Norway’s ‘Beloved’ Terrorist Heads Back to Iraq

Bruce Bawer is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and the author of “While Europe Slept” and “Surrender.” His book "The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind" is just out from Broadside / Harper Collins.


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How time flies!  It seems only yesterday that we folks in Norway first heard the name Mullah Krekar.  The sometime leader of Ansar al-Islam – which narrow-minded individuals insist on calling a terrorist organization, but which I prefer to think of as a heavily armed, Koran-toting Iraqi version of Rotary or the Knights of Columbus – the charismatic Krekar has long since become every (well, not quite every) Norwegian’s lovable grandpa.  Now, after many years in Norway, he has announced that he will soon be leaving us and returning to Iraq, where he will continue to pursue the task to which he has consecrated his life: that of serving his God.

And oh, how many ways there are to serve God!  Ansar al-Islam, according to the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, has “burned down girls’ schools and beaten and killed women for not wearing the burqa.” Human Rights Watch notes that under its previous name, Jund al-Islam, Krekar’s industrious associates took over villages in which they required, among other things, “the obligatory closure of offices and businesses during prayer time and enforced attendance by workers and proprietors at the mosque during those times; the veiling of women by wearing the traditional ‘abaya; obligatory beards for men; segregation of the sexes; barring women from education and employment; the removal of any photographs of women on packaged goods brought into the region; the confiscation of musical instruments and the banning of music both in public and private; and the banning of satellite receivers and televisions.”  The Lord’s work never ends!

Krekar first came to Norway in 1991 as an asylum seeker – although, as is true of many Muslim asylum seekers, his professional obligations obliged him to travel frequently between his new nation and the country from which he had fled.  But not till after 9/11 did his name become widely known here.  Arrested in the Netherlands in 2002 on his way back to Norway from Iraq, he was released after four months and allowed to proceed to Norway, where he was again arrested and released – a series of torments which, as the discerning reader will readily notice, are not unlike those visited upon Jesus by the Romans and the Sanhedrin.  Krekar has lived in Oslo ever since, in apartments which (in newspaper photographs) look quite pleasant, with fine bookcases full of handsomely bound volumes in Arabic.  A great man deserves no less.

Over the years Krekar has provided Norway with invaluable spiritual lessons of a sort that a few stubborn Norwegian officials have failed to appreciate, simply because Krekar’s brand of evangelism involves guns, explosives, and the removal of limbs without anesthesia.  Consequently they have persisted in attempts to take him away from us – and have thus caused him no little amount of distress.  Meanwhile those of us who appreciate Krekar can only be grateful for his long-term presence in our midst – and cherish the memories.

Ah, the memories!  Here’s just a sampling:

2003:

Perhaps the key event in Krekar’s emergence as a contemporary Norwegian folk hero was a speaking engagement at a popular Oslo café.  Krekar was the guest of the Liberal Party’s youth organization, which had invited him to give his political views.  The place was packed to overflowing – mostly, according to Morgenbladet, with “students in their twenties and thirties.” They greeted the Man of the Hour with spontaneous applause.  Morgenbladet quite aptly described Krekar’s response – a hand movement indicating that they should stop clapping – as one of “humility.”  After offering a twenty-minute analysis of international affairs, the humble homme de guerre took questions and graciously accepted his fans’ declarations of support.  The event was the greatest success in the cafe’s history.  Morgenbladet called Krekar “Norway’s beloved fundamentalist.”

In March, in a demonstration of the petty abuses that unfeeling authorities can visit upon their betters, VG reported that the police had confiscated Krekar’s wife’s cookbook, and that the mullah had been forced to eat the same kind of cake – apple! – fifty days in a row.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Krekar again showed his humility by offering unstinting praise for a colleague: “Osama bin Laden is a good man.  He is the jewel in Islam’s crown.” Krekar confirmed that he had trained suicide bombers and – in a sign of his generous readiness to share the delights of Islamic law with unbelievers – declared his intention to help turn Norway into a sharia state.  In August, apparently appreciative of the contribution Krekar was making to Norwegian society and culture, William Nygaard, head of the venerable Aschehoug publishing house, invited him to the company’s annual garden party.

