-We cannot stand idly by and watch Islam Net spread. It is a danger to Norway, and a danger to integration. They contribute to extremism, says Erlind Wiborg.
The FRP went to Parliament in 2021 to stop the IslamNet activity centre. The background was that IslamNet had spent more than $60 million to buy a property in Grorodalen to operate an activity center for children and young people. The actual operation was scheduled to take place through the “Faith Activity Center” organization.
– It is planned to be an activity center featuring a fitness centre, youth club, PlayStation, Xbox, billiards, table tennis and a studio that young people can use for video and audio production, IslamNet director Fahad Qureshi told Nettavisen at the time.
The news sparked reactions from both the left and the right. AP politicians were out Oslo newspaper He said that young people in Grorodalen do not need a radicalization machine. Politician Rødt Eivor Evenrud also described the institution as life-threatening.
Criticism of the message of mosques: – They work against integration
We want legislative amendments
The FRP wanted Parliament to ask the government “to introduce the necessary legislative amendments that give municipalities clear legal power to stop commercial and recreational activities targeting children and young people that are considered to have a clear impact that hinders integration.”
The case was considered, but the party did not agree to the proposal. Although many parties in Parliament did not want to hold entertainment activities under the auspices of Islam Net, the proposal was “attached to the protocol» Therefore, no executive decision was taken.
Instead, Parliament asked the government to come back with proposals that would give municipalities the tools to prevent leisure activities for children and young people that could contribute to extremism. Parliament representatives also wanted to study the extent of financial support from abroad for religious organizations.
In 2021, the proposal was described as discriminatory and Islamophobic by Islam Net i VG.
– not. Wiborg believes it is about stopping Islamism.
Report Sian to the police using video evidence from Sian herself
– It is about stopping Islamism
Our country It was reported in November 2022 that renovation of the property is underway.
– We now see that the activity center is continuing with its plans. That’s why we’re putting forward the proposal now, Viborg tells Netavisen.
Now the party will once again try to stop the activity center.
– You struggle hard to defend the freedom of expression of those who burn the Holy Quran, but you want to put an end to the freedom to organize Islam Net. How do you approach him?
– You have freedom of association in Norway, but you do not have the freedom to be a hotbed of extremism and fight basic Norwegian values, says Viborg.
Islamnet is allowed to use the assembly hall in Oslo
In 2021, IslamNet leader Fahad Qureshi wrote that only four out of 100 Syrian-Norwegian travelers visited IslamNet, before they later became radicalized. It is believed that those who went to Syria left Islamnet because the organization was too liberal.
Read also: Islam Net is not a starting point for violent jihadism
– Hair raising
The FRP believes that this time they will be able to secure a majority for the proposal. The KrF criticized the proposal in 2021. The party told Nettavisen that it would remain important to protect freedom of expression and organisation.
Islam Net had many statements and events that KrF and I disagree with. Freedom of organization and expression is strong in Norway, and there must be a high threshold for breaking with it. At the same time, there is a ban on incitement to violence. Islamnet sometimes operates at the limits of freedom of expression, believes Kjell Ingolf Robstad.
Islam Net believes that they themselves prevent extremism. The organization was shaken by the movements from Wiborg.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Weborg has made troubling accusations for which he has no evidence. Just a few days ago, he accused Doctors Without Borders of human trafficking. Such heinous and anti-Islamic accusations do not deserve you to be a member of Parliament. We completely distance ourselves from violence and extremism. We are a voluntary organization that works to promote Norwegian Islamic identity. Our daily commitment to the local community shows what we stand for – community engagement, diversity, volunteerism, faith and community Maher Othman to Netafsen.
Othman believes that the wording of such a law would be discriminatory.
– Osman says that the Freedom Party’s desire to restrict Muslim rights at the same time as it defends SIAN’s incitement campaigns is unfortunately not surprising, but here other politicians must tread carefully and be clear that they are distancing themselves from anti-Islamic bills, As Othman says.
