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Bowing and Scraping, Scandinavia-Style

Posted By Bruce Bawer On September 25, 2012 @ 12:30 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 58 Comments

In 2006, when politicians at the highest level of the Norwegian government bullied a newspaper publisher into publicly apologizing to a roomful of imams for having reprinted the Danish Muhammed cartoons, I hoped never to witness a more shameful spectacle of official dhimmitude in Norway.   That this was a vain hope was confirmed by the obscene orgy of multicultural cringing that followed the atrocities of July 22 of last year, when Norway’s prime minister and crown prince found it necessary to visit mosques and fall all over themselves singing Islam’s praises.  Even that disgraceful spectacle, however, pales alongside – well, let me set this one up for you.

The setting: Oslo’s largest mosque, the catchily named Central Jamaat-e-Ahl-eSunnat.  The date: Friday, September 14, 2012.  The speaker: Oslo police chief Erik Andersen, who is present to address congregants about the film The Innocence of Muslims, which a great many of their coreligionists around the world have been using as an excuse to engage in violent mayhem.

“O.K., people, listen up,” the Oslo police chief growls.  “We’re not going to tolerate any of that kind of subhuman behavior here in Norway.  Stay in line, and make sure your friends stay in line, or next thing you know you’ll all be on a plane back to whatever hellhole you came here from, where you can be as backward and bloodthirsty as you want.”

Alas, he didn’t really say that.  Sorry.  What he said, I’m afraid, falls under the category of dhimmitude.  Breathtaking dhimmitude.  Dhimmitude par excellence, in fact.  There’s been a lot of dhimmitude going around, of course, in the last few weeks.  The responses by U.S. officials, from Obama on down, to the worldwide tantrum over The Innocence of Muslims have done a splendid job of showing us all just what it means to be a dhimmi.  But for an illustration of dhimmitude in its very purest form – pitiful, pathetic, pusillanimous – one could hardly do better than Andersen’s truly repulsive remarks at that Oslo mosque, as recorded for posterity on this YouTube video.

“Salaam alaikum,” Andersen says by way of greeting, before adding a hello in Norwegian and claiming to be “sad” about The Innocence of Muslims.  Then he offers this: “I personally, the Oslo police district, the police in Norway and the Norwegian society completely reject the movie that has been made by an individual in the USA.”  In other words, just as Hillary Clinton has taken it upon herself to denounce The Innocence of Muslims on behalf of Americans, Andersen has done the same thing on behalf of Norwegians.  This, of course, is not part of the job description of either a Secretary of State or a police chief, at least not in a free country.  Nobody ever gave them the right to say such things.  In the U.S., for a public official to even venture into such territory is to trample upon the First Amendment.  Aside from which, only thugs and totalitarians want or expect such denunciations from public officials.  And only toadying cowards provide them.

In his speech, Andersen repeats that he was saddened to learn about The Innocence of Muslims.  He doesn’t say he was sad because he feared that this obscure film would provide barbarians with yet another excuse to pillage and murder; no, the clear implication is that he was saddened out of sheer empathy for his Muslim fellowmen, being familiar, as he is, with their extraordinary sensitivity to slights directed at their Koran and Prophet.  The insincerity of this statement is, needless to say, transparent.  Honor killing, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, Muslim gang violence, Muslim gay-bashing, Muslim Jew-bashing, Muslim rape, acts of spousal abuse that are countenanced and even encouraged by Muslim authorities – such offenses, with which Norwegian police have become increasingly acquainted in recent years, are the kinds of things that one can well imagine making a Norwegian cop sad, if not downright angry.  Murderous mob violence across the Muslim world – this should make a decent-minded Norwegian cop furious and disgusted.  It’s safe to say that Andersen’s audience knew very well that he hadn’t really been saddened by The Innocence of Muslims.  But so what?  Andersen’s speech wasn’t about the honest communication of real feelings and opinions, and nobody present thought it was.  It was a dhimmi ritual, and both Andersen and his audience understood that serving up such deferential formulas, however disingenuous, is an obligatory element of that ritual.  A good Muslim, after all, doesn’t care what a dhimmi really thinks or feels – all that matters is that he knows his place and bows and scrapes properly.

Andersen goes on, in the video, to talk about what happened on and after July 22 of last year, when “we became a strong entity.  We became a people….we handled that tragedy in a magnificent and calm way….we were calm, we talked together.  We created a good dialogue, and we solved things in a calm way.” What’s Andersen referring to here?  Simply this: that after Anders Behring Breivik killed all those people and it turned out that he was an opponent of multiculturalism and Islamization, Norway’s higher-ups began acting as if he’d shot up a mosque and not a Labor Party youth camp.  Repeatedly, they poured out heartfelt reassurances that Norwegians thoroughly abhorred Breivik’s views.  Repeatedly, they showered Muslims with effusive praise for not using Breivik’s atrocities as an excuse to riot.  Across Norway, the message was sent out loud and clear: if you want to prove you don’t harbor the same opinions as the monster Breivik, the best thing you can do is hug an imam.

