Norway: "We don't need them!"

Norway: "We don't need them!"

Debating the issue of Muslims and extremism, people sometimes argue with me that Muslims never speak out against Muslim extremists. I argue back that there are those who do, but they don't make the headlines. Here's a case in point. Shakil Rehman, writer and translator, wrote the following editorial in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten.

"We don't need them!"

The conservative religious have won the media's attention without being put into a corner. Competent journalists who celebrate individual freedom, equality and brave confrontations are rarer and rarer.

I thought that the generally high level of education in Norway will benefit Muslims and that religion criticism will be a natural consequence, but without success. Criticism of religion has had a difficult path in Pakistan and we see the result in the Swat valley today. The Swat valley is a continuation of the blood-bath in the Red Mosque in Islamabad, where fundamentalist Muslims disregarded Pakistan's judicial system. Now the intellectuals finally wake up in Pakistan and there's an intense debate about the scope of religion.

First generation imams in Norway had been rather absent from the debate due to lacking Norwegian knowledge. In the times they've spoken out they've often come out with degrading statements about women or with absurd assertions about September 11. The development of more articulate second generation imams and young Muslim spokespeople isn't less worthy of concern. They preach and defend Islam by coming with memorized Koran verses, and smothering all attempts at an impartial debate about the religion which is the reason for insufficient social adjustment and integration.

Usman Rana and Abid Raja have been in the media for many years with effective controlling techniques such as accusations of racism and stigmatization. Their favorite verse is: 'There is no coercion in religion' and 'to kill one person is to kill all of humanity'. These people desperately try to hide that the religions have a lot of blood and coercion in their [history].

In an article in VG earlier this year, Attiq Ahmad Suhail presented himself as a young Muslim spokesperson with imam potential. He characterized the undersigned as an assimilated person who 'rose paints' Norway and therefore should be excluded from criticizing.

In the same article he also praises Norway, but from an Islamic perspective. He thinks Norwegian actually practice "real Islam" with their democracy and their laws and regulations.

Norwegian democracy, equality and freedom of religion are as distant from Islam as possible. Mohammed didn't practice democracy or secularism, but gave other tribes two alternatives: sword or submission. In Mecca Mohammed didn't allow religions other than Islam. Apostasy in the religion is a deadly sin.

Women in Norway are independent and free, with a private life and control over their own sexuality, which is incompatible with the Koran's teaching.

A young imam which appeared in the Norwegian media is Zulqarnain Sakandar Madni. He can be seen in the Brennpunkt program "Imamen" [The imam] on NRK's site. Madni, who has the Muslim society of the 600s as his ideal, is dangerous for Muslim youth by blending politics and religion.

He displays hate towards Jews and the West in the way he portrays Iraq and the Palestine conflict. He says further that girls should wear a hijab from the time they're very small, so that when they reach 13 they won't protest. If they protest, then they're not Muslim. This is a good example of brainwashing and social exclusion.

Madni was one of several imams in the panel Raja invited to his "dialog meeting" to prevent forced marriage. When Raja invites in addition open Jew haters and Talibanists to the same 'dialog meetings', he portrays himself, imam Madni, Basim Ghozlan and others from the Islamic council as more moderate then they are.

Abid Raja proposes state-employed imam who will go round schools and preach the 'proper' Islam. Islam is displayed as a solution to the integration problems. Norwegian Muslims don't need imams like Madni to tell them what is right and wrong. The younger generation of Norwegian Muslims need to reflect more critically about their parents' traditions and to a large degree make an independent, moral choice.

Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)

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