continues to do the rounds on social media. The most popular comments to her post condemned the minister's insensitivity.
"There is something seriously wrong when it's [considered] good advertisement to make life harder for refugees and migrants" wrote Jakob Lindell Ruggaard, who is on the board of trustees at Oxfam Ibis.
Another social media user, charity worker Pia Østergaard Madsen wrote it was "disgusting" to celebrate with a cake what is a serious issue affecting real people. "To sit and celebrate with cake as if it was a happy day or a nice anniversary is just so disgusting, I don't know whether to laugh or cry," she wrote.
Danish journalist David Trads responded to Stojberg's post putting together her picture and the iconic photo of Omran Daqneesh, the 5-year-old Syrian boy pulled from rubble in Aleppo in August 2016.
"Has Stojberg no shame?" he wondered in closing his post, which received thousands of reactions as it echoed the feelings of many who saw Stojberg's post.
The minister however sees no problem with her post. She told the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that she paid for the cake herself and it is "not so unnatural to celebrate political victories".
She said she did not understand her critics: "I find that very hard to understand. The restrictions mean that we can send a billion [kroner] to a number of developing countries in the region [closest to refugee source countries]. So I think there's a very good reason to celebrate it."