Asghar Ali, deputy head of the Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd) and member of the Oslo Worker's Society (Oslo Arbeidersamfunn) didn't want to oppose death for homosexuals earlier this month. He explained later that as a "Norwegian Muslim" he did not support such executions. But the head of the Islamic Council, Senaid Kobilica, says that he doesn't want to talk about homosexuals.
At the same time, the Islamic Council gets 500,000 Norwegian tax kroners in support.
iOslo.no rang Kobilica up and asked him five questions:
1. Does the Islamic Council reject a death sentence for homosexuals, regardless of where in the world it happens and regardless of theological reasons?
2. Does the Islamic Council think that youth who see themselves as homosexuals can be cured with medicines or psychiatric sessions?
3. Does the Islamic Council recommend such therapy?
4. Should youth who see themselves as homosexuals be married to a person of the opposite sex?
5. Can punishment or exclusion be explained if a homosexual isn't able or doesn't want to change their sexual orientation?
Koblica said he can't answer on the spot and asked that the questions be sent to him. After many phone calls, the Islamic Council head answered by SMS, saying he was sorry but he did not want to say anything on the issue.
Håkon Haugli of the homo-network in the Labor Party thinks it's very serious that the head of an organization that claims to represent 60,000 Muslims can't oppose execution of homosexuals and forced marriage for this same group.
Associations which don't reject grave human rights abuse shouldn't get state support. This must be a requirement, he says to iOslo.no.
What signals are they sending out to the youth by not opposing it?
Haugli says that it Indirectly legitimizes violence and discrimination of homosexuals. By not being clear, it sharpens the contrast between immigrants and Norwegians, he says and adds that when they don't answer questions about homosexuals, they don't live in the same reality that the rest of us do.
Per Willy Amundsen, spokesperson of integration of the Progress Party, doesn't doubt what should be done with the Islamic Council: If they don't absolutely reject the death penalty for homosexuals, he says it's like giving money to Vigrid (a neo-Nazi organization). They probably agree in their attitude towards homosexuality. There must be limits regarding economic support, says Amundsen and adds that we agree to finance the most extreme.
André Oktay Dahl of the Conservative Party comments as follows but stresses that he isn't speaking on behalf of the parliament group. The attitudes shown by the Islamic Council, are taken from the darkest middle ages, and there must be consequences as to how easy it should be for them to request public means, thinks Dahl.
He thinks that maybe they don't deserve what they get today. Dahl says he thinks that it should be evaluated whether their support should be cut off. They are actually encouraging criminal acts. He says he can send a copy of the Norwegian laws to the Islamic Council and that the red-green government must stop playing along with them.
Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)
See also: Norway: Police want to recruit in mosques, Norway: Islamic council comes out against genital mutilation