A Jihadist in the Pulpit

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.


15318185-f9c4003666124b95a261386c882825b7At Christmastime last year, I wrote about a vicar in a heavily Muslim part of Oslo who decided that the best way for a group of schoolchildren in her care to celebrate the holidays was to read aloud in church from the Koran.

She’s not alone in her special understanding of her duty as a Christian cleric. The other day came news that Louise Britze Kijne, vicar of Holy Cross Church in Nørrebro – a heavily Muslim neighborhood in Copenhagen – had, with the blessing of her ecclesiastical higher-ups and her own parish council, invited an imam, Abdul Wahid Pedersen, to speak to her congregation on the subject of “peace” just after the wrap-up of the Pentecost Monday worship service.

Originally, Britze Kijne’s idea was to have Pedersen speak during the worship service itself. But she changed her mind. Not because she realized it would a betrayal of her vocation or an affront to her congregants’ beliefs, but because she worried that it might cause controversy. And she didn’t want that.

In Christian belief, of course, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles after Christ’s ascent into heaven. Needless to say, there’s no Islamic connection here whatever. But Britze Kijne didn’t consider her innovation problematic. “The Bible’s account of the Pentecost shows that we are spiritual beings,” she told the newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad, “and therefore we can understand each other and share the belief in being created in God’s image – across languages and cultures that may otherwise separate us.” She said it was important for Christians and Muslims to “stand shoulder to shoulder” and discuss peace, “especially in this neighborhood that is best known to the public for gang wars and other problems.”

Britze Kijne is right about the prevalence of gang activity in Nørrebro. It’s through the roof. What she omitted to mention, however, is that the violence that has increasingly plagued the streets of Nørrebro has been committed by Muslims and fueled by Islamic teachings about infidels – the teaching, for example, that uncovered women deserve to be raped, and that those who refuse to follow the prophet generally have what’s coming to them.

For folks in Scandinavia, Abdul Wahid Pedersen is a familiar name. A Danish convert to Islam (he was born Reino Arild Pedersen), he runs a private Somali Muslim school and goes on TV a lot to speak about issues related to Islam, immigration, and integration. Many people in Denmark appear to have bought the view of him as a moderate or liberal member of his faith – partly, I suppose, because he’s not some scary-looking, hotheaded foreigner but a relatively mild-mannered native Dane, partly because of his high-profile involvement in various interfaith activities, but mainly because he’s made a cause of presenting the prettiest possible image of Islam to audiences large and small.

It is hardly an exaggeration, indeed, to describe him as carrying out a perpetual one-man promotional tour for Islam. Last year Jens Gregersen and Kit Louise Strand, who write for a website run by Islam critics Ralf Pittelkow and Karen Jespersen, attended a talk Pedersen gave at a church in the little Danish town of Stege. According to their account, he presented his audience with a “sterilized and purified version” of Islam and was clearly at pains to come off as a genial, loving, and (despite his faith) ordinary Danish guy – a far cry, in short, “from the traditional imams of Middle Eastern/Turkish/Pakistani origin.”

Pedersen’s moderate image, however, is a meticulously crafted subterfuge. In reality, he’s a staunch, consistent champion of sharia law who insists that while punishments such as stoning may seem less than humane, mere humans have no right to question the will of Allah. He firmly endorses polygamy, defends female genital mutilation, and supports the death penalty for apostates and adulterers. When Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to Copenhagen in 2009 for the  UN Climate Conference, Pedersen was one of several leading Danish Muslims who met with him. In the same year, Pedersen walked off a TV interview program in fury after being asked about the practice, popular among some Muslims, of “restoring” the hymens of non-virginal brides before marriage.

In their account of Pedersen’s talk in Stege, Gregersen and Strand noted the consummate skill with which he worked his trusting audience of small-town churchgoers, taking advantage of their “polite and responsive” reception, their utter incapacity to mock or scorn an invited guest, their readiness to paper over any uncomfortable aspects of Islam “with quiet hymns, coffee and homemade cake.” In Stege, Pedersen acknowledged that sharia law will be introduced once Denmark becomes a majority-Muslim country, but he apparently managed to convince his audience that a sharia-run Denmark will be a perfectly livable place for its Christian citizens – a veritable City on a Hill overflowing with mutual respect and understanding. Pedersen slipped up only once during his visit to Stege, responding to a pointed, informed query about the treatment of Christians under sharia by furiously calling the questioner “stupid” – but he quickly collected himself, putting “the big smile on his face again” and resuming what Gregersen and Strand described as his “charm offensive.”

Such criticism of Pedersen is extremely rare. In any case, it plainly hasn’t put a dent in the willingness of credulous church officials to provide him with platforms for his noxious propaganda. Unsurprisingly, Britze Kijne’s invitation to Pedersen enjoyed the full support of her bishop, who told Kristeligt Dagblad that he saw no problem with the idea, calling it a “really nice and welcoming initiative.” Pedersen himself told Kristelig Dagblad: “We must show that we can easily step into each other’s houses and say conciliatory words. As Christians and Muslims we do not have religion in common, but we have faith and longing for God in common. We believe in the same God, but in different ways.”