2004:

In January – would the torments never cease? – Norwegian police ransacked Krekar’s apartment.  Aftenposten provided a heartbreaking picture of the mullah’s wife and daughters, those innocent victims of official harassment.  “Daddy opened the door when the police buzzed,” said one of the girls. “We had to sit still in the living room and were not allowed to go outside or use the phone while they were there.” Krekar’s lawyer, Brynjar Meling, announced that his client planned to sue the Norwegian government for unwarranted prosecution, and to call Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik as a witness.  Bondevik said Krekar would be deported.  In June, a Jordanian court convicted the poor, put-upon mullah in absentia of conspiracy to commit (that ugly word!) terrorism.

But not all the news was bleak.  The same year saw the publication by Aschehoug of Krekar’s In My Own Words.  A publisher’s representative characterized it as a “personal and political biography” in which the “Islamic and Kurdish activist [bless him for not using the “t” word!] examines the events in Iraqi Kurdistan and the case against him in Norway from his own perspective.”  At the book launch, Krekar declared his “great respect for the Norwegian people, for the king, the people, the culture, and the civilization.  And I say to you that I am proud of you.”

In April, in a small gesture toward the justice due him, the Dutch government awarded Krekar 45,000 euros in damages for wrongful imprisonment.  In August, Krekar sued Norway for millions of kroner in damages for all the trouble they had caused him.  In December, it was reported that Krekar, in a speech at an Iraqi mosque, had praised bin Laden for 9/11.  Once again, Krekar’s exemplary willingness to praise other laborers in the fields of the Lord testified to his remarkable lack of ego.

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  • Ron Carnine

    I guess it depends on who your hero's are. I told my children about hero's of the Western world. I guess I should have told them about those that "kill, steal and destroy" like the Saudi kid that stole all the credit card numbers from Israelis and got praised by his parents for doing so. In case your wondering about the "kill, steal, and destroy" those are the words of Jesus Christ describing the work of the Devil. So when you see Islam and its adherents stealing, killing and destroying instead of doing so for Allah you know who they are actually working for. But the problem is that the Western world has turned away from the Bible to respect for the Koran and instead of doing good, they have redefined it in Islamic terms and failed the warning of the Hebrew prophet who said there would be those who would call good, evil and evil, good. Those words have come true, again!

  • Alvaro

    That was a nice summary. I live in Norway myself. The Norwegian government has refused to send him to Iraq because of its opposition to death penalty. It will not repatriate criminals unless there is a guarantee they won't be sentenced to death.

    The majority of Norwegians wanted to make an exception for our "dear" mullah. I didn't know he was leaving, but in that case, good riddance.

  • Brujo Blanco

    When terror is tolerated it grows. At some point one has to stop giving one’s lunch money to the school yard bully.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I hate to rain on this writer's PC multicultural blinded parade, but Mullah Krekar is not a terrorists. Instead, he is a jihadists. As Jihad is always for the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme and can be both violent and non-violent. While terrorism, on the other hand, in stark contrast to jihad can be for any number of various political causes, indiscriminately targets civilian non-combatants, and as its name implies is always only violent.

    Indeed, conflating and morally equating jihad, per the dictates of PC multiculturalism, which can be both violent and non-violent, with terrorism, which as its name implies is always only violent, enables non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad, such as mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest, to occur completely unopposed and unacknowledged, and the reason it happens is incompetent writers like this writer completely bombard and reinforce the tenets of PC multiculturalism on us on a daily basis. Hence, this writer is either willingly aiding and abetting the stealth global jihad, or otherwise he is a gullible useful idiot.

    • Western Canadian

      I would suggest a drug rehab program for you, or an in depth psych evaluation…. you seem to think you can rewrite the koran and mo’s instructions regarding terrorism (he was very much for it, and attributed his success to employing it)…. Perhaps you think you are him, your mind definitely works like that of a jihadi, irrational all the way.

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Years ago when I first became interested in learning about Islam, without naming names I attended a presentation presented by a person who grew up an Arabic speaker first and then later learned English. That person also mentioned in the course of the presentation that in addition to learning English that he had also studied classic Arabic.

