Norway: Muslims to demonstrate against '9/11 threat'

Norway: Muslims to demonstrate against '9/11 threat'

In other news, police in Bodø in Norther Norway, removed a Muhammad cartoon sign Friday night (picture here).  Police say they responded to the possible traffic hazard the sign, which was hung from a bridge above the busiest road in the city, could cause.

Per Youssef Alsiddique, a Norwegian convert who spoke in the anti-Dagbladet demonstration in Oslo, says he's been harassed since hten.  He doesn't intend to report them to the police, though, since he doesn't feel there's anything serious behind them.

Mohyeldeen Mohammad has meanwhile left Norway and gone to Saudi Arabia to continue his Sharia studies.

His father, Hamad Ebrahim Belal Mohammad, was interviewed this week, and said that they participated in the demonstration because of the lack of freedom for Muslims in Norway, and that the responses to his son's statements show that Muslims are treated as second-grade citizens.

As to his son's warning of a Norwegian 9/11, Mohammad says that the media is overdoing it, and that his son only repeated what the security services are saying.  He says he doesn't support Bin Laden, but asked about what his son said about mujahidun, Taliban and al-Shabaab he answered: "We are Muslims.  We support those who are oppressed, not those who oppress.  Everybody has a right to defend themselves."


On Monday Muslims in Larvik are planning a demonstration to denounce the statements of Mohyeldeen Mohammad.

"He doesn't represent us," say the organizers, reports Østlands-Posten.

In a press release, the organizer urge Muslims who live in Larvik to meet for a protest march in Larvik to demonstrate against the statements that Mohyeldeen Mohammad (24) of Larvik made in recent days.

"We wish to show that the statements aren't representative of the majority of Muslims in Larvik and Norway.  His statements on threatening the country with terrorism, implementing Islamic laws in Norway and stoning gays to death are unacceptable and we think it's important to say that he's rather alone with these points of views," say Malika Hamarash and Ahmad Siddiq Umar, who are the organizers of the demonstrations.  Both are Muslims from Larvik.

They say Muslims in Norway are just a complex a group as all other groups.

"We are afraid the massive media coverage of Mohammad will lead to a stigmatized and one-dimensional image of us.  We are just as afraid of his statements as all others," the two say.

The demonstration is planned for 2:30 pm on Monday.

Muslim Larvik-politician Hiam Al-chirout is uncertain whether this is the most productive way to go about this.  She think it's been clear in recent weeks that many reject [Mohammad's statements], and says that there's more of a need for dialog within the community rather than a demonstration.

"I know that Muslims in Larvik disagree and that there are certainly some who support Mohammad's statements," Al-Chirout
told Dagbladet.

Al-Chirout, who is a mother tongue teacher and municipal representative for SV, was herself asking to lead the demonstration. She turned it down.

"I don't want to participate in this demonstration.  I myself disagree with Mohyeldeen's statements, but I think of his family who live in the city, and who have done nothing wrong.  His mother needs consolation now, she doesn't need the city's residents to go against her son in a demonstration," says Al-Chirout.

Al-Chirout points out that the community in Larvik is small and that everybody knows everybody.  She has nothing against people going to Oslo to demonstrate, but is uncertain of the consequences of such an event in Larvik.

"Here we meet each other at the shop and know who lives where.  It can be difficult to deal with daily life after such a demonstration," she says.

The SV politician has been behind several dialog meetings between Muslims in Larvik, and work hard for friendship and understanding across borders.

"Tomorrow I will speak with the organizers of the demonstration, to discuss what are the best means to work further on the issue in Larvik," says Al-Chirout.

Larvik has 42,000 residents and Al-Chirout thinks about 800 are Muslim.

She says there are Kurds, Arabs, Somalis, Sudanese and Albanians and that many of them have differing views on things.

She disagrees with Dagbladet's printing of the Muhammad cartoon, but doesn't understand why Mohyeldeen Mohammad can speak as he does.

"I was shocked when I heard what he said during the demonstration in Oslo. But I don't think he means everything he says.  We foreigners can some times have mistaken word-usage, and in this way we can be misunderstood.  We can toss out words without thinking about what we're saying"

Sources: AN, Aftenposten 1, 2; Dagbladet 1, 2; VG (Norwegian)

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