Oslo: 'This is a Muslim district' (UPDATED)

Oslo: 'This is a Muslim district'

I moved the updates below.


Sunday August 9, a couple was on their way home in the evening after a concert and dinner in central Oslo. They went hand in hand along the road close to where they live in Grønland [Oslo].

"Suddenly a man in his 40s came to us, apologized and asked if we speak Norwegian. Then he asked 'what is that?' while pointing to our hands," says Anders (24) to Dagbladet.

The man of foreign origin then explained what he thought of normal Norwegian values.

He said: "I don't like that. This is a Muslim district."

The couple continued quietly down the street, but shortly after the man came after them and kicked one of them hard from behind. Anders' lover took out his mobile to call the police and the attacker quickly disappeared. The Oslo Police says that case was reported and is under investigation.

Oddleif Sveinungsen of the Oslo police district says that they see it very seriously. "The gay Norwegian couple declared they were walking and met a man of about 40. The man first called to them that "this is a Muslim district, we don't tolerate such here."

Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian)


The gay couple, Anders Rasmushaugen and Michael Eimstad, told Dadgbaldet it was important that this won't be turned into a case of Muslims against gays. "This incident is about one person," says Eimstad.

Mazyar Keshvari is an Oslo council member for Frp (Progress Party) and parliament candidate. He says this is completely unacceptable and that we can't have such things in our city. He says it's easy to see why things have come to be this way, as his party has been talking for years about the failing integration and immigration policies of the current government.

"We understand that it's not all Muslims who harassed these two men, but one is still too many. When one man says 'this is a Muslim district' than unfortunately he's not the only one with these attitudes."

Keshvary says that the government support of a multicultural society stands in contrast to the negative sides of what he calls mass immigration. He says that continuing with this policy will create an intolerant society in the name of tolerance.

Michael Tetzschner (Oslo Conservative Party): In a good and tolerant society we must show tolerance. It can't be such that a minority looks down at another minority.

Tetzschner thinks it's not up to anybody to define somebody else as unwelcome in the district.

"If somebody wants to develop a competing parallel society, they should find another country to live in. We must come down on what may be a false notion among a few."

Akhtar Chaudry (SV, Socialist Left) is also shocked.

"This is hate crime. We don't tolerate that. We are so strict that that we created a separate act in the criminal code to show that we don't accept this. The police must do a job here. I expect and believe that they will make an effort and get a hold of those involved," says Akhtar Chaudhry (SV), deputy head of the justice committee.

He stresses that Grønland is not a Muslim district.

"This is no Muslim district. It's a multicultural district that in many ways is an Oslo in miniature. Here live black, white and yellow, Muslims and non-Muslims together in a melting pot. But had it been a Muslim district, Norwegian law would still apply here," says Chaudhry, who doesn't think that the attack shows a trend.

"crazy people are everywhere. I have no reason to believe that this is any different. I also spoke with the general secretary of the Islamic Council today. He completely agrees that we don't tolerate this," says Chaudhry.

Source: Dagbladet 1, 2 (Norwegian)

Update 2:

When Muslim Aslam shaid (50) who lives next to Grønlandsleiret (main street) in Oslo sees the picture of the two gay men in Dagbladet he says: "I'm angry when I see the picture of the two holding hands. I don't like it, since it conflicts with our culture."

Aslam is originally from Pakistan, but he's lived in Norway for ten years. He thinks Norwegians should adjust to Grønland stop showing publicly that they're gay or lesbian.

"Grønland is a multicultural society where there are many who don't like gays, and that they shouldn't hold hands. Her we go on the street with wives and children, and it's regrettable to see such things. But what they do at home by themselves, I don't care," says Shaid.

He thinks on the contrary that it's OK that gays show their love on Oslo's Western side, where there are few Muslims.

"There they can do what they want. But here in Grønland they should stop. Ideally homosexuality should be banned to practice in public in this area, but it's not up to us to decide that," says the 50 year old.

Shaid says attacking gays is going too far. "It's not right to hit people. If I see gays I try to ignore them. but I don't like it," he says.

He adds that's just his opinion, but he thinks most Muslims in Grønland agree with him.

On Grønlandsleiret Dagbladet meets Muslim Yusuf Suleiman (38), originally from Somalia. He says that homosexuality is banned among Muslims, but think it's OK that Norwegians practice it.

"I think homosexuality is allowed in Norway, therefore it's OK that Norwegians do it. They shouldn't be beaten for this reason," he says.

Ikhlaq Ahmed, spokesperson for the Islamic Cultural Centre in Oslo, thinks gays should be able to show their love as they please.

"It plays no role if they live in Grønland in Oslo or other places in Norway. Everybody has a right to have their own sexual inclination and it's only up to them to decide how they want to show this," Ahmed told Dagbladet.

When he heard that a gay couple was attacked in Grønland, he says: It's absolutely horrible. The perpetrators shouldn't have done it. We must show respect for each other and for Norwegian rules and regulations, which Islam enjoins us.

Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)

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