        Anyway, during his presentation he mentioned to the audience that when you read the Koran written in the classic Arabic relative to reading one of the approved English language translations, that it actually reads far more vicious, cruel, and barbaric in comparison to the approved English language translations. He said that quite a bit of the meaning is loss in the translation because the English language simply doesn't contain comparable words that are adequate to properly translate the classic Arabic language.

        Ever since I first heard that first presenter make that assertion way back when, it peaked my curiosity and that meaning being loss in the translation ever since became one of my standard questions that I have routinely personally asked to what are now several Arabic speaking first scholars and ex-Muslim apostates, and all of them have confirmed to me that assertion to be true.

        With your atrocious leftwing Canadian education and with your cradle to grave indoctrination into PC multiculturalism, I hate to have to keep raining on your mentally deficient twerp parade, but the English word terrorism is simply inadequate to translate the true meaning of the Arabic word jihad properly into English.

        For instance, jihad is fighting in the cause of Allah only, while terrorism can be for any number of political causes. Indeed, the 9/11 jihadists were mainstream orthodox Muslims fighting in the cause of Allah, while the unabomber, on the other hand, was an environmentalist extremist wacko.

        Additionally, Jihad can be both violent and non-violent, while terrorism as its name implies is always only violent. Thus, the 9/11 jihad attacks constitutes violent jihad, and mass Muslim immigration to the West for the purpose of stealth demographic conquest constitutes non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad. However, because terrorism is an inadequate English word to accurately translate the Arabic word jihad into English, non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad therefore occurs today throughout the West completely below the radar and totally unacknowledged and unopposed since in stark contrast to terrorism it isn't violent.

        Indeed, can you point to just one un-Islamic country anywhere in the world where mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage after decades didn't turn into an unmitigated disaster for the host countries involved?

        Moreover, Jihad primarily targets non-Muslim unbelievers, either civilian non-combatants as in the Madrid Train Bombing or military combatants as in US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. While terrorism, on the other hand, indiscriminately targets civilian non-combatants without regard to whether those civilians are non-Muslim unbelievers or not.

        Meanwhile, Jihad is always fought by mainstream orthodox Muslims in the cause of Allah against non-Muslim unbelievers to make Islam supreme. In stark contrast, terrorism is always perpetrated by non-Muslim extremists for any number of political causes and indiscriminately targets civilian non-combatants without regard to whether they are non-Muslim unbelievers or not.

        Further, both violent jihad and non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad occurs today throughout the world astronomically far more prevalently relative to terrorism, as terrorism during peace time fortunately is a relatively rare event.

        Finally, Jihad is a manifestation of Islamic civilization only, while terrorism is a manifestation of Western civilization only. In fact, terrorism in the Islamic world is a capital offense because it is un-Islamic and therefore blasphemous. Thus, when Muslims condemn terrorism it is genuine and not taqiyya, as many in the West naively assume.

        In any event, I'm not surprised that you as a Canadian aren't intellectually sophisticated enough to be able to wrap your mind around Islam, as this is not my first rodeo involving mentally handicapped Canadians.

        By the way, Medina was the first city ever conquered by Muhammad via stealth demographic conquest by mass Muslim immigration, which also happens to be the most prevalent form of non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad employed by the Islamic world against the West today, as jihad in stark contrast to terrorism is both violent and non-violent.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

    Surreal … too absurd for fiction. Bawer's ironic rendition reminds me of Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic. Has Norway gone islamic chic?

  • PhillipGaley

    Yeah, I know, "terror" refers to activity under color of law, and "jihad" is the expansive term under their perspective, and "terrorist" is from our view, and so on, but for my purposes in view of practical consideration and wished for response, I would say that, you're making a distinction of little substance, . . .

    Shackled by Islam, the world simply cannot move forward—deport them without a sack lunch, execute others, leave them without the Bible; that way, they'll never learn how to think, and the natural resource of those nations can be assumed, bomb them into the desert; for, as in the pattern which Alexander Pope left for us: "It is fitting that animals be prey to man that, man be not prey to them.", . . .

    • Western Canadian

      Expect name calling in return from this poster…. He is in his own world, and does not accept questioning or comments. My first response to his weird comment, was a very mild one, pointing out that mo himself acknowled using terror. His response was pathetic.

  • Ghostwriter

    And hopefully,someone will shoot this creep.