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It was, shall we say, an interesting week in Norway. On Tuesday, January 17, a video was posted on YouTube that called for Norwegian soldiers to be withdrawn from Afghanistan. Over images of Norwegian soldiers and of Norway’s prime minister, foreign minister, and crown prince, a text calling for Allah to “destroy them and let it be painful” was read aloud in Arabic, with subtitles in Norwegian. The video, which concluded with an image of Norway’s flag in flames, urged Muslims to show up for a protest rally on Friday outside the parliament building in Oslo.
The video provoked instant outrage. On Wednesday, the security police arrested a suspect, but announced that even if the rally organizers proved to be responsible for the video, their permit wouldn’t be withdrawn. It soon emerged that there were connections between the video and a Facebook group whose members included Arfan Bhatti, one of four men arrested in 2006 for shooting at the Oslo synagogue. (Bhatti was also suspected by police of plotting to blow up the U.S. and Israeli embassies.) Another member was Mohyeldeen Mohammed, who at a jihadist rally two years ago threatened Norway with its own 9/11.
And guess who else turned out to be an active member of the Facebook group? None other than Aisha Shezadi Kausar (20), whom I wrote about a couple of weeks ago – the girl who’s being sent around to schools by the Norwegian literary establishment so she can brainwash kids into thinking the niqab is just dandy. (Her essay, “You, Me, and Niqab,” has been reprinted in a collection of essays being distributed to students all over the country.) On Facebook, Kausar clicked “like” on the news of the upcoming rally.
On Thursday, the Communist daily Klassekampen ran a sympathetic interview with Kausar. When Niqab Girl walked into a café with interviewer Åse Brandvold, the customers emitted audible groans. Brandvold: “Her garment provokes them….Only the eyes show. They are radiant.” Kausar: “I want to go over to them and say: Hi, I’m Aisha, and I’m an ordinary person.” Yes, an “ordinary person” who admitted to Brandvold that she planned to take part in the Saturday rally and who, when asked to comment on the video, said: “It’s just a video.” Though Brandvold pressed her (ever so slightly), Niqab Girl refused to condemn the video: “I’m tired of Muslims always being expected to distance themselves from one another all the time.”
At some point during the week came the stunning announcement by the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) that Islamists represent the major terrorist threat to the country. Needless to say, this news should not have been stunning to anybody, but (as I describe in a forthcoming e-book) ever since last July 22, when anti-jihadist Anders Behring Breivik bombed a building in Oslo and massacred several dozen teenagers on the island of Utøya, the Norwegian political and cultural elite has done a very effective job of suppressing criticism of Islam on the grounds that the “lesson” of Breivik’s actions is that ethnic Norwegians must stop saying unpleasant things about Islam and embrace their bold, bearded, berobed, and belligerent fellow countrymen as friends and neighbors.
So it was that PST got slammed on a Thursday night TV debate program by Muslim leaders who called for it to stop demonizing their community and pay more attention to the threat of violence by Islam-hating “Christian terrorist” groups in Norway. (Never mind that, as a terrorism expert bravely pointed out on the show, there are no such groups in Norway.) On the same broadcast, the head of the aggressive, fast-growing Islam Net, Fahad Qureshi (whose every comment was greeted by a storm of applause from his followers in the studio audience) attacked a politician for having called the perpetrators of the threatening video “vermin”: instead of being dehumanized, Qureshi insisted, the jihadists who’d made that video should be accorded respect and invited to take part in dialogue.
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