Norway: Alcohol as an obstacle for integration

The International Health and Social Group (IHSG) is arranging an evening at the Central Jammat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat mosque in Oslo on Sep. 24th.  The theme of the evening is alcohol policy in an inclusive perspective.

"In Norwegian culture is almost provocative not to drink alcohol.  Norway is a multicultural society.  Are all groups really included?  Muslims make up a large part of the population in Norway, but how does society enable social inclusion?"

"What's so provocative about our drinking?"

"It's provocative that people aren't part of the group.  When somebody sits there and is completely sober and all others are drinking, there's pressure to drink.  'Are you afraid of your parents?  Are you a coward who doesn't dare try it?' are typical questions," says Fahim Naeem of IHSG to

Muslims are not allowed to partake of alcohol in any way, and most Norwegian are aware of this, he thinks.

"In the invitation to this evening Norwegian alcohol habits are portrayed as an obstacle for the integration of Muslims.  What do you mean by that?"

"For Muslim youth it's a restriction.  We see that it can be hard for them, as most Muslims don't drink.  but if moderate amounts are drunk around them, it's good.  The problem is that many become a little insistent and the Muslim youth will feel a little uneasy," he says.

It's not a state secret that many Muslims drink alcohol on par with other Norwegians. Naeem recognizes that, but says it's completely forbidden.

"They get problems at home, if they're discovered."

"But can't it be part of integration that Muslims go out to town to dance and enjoy themselves - also with a couple of beers?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Integration takes place also during leisure time, in the city, out on the town and in cafes.  How can people solve this problem?

"Muslims want to have alcohol free days in discos.  There should be some days when people can go to restaurants and discos where there's a total ban on alcohol," says Naeem.

Hege Storhaug of Human Rights Service rejects such a proposal.  "

"All the time they have special rules, and we reject special requirements.  We get a split up society and Islam get more place in the public sphere.  people force religious opinions on others.  In the most extreme consequence it leads to the Islamization of society," says Storhaug to  

"All the time it's Muslims who come with special requirements.  We never hear a peep from Catholics, Jews, Hindus etc."

"Can it be a type of integration that Muslim youth actually go out to town and drink a couple of beer?"

"Yes, I actually think that's very alright.  Naturally.  I think it is nice if they are involved in sports, in different organizations and that they are a normal part of society.  I am against ghettoizing of society," she says.

Storhaug applauds the proposal for Muslims to go to discos, bars and restaurants with their leaders' blessings.

"Yes, if they will have alcohol-free discos, then the question is: does that mean that Muslim girls will get to go out and dance and meet people," she asks.

Source: Nettavisen (Norwegian)

See also: Norway: Muslim russ


Mark Tapson said...

"All the time they have special rules, and we reject special requirements. We get a split up society and Islam get more place in the public sphere. People force religious opinions on others. In the most extreme consequence it leads to the Islamization of society," says Storhaug to

"All the time it's Muslims who come with special requirements. We never hear a peep from Catholics, Jews, Hindus etc."

Well said.

Anonymous said...

It's true. Only Muslims do that. Hindus don't eat dead, cut-up animals, and even when they comprise 70% of the population in India they never ask the muslims to stop slaughtering animals in the street and hanging their skinned carcasses from their market-stall windows. Dead, cut-up, skinned, hanging by their necks, or just hanging in pieces are infinitely more 'provocative' than a beer. Alchohol-free days at pubs. Why don't they ask for scissor-free days at hair salons or film-free days at photgraphy studios?

Joachim Martillo said...

I do not know from what planet you guys come, but we still have all sorts of laws on the books in Boston and the USA about vending on Sunday and vacations on Christian or Jewish holidays.

Muslims quite reasonably expect to be on an equal footing with all other citizens. Extremist Zionists of course reject the idea and demonize Muslims because the last thing Jews want is an open discussion of Zionist crimes in Palestine and ME.

FreeSpeech said...

I used to live in Norway and when I did not want to drink alcohol, that was ok. No exclusion.

FreeSpeech said...

joachim martillo

Norway is not part of the US, as far as I am informed.

Unknown said...

Only Muslims could come up with something so ridiculous as nightclubs with alcohol-free nights. It'd be hilarious if it wasn't so serious.

Again, it's proposed compromise one-way. Pretty much everything about Islam is provocative. Imagine the outrage (and possible spontaneous explosions) if someone suggested that Islam should give up one of the more arcane aspects of its doctrine. Like one day per week where genocide and aggression wasn't preached at the Mosque for example. I can imagine the reaction: 'How dare you! Advocating the execution of infidels is an integral part of Islam! Oh, we're being oppressed! Waa-waa-waa.'

Don't like people drinking booze/having fun? Fine - you know where the doors is.

joe six-pack said...

Muslims have obivious difficulty merging with other cultures. This is one of the reasons why. Western culture encourages change and accommodation.

For someone comming from a very restricted envirnoment, this would appear to be anarchy. It would appear that nobody is following ANY of the rules. One problem is that the rules are so different that Muslims reject them.

So you have two cultures attempting to merge. One culture is accommodating and the other far more protective of it's role. It makes sense that the protective one will object and make much more noise about the entire conflict in an attempt to inspire additional accommodation.

Another overall problem is that this is occurring in just about every place where Islam is not dominate and in close contact with other cultures.

Anonymous said...

Islam is anarchy, not the free world. Sanctioned incest of one's daughters and sisters, keeping every woman who is unlucky enough to have not been widowed in a state of sex slavery, murdering Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Animists, atheists, apostates, gays, scientists, journalists, dogs, feminists, independent thinkers, anyone who dares question the obvious oppressive ridiculousness of everything they live with, and people who engage in romantic relationships consentually and independent of incestuous Sharia sex slavery; female genital mutilation, chopping off people's limbs, no art, no music, no literature, no poetry, no cinema, no legitimate news, the pervasive denial of basic scientific facts, the complete annihilation, slowly but surely, of one's actual culture in favor of the supremacism of the sickest, most backward, most genocidal, most evil culture ever with the exception of maybe the Aztecs - That is anarchy. DOn't apoogize for our way of life. It's not even worth trying to see it from their perspective. Look at thei rculture, their way of thinking, their way of life. Look at how they treat their women, their children, animals. Objectivism is the only way to respect yourself and your culture and to not become Nazi Germany or worse -- Islamized.

"On the world stage, should we really apologize for Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe? Mozart, Beethoven and Bach?
Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Breughel, Ter Borch? Galileo, Huygens, Copernicus, Newton and
Darwin? Penicillin and computers? The Olympic Games and Football? Human rights and parliamentary democracy?
The west is the source of the liberating ideas of individual liberty, political democracy, the rule of law, human rights and cultural freedom. It is
the west that has raised the status of women, fought against slavery, defended freedom of enquiry, expression and conscience. No, the west
needs no lectures on the superior virtue of societies who keep their women in subjection, cut off their clitorises, stone them to death for alleged
adultery, throw acid on their faces, or deny the human rights of those considered to belong to lower castes
." Ibn Warraq (boldface mine)