They also point out that the activity center organizes festivals with low-key offers for parents and children, held a caucus before this year’s municipal elections to increase voter turnout in Oslo, and recently started a free homework help offer for primary school pupils.
– Is this what the Islah Party considers an obstacle to integration, and they want to use state power to ban it? Othman asks.
IslamNet’s full response to Weborg’s allegations
Writing laws to restrict the rights of Norwegian Muslims is discrimination, in that sense Warned by ia Extremism researcher Lars Gull, human rights researcher Hedi Strommen Lille, professor emeritus at the Norwegian Center for Human Rights and expert on freedom of religion, Tore Lindholm, and Ombudsman for Equality and Discrimination Han Bjorstrom. The fact that the Freedom Party wants to curtail Muslim rights at the same time as defending SIAN’s incitement campaigns is unfortunately not surprising, but here other politicians must tread carefully and be clear that they are distancing themselves from anti-Islamic bills.
It is organized at Iman Aktivitetssenter several times a year Family friendly festivals With thousands of visitors. Parents and children They enjoy themselves With low-intensity shows like free face painting, bouncy castles, balloon clowns, contests and good food. In the period leading up to the municipal elections, we conducted them in cooperation with Muslim Steamer Election meeting To increase voter turnout among Muslims, we engaged several thousand voters. We arrange Food distributions For drug users in Oslo, we have recently started Free homework help For primary school students. Is this what the Islah Party considers to be an obstacle to integration, and they want to use state power to ban it?
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Weborg has made troubling accusations for which he has no evidence. Just a few days ago, he accused Doctors Without Borders Engaging in human trafficking.
Such heinous and anti-Islamic accusations do not deserve you to be a member of Parliament. We completely distance ourselves from violence and extremism. We are a voluntary organization that works to promote Norwegian Islamic identity. It shows our daily commitment to the local community What we stand for – Community participation, diversity, volunteer work, faith and community.
If there was any truth to the accusations that we are radicalizing children and young people, this would be a matter for the police. On the contrary, we have always cooperated with the police and contributed to eliminating radicalization of Muslim youth. Our commitment to radicalization among Muslim youth has been recognized by, among others, the Romerik Police District Extremism researcher Lars Gull. Recently, this week we were invited to attend a police dialogue meeting with child protection and several Muslim faith communities, to discuss the challenges around crime among young people. Next week we will gather several hundred young Muslims a lecture With former Young Guns leader Shahid Rasool, who will talk about how he went from one of Norway’s biggest criminal gang leaders to a law-abiding Muslim. It is sad that our parliamentarians show no regard for the thousands of ordinary Muslims who support and use our services, or do not trust the police who cooperate with us.
-In the long term, they will likely establish their own religious community
Researcher Marius Ling at the Institute for Research on Church, Religion and Philosophy says that the Islam Net website has developed in a liberal and practical direction.
– In the long term, Islamnet is likely to establish itself as a separate religious community (imam, religious duties, “mosque”) and actively engage the organization in political debate. The desire to establish itself as a respected actor and politically engaged, in my opinion, has contributed to making Islamnet more “mainstream,” Ling tells Netavisen.
I’m tired of burning the Qur’ans, Bibles, and Torahs
– It is problematic to describe Islam Net as Islamic
The researcher does not believe that Islam Net poses a threat to Norway or contributes to extremism.
– Laing says it is also difficult to describe IslamNet as Islamic, because the organization wants Muslims to live within the framework of the Norwegian system of government and Norwegian laws and regulations.
But Laing points out that Islamnet appears to be a very value-conservative organisation. We also have examples of this in the Free Churches,” Ling says.
– In Norway there should be room for such voices, and I expect that the FRP has nothing against similar Christian organizations, says Laing, and points out that there should also be room for discussion about the organization’s positions on certain topics.
He is supported by fellow researcher Olaf Elgven at the University of Bergen.
The Islam Net website has witnessed a clear change in recent years. They still have some opinions that many in Norway may not like. However, they have become more vocal in their support for Norwegian democracy and the rights of different groups, Elgven tells Netavsen.
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