By Hege Storhaug, Human Rights Service
In terms of values, 2010 was a red-letter year for Norway. Our innocence was destroyed. From one end of the country to the other, and in no uncertain terms, Islamists proclaimed their sinister message. Henceforth, only those in deep denial will insist that our freedom is not endangered. And only true innocents will fail to grasp that we are headed for a raging conflict about values.
It all started at the same spot where Quisling and his followers held rallies in the 1930s. Around 3,000 people filled University Square in Oslo on February 12, 2010, many of them dressed just like Muhammed himself – a long coat, baggy, ankle-high pants, and a head covering, plus full beard. In the gravest of tones, they articulated their contempt for the society that has given them so many benefits. The threat of a new September 11 on Norwegian soil, issued by Mohyeldeen Mohammed (who had studied sharia in Medina), marked the end of one era and the beginning of a new one.
It continued with the growing influence of Islam Net at Oslo University College. Over the course of only two years, the group has managed to acquire over 1,200 paying members and is now the largest Muslim student organization in the country. The only positive thing that can be said about Islam Net is that it doesn’t hide its objective: a society living under the Koran and sharia. One of these students’ ideological heroes is Zakir Naik, who preaches hate and terror and is considered so extreme that he is not permitted to enter either Britain or Canada.
In 2010, Islamism also manifested itself in the Paris of the North. With Saudi sponsorship to the tune of 20 million kroner, a Muslim congregation called Alnor planned to build a gigantic mosque in Tromsø. The Tromsø newspaper Nordlys (Northern Lights) shone an intense spotlight on the project and uncovered the fact that one of Alnor’s front men, who is the husband of Alnor’s leader, convert Sandra Maryam Moe, had taken part in terrorist training with the radical organization Jemaah Islamiah, which is considered to be responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings.
In collaboration with Islam Net, Alnor also arranged a nationwide “revival tour” last summer. The revivalists took their message as far north as the North Cape.
And as if all this weren’t enough, Norwegian state television, NRK, revealed that the despots in Teheran are sending imams to Norway to prepare Norwegian Muslims to commit terrorist acts on Norwegian soil.
But it isn’t terror that is the greatest threat to our society. The terrorists are few in number. The Islamists aren’t. On the contrary, they’re a large and growing group who seek nothing less than to transform our society’s values. The organized Islamists are winning ground especially among younger people. Three studies are worth mentioning here. Among 15-year-old German Muslims, 40 percent believe that Islam is more important than democracy, while 37 percent want sharia law to apply to European Muslims.
In Britain, 28 percent of all Muslims want the British Isles to be ruled by sharia. Here’s the really serious part: while “only” 17 percent of those over 55 want sharia, no fewer than 37 percent of British Muslims aged 16–24 embrace it. And now for the scariest statistic of all, which brings us back to Islam Net at Oslo University College: 40 percent of Muslim university students in Britain are “strong or relatively strong” in their support for a sharia-run Britain. One in three believes it is legitimate to kill in the name of Islam.
For all this, however, Norway’s political leaders remain stuck in the assumption that education and employment lead to integration. The truth is the opposite: it’s mostly among the well-educated that you can find radical views. Yes, education is all well and good, but it’s no guarantor of integration — a somber fact to have to admit. Well educated Muslims are often very aware of their distinct Muslim identity, and work actively to further separate their fellow Muslims from mainstream society and its values.
I believe that this decade will be decisive for Norway’s future — and for that of Europe generally. The question is: will we manage to stand up to the open Islamization and force it into retreat, or will the Islamization of Europe continue?
If we manage to defeat Islamism, we will need, above all, political leaders who understand the forces that have put down deep roots in our society, who openly acknowledge what is going on, and who take action to stop it. We must lead with an assimilation policy that leaves no doubt as to which of our values are non-negotiable: sexual equality, equality of all individuals regardless of ethnic, religious, social, tribal, clan, or caste background, religious freedom (including the right to renounce a religion), and the freedom that is the very foundation of our free society, namely freedom of expression. Everyone, including members of offbeat Christian sects, should be expected to assimilate into these values.
A great many Persians who fled from despotism under Ayatollah Khomeini are role models in this regard. They fled tyranny and were assimilated into our society’s values when they came here. They have become full-fledged members of mainstream Norwegian culture and full participants in our society, even as they remain highly conscious of their Persian identity and usually celebrate Persian New Year.
Our government is steered by multiculturalism, an ideology that is now rejected by major European politicians such as Angela Merkel. This ideology has failed and has created conditions favorable to Islamization. What is it that holds a nation together? What is it that made possible the nation established in our Constitution at Eidsvoll in 1814? Our leaders seem to have forgotten the answer to these questions; namely, that modern Norway was established by a single people with a common culture rooted in Christianity, a people who were able to unite around a shared set of beliefs.
A community based in mutual trust — on belonging. This is what we’re losing.The greater the number of Muslims who turn their back on Norway, the more intense the division and mistrust that will arise between groups.
Aftenposten’s Ingunn Økland recently asked a timely question: how many faceless women will have to appear in public before the politicians set them free? Why is it that a precautionary principle governs our environmental policy but not our policy relating to integration and democratic values?
We need politicians who show genuine love and reverence for Norway’s core values, and who act upon that love and reverence by instituting the following measures:
Identify the ideological foundations of Muslim religious communities. Those that are also political should be treated politically and should thus not receive government support. (In Norway, religious institutions are funded by the state.) Today, Norwegian taxpayers are financing institutions that are working intensely to liquidate democracy and replace it with sharia. Macabre, but undeniably true.
Reject special demands — they’re always indulged at the cost of freedom, especially the freedom of the most vulnerable.
Let all grade-school girls’ hair flow freely. The Islamists will go berserk.
Get rid of the “mobile prisons” — that is to say, the burka and niqab.
Halt all integration support to religious and ethnic groups and channel the money instead into shared social activities — especially those designed for children.
Stop engaging mosques in well-meant “dialogue.” Muslims are, above all, human beings, not religious objects.
Greco-Roman civilization, wrote the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, “died not by murder, but by suicide.” If we want to prevent the demise of Western civilization, we need leaders who will steer us away from the path to self-destruction and toward a future of equality and liberty for all.
This article, translated from the Norwegian by Bruce Bawer, appeared originally in Aftenposten.