This is what Andersen is referring to when he speaks of the “magnificent” and “calm” way in which the Muslims and non-Muslims of Norway “solved things.”  In truth, nobody solved a damn thing – there wasn’t anything to solve.  That whole business last year was nothing more than an absurd display of multicultural mush-mindedness, and once it was all over, more than a few Norwegians were embarrassed by the way they’d been sucked in by all the irrational forced sentimentality about “our new countrymen.”  Yet Andersen, speaking at the mosque, wishes to resurrect the illusion that, as he puts it, “you as Muslims and we as Norwegians became a much more tightly knit group” after July 22.  Yet note the distinction here between “Muslims” and “Norwegians”: even as he’s professing to consider them and him members of a single people, he pointedly avoids referring to them as Norwegians.  Why?  Because he thinks they’d be insulted?  Or is this an unconscious slip, showing that he really doesn’t think of them as fellow Norwegians?

“I can easily understood,” Andersen says, “that some can become, to put it bluntly, pissed off at what has happened.  But I wish to encourage you to use reason – ”  (Reason?  You mean that offensive, un-Islamic concept promoted by the iniquitous, ungodly Enlightenment?)  “ – to use the right means of communication and do things that are within the law.  Solve it together, stick together and things should end well….I want you to know, as I mentioned at the start, that you have our deepest sympathy and enjoy our highest respect.”  Respect?  For what?  Breathing?  I haven’t seen The Innocence of Muslims.  But this three-minute YouTube video of Andersen sucking up to Muslims – and on my behalf – is one film that most assuredly offends me to the core.  When, I wonder, can I expect him to drop by my home to express his “deepest sympathy” and “highest respect” for me in my thoroughly understandable outrage?  Oh, I forgot: in Norway, as was demonstrated in the case of Fjordman, people who openly take offense at Islam and at those who truckle to it are not offered expressions of “sympathy” and “respect” but are treated like criminals – their homes invaded, possessions ransacked, and computers searched.

As if Andersen’s cringing display weren’t enough to make you tremble as you wondered how long a country can last with such weak-kneed bootlickers in charge, a week later two other leading figures in Oslo had a chance to do some ignominious fawning of their own.  On Friday, September 21, the Islamic Council of Norway arranged a mass protest against The Innocence of Muslims in a major Oslo square called Youngstorget.  Among the several thousand persons in attendance was Oslo mayor Fabian Stang, a member of the Conservative Party, and Oslo bishop Ole Christian Kvarme, a leader of the conservative wing of the Church of Norway.  Their remarks at this event seemed designed to demonstrate that dhimmitude in Norway is not confined to the political left.

Stang, addressing the crowd, first quoted the line often attributed to Voltaire about strongly disagreeing with what you say but being willing to die for your right to say it, then – as if to prove that he contains multitudes – slammed those “who abuse their freedom of speech to hurt other people’s feelings.”  The bishop offered this nugget of namby-pamby nonsense: “Today we have gathered together because we are outraged, but also because we want to strengthen and protect the great sense of fellowship among us.  The filmmakers wished to provoke and stir up hate, and unfortunately they have succeeded in this.  Today we stand together in protest against such offensive acts.”  Like Andersen, Stang and Kvarme did enjoin their listeners not to get violent, but they did so not from a position of unquestioned authority but from a position closer to that of a scared child begging not to be struck; moreover, their anger, real or feigned, was reserved not for the Muslims around the globe who have committed savage acts of destruction, but for a Coptic Christian, transplanted from Egypt to America, who had done nothing more than exercise the freedom of speech guaranteed him by the U.S. Constitution.

I will close merely by noting that while this craven V.I.P. groveling was underway at Youngstorget, a smaller, more vitriolic protest was going on elsewhere in Oslo, namely outside the American embassy.  To the cheers of about a hundred Muslims, the arranger of the event, Ubaydullah Hussain, said some of the usual vile things about Jews, declared that Theo van Gogh had gotten what he deserved, and pronounced that “This world needs a new Osama!”  A couple of quick questions came to mind: do you think several thousand Muslims will fill a large square in Oslo next Friday to protest him?  Do you imagine Andersen’s police-department colleagues will look into Hussain’s residency status, or that of any of the unsavory characters who applauded his sanguinary remarks?  Or, more likely, are the authorities already busy trying to figure out exactly how far they need to go to placate this creep, too?  Is a hug from the King in the works?

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