As Islam continues to gain numbers and power in Western Europe, certain questions take on greater importance. If you’re female or Jewish or gay, for example, and the only local doctor without a full patient list is a Muslim (and given how some nationalized medical systems work, this kind of situation arises not infrequently), do you choose to assume that he doesn’t take his religion’s teachings seriously, or do you move?
A rise in Muslim numbers means a rise in Muslim influence on many fronts. In Norway, there are about 1500 Jews and about 175,000 Muslims. When Jewish parents complain about their kids being beaten by their Muslim classmates – a charge that, if acted upon, can lead to major unrest – how do you expect teachers, principals, cops, and politicians to respond?
Or consider the Christian People’s Party (KrF), the traditional political home of Norway’s aging religious right. As that cohort dies out, KrF risks extinction. How to recoup? Some of its leaders, possessed of a fanciful misconception that all “people of faith” share essentially the same values, have tried reaching out to Muslims. But so far this hasn’t worked too well, largely because of KrF’s ardent support for Israel. Which raises the question: as the party’s crisis intensifies even further, will KrF feel compelled to distance itself from Israel?
Then there’s this news item. On January 30, Norway’s newspaper of record, Aftenposten, reported that the Oslo police department had established a special patrol unit for the Muslim-heavy neighborhood of Tøyen. Police don’t routinely patrol on foot in Oslo, but the members of this four-person group will do so, the purported goal being to improve community relations – to have friendly chats with the locals, to get to know them better, to develop trust.
It’s a puzzling piece of news. As longtime observers of Muslim neighborhoods in Western Europe are well aware, once an urban area has become sufficiently Islamized, police cars (and fire engines) that try to enter it risk being attacked violently by the inhabitants. In districts that haven’t yet reached that magical saturation point, you can still enter without triggering displays of rage, but the tension and sense of threat will be palpable. Do Oslo authorities expect that Tøyen, which is definitely at that tense stage, will now transform suddenly into Mayberry, with its own genial Sheriff Andy and his three deputies hanging out on street corners and shooting the breeze with imams, halal butchers, and women in niqab?
One not insignificant detail ignored in the Aftenposten article is that neighborhoods like Tøyen have already had their own patrols for many years – patrols, that is, by the morality police, whose job is to seek out violations of sharia. The whole premise underlying the existence of the morality police is that these neighborhoods are, practically speaking, under the jurisdiction not of the Norwegian government but of local imams and patriarchs. Does Oslo’s tiny new constabulary quartet – the four horsemen of the apocalypse, as it were – plan to challenge that control? Or does it expect to forge some kind of working relationship with its Islamic counterpart? How will the morality police react when they see that one member of the new patrol is female? (Will she wear niqab?)
Like most other Western government programs conceived in response to the challenge of Islam, needless to say, this Tøyen initiative is absurd – based on the delusion (and how stunning that it still persists after all these years!) that if many Muslims feel little or no connection to mainstream society, it’s because authorities have failed to reach out to them sufficiently. It’s as if those authorities are unaware that one of the key commandments of the Koran is don’t befriend the infidel.
Speaking of the Koran, Aftenposten’s story about the new Tøyen patrol came three days before it was reported that Oslo police had prohibited an anti-Islam group, SIAN (Stop the Islamization of Norway), from carrying out a planned Koran-burning outside the Turkish embassy, in protest against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s opposition to Sweden and Finnish membership in NATO. (As it happens, a similar protest in Stockholm was allowed to go forward.) Why did the Oslo police ban the demo? Because, they explained, they feared it would provoke an act of terrorism and/or lead to domestic disorder – an outright admission that they’ve granted Al-Qaeda and ISIS a veto on free speech in Norway and that they’ve lost the numerical battle against the enemy within.
And most Norwegians, it turns out, are on the side of the cops. Survey results released on Tuesday show that only 33% of them think Koran-burning should be permitted. When only a third of a country’s population support the small minority who are actively standing up for everyone’s freedom, how long can that freedom endure?
Numbers! A surprisingly frank article appeared in last Sunday’s Aftenposten. The headline was “Not entirely colorblind: Have Oslo’s youth become a big colorful community after 50 years of immigration? There’s not much sign of it.” I expected it to be yet another piece – they’ve been writing them for decades – smearing Norwegians as racists. But no, in the eastern half of Oslo things have now moved beyond that. At Oslo’s largest school, Kuben Upper Secondary School, reporter Hilde Lundgaard visited a typical classroom, in which only two – yes, two – of the students were ethnic Norwegians. A few inquiries established that most of the non-Norwegian kids don’t have any ethnic Norwegian friends at all – and prefer it that way.
