Islam a political target in Norway


from the BBC April 22, 2009

With less than six months to go until Norway’s general election, increasing tensions over immigration and Islam appear likely to play a significant role in the vote.

The leader of the country’s main opposition party has warned that it is facing “sneak-Islamisation”, while some prominent Muslims say they face growing “persecution”.

The heated debate is a sign that Norway, renowned as one of the most peaceful and tolerant nations in the world, is facing the same issues with its Muslim minority as are now familiar in other parts of Europe.

Siv Jensen, the 39-year-old leader of the opposition Progress Party, has objected to moves to introduce special measures in order to accommodate Muslims’ religious sensitivities, traditions and rules.

“The reality is that a kind of sneak-Islamisation of this society is being allowed,” she recently told a Progress Party conference. “We are going to have to stop this.”

Opinion polls suggest the party could win as much as 30% of the vote in the election for the national parliament, the Storting, in September.

“If the Progress Party gets to govern Norway, we will enforce Norwegian law and Norwegian rules. We are not going to allow special demands from any single group in society,” Ms Jensen added.


Khalid Mahmood, a Pakistani-born member of the governing Labour Party believes Muslims are being persecuted, and Islam confronted with hatred.

Islamisation of this society is being allowed,” she recently told a Progress Party conference. “We are going to have to stop this.”

“Muslims are the Jews of our times, stigmatised, generalised and presented as a threat to society” he says.

“It is not any longer immigrants who are targeted, but simply Muslims”, he adds.

“We are portrayed as uncivilised people living double lives – orderly and behaved when in public, but at home fundamentalists suppressing and physically abusing women.”

Last month, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), the racism watchdog of the Council of Europe, published a report warning that Islamophobia was on the rise in Norway.

Specifically, the commissioned highlighted the increasingly aggressive rhetoric of the Progress Party.

With an estimated 150,000 of Norway’s almost five million population being Muslims, Islam is the second-biggest religion in the country.

But while Norway was ranked the most peaceful country in the world by the World Peace Index in 2007, it is struggling to integrate its religious minorities.

In some places, Islamic traditions clash with the largely non-religious Scandinavian way of life.

Culture clash

Earlier this year, the Labour Party’s governing coalition suggested it would allow police officers to wear headscarves with their uniform, in the hope that it would attract more Muslim women to the police force.

But after widespread criticism of the proposal, the government dropped the idea.

On International Women’s Day in March, Syrian-born Sara Azmeh Rasmussen protested against headscarves by burning hers in public in the capital, Oslo.

Ms Jensen’s Progress Party has produced a list of special measures it says Muslims have requested to accommodate their religious sensitivities and traditions.

On top of changes to the police uniform, the list mentions prison inmates wanting Halal food, and parents of teenage girls demanding that schools separate their daughters from boys during sports lessons.

Most of her supporters say it is her hardline stand against Islamic values and rules that make her their favourite candidate.

Some polls suggest that Ms Jensen’s party could win the election, and that she could become the country’s next prime minister – though to do so she would have to secure the support of other parties like the Conservatives, the Liberals and Christian Democrats.

‘Empty rhetoric’

The significant success of the Progress Party has forced the governing Labour Party to react.

Earlier this year, the government tightened asylum rules despite earlier pledges not to do so.

And last month, senior members of the Labour Party called for a fight against radical Islam in Norway.

However, the former prime minister and Labour Party leader, Thorbjoern Jagland, called it an unnecessary fight that would only lead to confrontation.

While he argued that it was empty rhetoric, saying there was no radical Islam in Norway, the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) insists radical Islam does represent a threat.

“In Norway, extreme Islamist activity is carried out by small groups. However, the international connections the persons in these groups represent, in addition to activities they carry out, are such in nature that they can also influence that national threat picture,” it said in a recent report.

While the debate is getting more heated, not all Muslims agree with Mr Mahmood.

“Three to four articles critical of religion and the burning of a headscarf is not persecution of Muslims; it is a process of modernising,” says Shakil Rehman, another Labour Party member.

“Criticism isn’t a smear campaign, but necessary progress.”

5 Replies to “Islam a political target in Norway”

  1. Islamization throughout Europe is real. As far as the Muslims go, it is Stealth Jihad, or Silent Jihad. It must be crushed. Political correctness, for which the Euros are so concerned with, must be thrown aside when it comes to this problem, or else Europe as we have known it is gone. Mohammed is the most popular name for babies coming out of hospitals throughout Scandenavia and Western Europe now. Demands are being made and appeased to. More demands follow. Islamists protests are getting more radical (as seen a few months ago when Israel went into Gaza, or when London Muslims felt safe verbally attacking and chanting returning Brit soldiers). The average age of Muslims in Europe is in the teens, while European stock is ageing. It’s only a matter of time unless the Euros take action.

  2. <>

    WOW! How typical of arselifters to claim that! Meanwhile, how do they treat infidels in their own countries? And why did they leave anyway?

    Don’t like Norway? Piss off and go back home. Norway doesn’t want you.

  3. What are discrimination and persecution according to a muslim?

    – the absence of public spaces, such as pools and movie theaters, segregated by sex

    – equality of gender before the law

    – the lack of a special status of superiority for muslims before the law, in addition to discriminatory measures against infidels

    – jail terms for “honor” killings

    – jail terms for muslim “men” convicted of raping non-burqa wearing women

    – a minimum age at which girls can marry

    – the decriminalization of homosexuality and the granting of gay rights enshrined in the law

    – the availability of the same job opportunities for men, women and everyone regardless of their religion; though, regarding religion, I agree with most bosses who are wary of giving their employees between three and four 45-minute long prayer breaks during their shifts

    – freedom of speech

    – the absence of laws dealing with “blasphemy” targeting mohammed-the-pedophile and his alter-ego allah (the imaginary, the mental flatulence.)

    Yeah, so long as there are still a few who are willing to stand up for those Western values that muslims see as “persecution” and “discrimination” against them, life in the West will never be as “wonderful” in their opinion as it could be in Somalia, Saudi Arabia or Porkistan. That’s just another reason for them to pack up and leave the lands whose progress, economic development and human rights owe absolutely nothing to islam.

    People like Micheline Calmy-Rey, Jean Ziegler, Gordon Brown and George Galloway might be extremely sad to see them all leave, but it would be all the better for all of us.

  4. Europe is under siege,from within and too dumb to realize it.

    “However, the former prime minister and Labour Party leader, Thorbjoern Jagland, called it an unnecessary fight that would only lead to confrontation.”

    Typical, head in the sand politician. He won’t complain until his daughter gets stoned for talking to a boy. Fire this guy.
    I hope that Ms.Jensen is elected, her and many more like her, throughout Europe.

  5. The whole;e world needs to put this Stone Age superstition and it’s attendant culture of ignorance and totalitarian ideology where it belongs, on the ash heap of history. Why allow this backwards, tribal cult to flourish, and treat it with respect ? Because they call it a religion ? IMO, ideas that deserve respect should be respected, not stupidity like Islam . I don’t care how many so called Gods and prophets are involved, Islam is diametrically opposed to the principles of civilization. Freedom, Equality, Democracy, and progress cannot exist in Islam. Why be scared to call it an inferior culture ? After all that is what it is, totally backwards and harmful to humanity.
    All religion is dumb, but Islam is dumb and dangerous.

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