Well, yes indeed, there is a big difference – an all-important difference – between the gospel message of love and forgiveness and the stoning of apostates and adulteresses in accordance with the dictates of Islam. When Christian leaders overlook that difference, they’re not serving the cause of multicultural harmony – they’re serving as dupes and pawns of the perpetrators of creeping jihad. And, in doing so, betraying their flocks, their faith, their country, and their God.

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  • objectivefactsmatter

    "As Christians and Muslims we do not have religion in common, but we have faith and longing for God in common. We believe in the same God, but in different ways.”

    If by "Christian" you mean Satan worshiper. That's about as "Christian" as 0'Bama.

    • Rhonda

      I'm sorry, but Muslims believe in Allah. You know, the one who loves violence and forcing people to join his jihadist group. The name Allah is no where to be found in the Bible and there is a reason for that. It is because Allah is not the One True God.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    Dhimmitude takes many forms, but it is especially egregious when so-called houses of worship bow down to Islamic overlords.
    In fact, they hide behind "interfaith dialogue" and "conflict resolution", but the fact of the matter is that they are willing accomplices to Islamists in their midst. As is said, the proof is in the pudding – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/12/a-global-conf

    First they came for the Saturday people, then the Sunday people! But in this case too many religious leaders are giving them the rope to hang the west.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • No One

    I saw an interview of a Jewish man that had been at Birkenau. He told a story. Early one morning several hundred Gypsy women and children were loaded onto small train carts. They were all quiet. They were going to the gas chambers. They knew that they were to be gassed but they were all silent. Only their breath could be seen in the cold morning. Their fellow Inmates loaded them into the carts.

    When the carts began to move, they lurched forward letting out a big clang. And several hundred cold and naked women and girls all began crying & screaming simultaneously. It was a horriblly great clamor most of the camp could hear. A young Rabbi nearby began talking to his God, saying, can’t you hear this? “Where are you? This is against you! Show them your power!”

    And nothing happened.
    Then Rabbi say, “There is no God.”

    I think I understand now.

  • κατεργάζομαι

    Apostasy and post modernism is especially rampant within the Scandinavia church today.

    At a certain point in the future, there will be a total rejection of biblical Christianity, succeeded by the religion of the Antichrist; it will maintain a veneer of Christianity that will prove acceptable to all religions.

    We are witnessing an antecedent event in this article.

    This perversion of Christianity doesn’t just suddenly happen. The deception process began long ago and various aspects of this apostate religion have and will continue to ensnare many believers throughout its development.

    In the First Epistle of Paul to Timothy, 2000 years ago……

    Timothy was charged to oppose False Teachers:

    1 Timothy 4 -"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

  • hindustan

    might is right. they are grooming themselves for a formidable force.

  • joe

    objectivefactsmatter—how dare you say that islam and christianity are the same. Do a little homework before you even mention something as stupid as that. Jesus is the son of god, in islam it is an offense to believe that. That's a huge difference.

    • jakespoon

      Joe, I believe OFM was saying Islam is devil worship,and Christianity is nothing like it. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

  • Cassandra

    Islam is definitely a virus and that convert caught it major league.

  • Disciples Ministries

    In Stege, Pedersen acknowledged that sharia law will be introduced once Denmark becomes a majority-Muslim country. there will be Jihad in the country as well, Christian will face persecution according to Quran.

  • Disciples Ministries

    Scandinavia, open your eyes, before it is too late, watch the UK news today, look at the real face of Islam. it is their teaching and faith to kill all non Muslims.

  • alla who?

    look at the bright side
    once denmark and belgium and norway and sweden, etc.,
    and then also france and england and
    finally all europe submits
    we'll have world peace at last

  • joe

    Jesus died for us, allah (satan) wants you to die for him. Pretty big difference in gods.

    • jakespoon

      Amen.

  • Randy CA

    How often are Christian and Jewish leaders asked to speak before the congregations in mosques?

    • jakespoon

      Every time they serve ham.

  • guest

    "We believe in the same God, but in different ways.” indeed–they have the same father, the devil. Genuine Christianity is fairly rare, and this woman is not part of it.

  • johnkets

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  • Herb Benty

    These people are the reason Europe is in the position it finds itself, ie., "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools".

  • Softly Bob

    Quote:"In Christian belief, of course, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles after Christ’s ascent into heaven. Needless to say, there’s no Islamic connection here whatever."

    Not strictly true, but almost.
    Jesus promised the arrival of a 'comforter' or 'councellor'. The comforter was indeed the Holy Spirit. The Prophet Mohammed's claim to Biblical recognition was that he himself was the comforter that was foretold to arrive on Earth. Pentecost is ignored, perhaps even despised by Muslims, but nevertheless Mohammed usurped it and disclaimed it.

  • mlcblog

    I would posit that the vicar Louise is not a true Christian.

    We believers are very familiar with those who are entranced with the idea of Christianity and will even pose as such, yet will not somehow accept the complete understanding and the Bible is replete with warnings about them. They want to skate by and often do, as in Louise being a vicar, but missing the Truth.