In fact, they don’t even see themselves as Norwegian. Even those who were born in Norway, Lundgaard found, refer to themselves as “foreigners.” A girl named Fatima, whose parents are Pakistani, admitted that she feels safest around “people with my cultural background.” One teacher told Lundgaard that “the pupils are unbelievably preoccupied with color and ethnicity.” Although the teacher apparently didn’t feel comfortable adding the word “religion,” Lundgaard cited a researcher, Monica Rosten, who’s dared to tiptoe closer to the truth, writing that “[students] with religious identity find one another.” Religious, of course, being code for Muslim.
Lundgaard’s article reads like a portrait of Norway’s future: a majority Muslim country in which the views of ethnic Norwegians about immigration and integration – or, for that matter, about anything whatsoever – have become irrelevant, simply because Muslims now outnumber them.
To be sure, not all of the schools in Oslo are majority Muslim. Here’s a February 6 story about a primary school in central Oslo where most of the pupils are apparently ethnic Norwegian. At present, a male teacher’s assistant (unnamed) from that school (also unnamed) is on trial for molesting several of the little girls under his care. He’s not ethnic Norwegian – at his trial, he’s using an Arabic translator. One mother testified that she complained about him repeatedly to the school’s principal, but the latter “didn’t care,” explaining that the assistant was from “another culture.”
Indeed, he is – a culture in which young men are taught that they’re free to abuse the children of infidels. If convicted, he’ll spend no more than 60 days behind bars. (By comparison, I just now watched an episode of a documentary series about Norwegian customs officers in which they arrested a Polish trucker for smuggling vodka. Sentence: six years.)
When more and more people who hold responsible positions in a civilized society place deference to a barbaric foreign culture above the well-being of their society’s own children, how long is that civilization for this world?
If civilization is slipping away in Norway, it’s on even slippier ground in Sweden. Take the municipality of Botkyrka. Incorporating part of southern Stockholm, it’s increasingly populated by Muslims and plagued by crime – and was recently the setting of an illuminating, and unsettling, political predicament.
Botkyrka, by the way, made the news back in September 2018 when Ali Khalil, head of the local Green Party, promised leaders of an opposing party, the Moderates (M), to turn out 3,000 votes for them in that year’s elections in exchange for a plot of land on which the congregation of the Alby Mosque in Botkyrka could build itself a new house of worship. When this proposal was made public, Khalil had to step down from his political office. The story cycled out quickly enough, but its lesson was clear: Muslims in many parts of Western Europe are reaching a point at which they can manipulate politics through sheer numbers.
Now Botkyrka has made the political news again – with another development that teaches the same lesson. It concerns the leader of Botkyrka’s municipal council, a Social Democrat politician named Ebba Östlin, who’s made a name for herself as a bold crime-fighter – an unusual distinction in a country where all too many police departments prefer not to send officers into dangerous neighborhoods, where all too many judges are loath to mete out tough sentences to Muslim miscreants and where all too many politicians are scared even to speak about Islamic crime.
One of Östlin’s most controversial actions while in office was the closure of several youth centers – basically, after-school recreational clubs – that turned out to have employed convicted felons, and to have been riddled with violence and narcotics. The centers, which had been run by a local community college, were later reopened under the direct (and stricter) control of the municipality.
On January 28, the Social Democrats of Botkyrka were holding a meeting when a group of about 50 people showed up and identified themselves as newly enrolled party members. With these new members in attendance, a vote was held in which Östlin was removed from her post as local party leader – which meant that she was automatically out as head of the municipal council. The votes cast by the new members, all of whom supported Östlin’s ouster, were decisive in her removal.
Who were these new members? Many of them, according to Aftonbladet columnist Oisín Cantwell, “barely even knew Swedish” and “didn’t seem to understand what they were doing there.” Also, several were recognizable as having “close connections to gang crime” – specifically, to the notorious Vårby crime network, whose shady leader, Chihab Lamouri, is originally from “some country in the Middle East.” At least one of them was a notorious gang figure who’d “recently been released from prison.”
What was going on here? “There are many indications,” wrote Cantwell, in what reads like a major understatement, “that organized crime may have participated in the ouster of the leading politician in the municipality.” He asked: “What happens to Botkyrka if a social democrat who owes a debt of gratitude to the Vårby network takes over?” In the years to come, this sort of question will be raised increasingly.
There’s more to the Botkyrka story. On Thursday, it was reported that people who’d voted for Östlin at that meeting later received threatening text messages. Several of them described the incident as a “coup.” But what to do? Tobias Baudin, the national secretary of the Social Democrats, was quick – in good Swedish fashion – to throw in the towel, declaring the vote in Botkyrka legitimate; another of the party’s national leaders promised on the TV news that the party would stand with Östlin, although he hardly seemed worked up about the situation. But what could the party do?
It was Hans Rustad, editor of the alternative Norwegian news website document.no, who made the key point in a February 4 piece. Immigrants, he observed, “constitute such a large proportion” of Sweden’s current population “that they can take over democratic processes if they wish.” And the same process is underway all over Western Europe, with the potential consequences for these societies extending far beyond electoral politics.
In any event, anyone with a grain of sense can see where all this is leading.