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Also helping fan the flames of Jew-hate, as the Holocaust Center report acknowledged, is Norway’s political left. A third factor, I might add, is the hatred for Jews that is a prominent feature of the Islamic holy books and, consequently, a major attribute of the Norwegian Muslim community. I say “I might add” because the Holocaust Center itself chose not to include this on its list of leading causes of anti-Semitism in Norway. On the contrary, far from acknowledging that a disproportionate number of anti-Semitic acts in Norway are committed by Muslims and that the fierce Jew-hatred inculcated in Muslim children from infancy has contributed in no small way to a general atmosphere of anti-Semitism in Norwegian schools, where a rapidly growing percentage of the students are Muslim (in 2009, 39 percent of primary-school students in Oslo had immigrant backgrounds), the Holocaust Center – predictably – turned its anti-Semitism report, in large part, into a report on prejudice against both Jews and Muslims. This is par for the course in Norway: it’s rare to hear any discussion of anti-Semitism that doesn’t turn, sooner or later, into a bout of hand-wringing about “Islamophobia.” The unwritten rule is clear: Muslims must always be depicted as the #1 victims of prejudice, no matter what the facts may be; they must always be cast as objects of bigotry, never as bigots themselves.
In fact, though the Holocaust Center suggests that anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim prejudice go hand in hand in Norway (and in some cases this is undoubtedly true), there is another fact from which the Holocaust Center, again, preferred to look away – namely, that the growing anti-Semitism of many ethnic Norwegians, especially those belonging to the nation’s cultural elite, is intimately related to their pathetic eagerness to demonstrate their own Islamophilia. As I put it in an interview with Weinthal last year: “Multiculturalism has taught Norway’s cultural elite to take an uncritical, even obsequious, posture toward every aspect of Muslim culture and belief. When Muslim leaders rant against Israel and the Jews, the reflexive response of the multiculturalist elite is to join them in their rantings. This is called solidarity.” And though it is a major explanation as to why Norwegian anti-Semitism is on the rise, it is an explanation that official and semi-official agencies like the Holocaust Center dare not look at very closely.
I have mentioned that within an hour of running across that blog entry on June 13 about my alleged exaggerations about Norwegian anti-Semitism, I was reading Weinthal’s piece on the anti-Semitic incident at that school barbecue. Within that same hour, I happened across another news article, also just posted. Norway’s Center Party, it reported, had just proposed a law against male circumcision. On being informed of this proposal, Ervin Kohn, head of the country’s Jewish community, noted that if Norway introduced such a ban, “we would be the first country in the world to do so. It’s like re-introducing the second clause of the 1814 constitution.” Kohn was referring to the notorious “Jewish clause” of Norway’s constitution, which, until its repeal in 1851, excluded Jews from the kingdom. Alas, the treatment of Jews in today’s Norway brings to mind all kinds of parallels from the country’s history – none of them, needless to say, at all pleasant.
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