European Muslims Debate: Should Gays Be Executed?
Norway's Islamic Council still can't decide.
August 7, 2008 - 12:00 am
One of the pillars of the future totalitarian state in 1984 is the practice of doublethink, which Orwell defined as “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. … To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.”
As it happens, this is a precise description of exactly what’s been going on in many parts of Europe in recent years, as multicultural ideology has been confronted by realities about Islam that, in a doublethink-free world, would send that ideology crashing to the ground in flames.
For a case in point, I will refer the reader to an episode I’ve mentioned previously in this space — an Oslo debate last November at which the deputy chairman of Norway’s Islamic Council, Asghar Ali, refused to reject the death penalty for gays. When Senaid Kobilica, the head of the Islamic Council (which represents 60,000 Muslims), was asked where he stood on the question, he replied that he couldn’t give a definitive answer until he got a ruling from the European Fatwa Council. This week it was reported that he’s still waiting.
But not to worry! Kobilica added that he’s “100 percent certain that the fatwa council will not come out in favor of something which conflicts with European law.” Meaning that while the death penalty for homosexuals is, indeed, an orthodox Islamic position — one about which the Fatwa Council’s head, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has himself written sympathetically — Western Muslim leaders, in accordance with the Koran (and with good strategy), prefer in such controversial cases not to challenge infidel law. (There will, after all, be time enough to execute gays in the coming decades, as the Muslim population attains critical balance in one country after another — first, most likely, in France and Sweden and the Netherlands, and in Norway some time after that.)
What’s most chilling about all this, however, is not the positions of these Muslim leaders but the reactions of the Norwegian establishment. Or, one should say, the lack of reaction.
Consider this. After last November’s debate, it emerged that Asghar Ali not only was deputy chairman of the Islamic Council but was also on the board of the Oslo Arbeidersamfunn, the largest and most influential association within Norway’s ruling Labor Party. Asked about Ali’s views, the head of the Oslo Arbeidersamfunn, Anne Cathrine Berger, lamented that some people “can’t see the difference between a board member’s views and the organization’s views.” Despite scattered calls for his dismissal, Ali remained on the board. (When a new board election was held in February, Ali chose not to run again.)
That’s not all: Ali is, in addition, secretary of the 37,000-member Electricians’ and IT Workers’ Union. After the November debate, the union’s website posted a “clarification” by Ali saying that “as a Norwegian Muslim” he in fact rejected the death penalty for gays. The words “as a Norwegian Muslim” amount to a disingenuous dodge — they’re the rhetorical equivalent of keeping your fingers crossed behind your back. To state that one rejects the death penalty for gays “as a Norwegian Muslim” isn’t the same as saying that one rejects it, period. Like what Kobilica said about European law, it’s simply an Islamist’s way of affirming that he accepts infidel law as it now stands; such a statement reveals absolutely nothing about his real position on the question, or about whether he is, in fact, dedicated to the goal of ultimately changing this and the rest of Norwegian law to conform with sharia. At this point in the ongoing Islamization of Europe, the slipperiness of Ali’s “clarification” should be manifest to any infidel who’s made an effort to understand how Muslims think about these matters. Yet the head of the Electricians’ and IT Workers’ Union , Hans Olav Felix, pronounced himself satisfied with Ali’s ”clarification,” and Ali remains in the #2 spot at the union.
As for the Norwegian government, there has been no serious effort, as far as I know, to rescind from the Islamic Council its half million kroner a year in state support.
And the media? After a news cycle or two had passed, the Norwegian media dropped the whole pesky little business of Muslims executing gays down the memory hole and resumed treating the members of the Islamic Council as if they were congenial folks who are model immigrants, lovers of Norway, and (that magic word) moderates. When Norwegian security services expressed concern in February about the possible role in terrorist funding of money sent abroad by Norwegian Muslims, Dagsavisen went straight to Asghar Ali for a quote pooh-poohing the idea. Dagsavisen’s article ended as follows: “Ali emphasizes that the Norwegian Muslim community has definitively rejected extremism.” The fact that Ali himself had refused only weeks earlier to reject the death penalty for gay people had already been deep-sixed.
In the same month, Muslims rioted in Denmark, and Aftenbladet ran a piece portraying Kobilinka as an embodiment of moderation and reason. He was quoted as calling on Muslim youth in Norway to control themselves and blaming the riots in Denmark on “inequality and discrimination.” His argument that Muslims are the victims of bigotry, and that this bigotry is the cause of any unrest by Muslim youth, was treated as self-evident; meanwhile, the fact that this self-proclaimed opponent of discrimination had recently refused to reject the death penalty for gays went unmentioned.
As if all this weren’t enough, in April Aftenposten ran a profile of Kobilica by Kristin Høiland. Her headline: “Travel-Happy Imam.” The subhead: “He loves the mountains, enjoys skiing — and considers his journey to Norway among the most important of his life.” Høiland’s text glowed with enthusiasm for this exemplary “new Norwegian”: “We have seldom met anyone so happy to be living in this country. … Kobilica could be mistaken for an unusually well-dressed Norwegian … [he’s] a young, modern imam, dressed in suit and tie, and available by cell phone and e-mail.” Also, he’s “hospitable,” he’s a “bridge-builder,” the atmosphere in his office is “informal and friendly.” When he tells Høiland that he wants “to show that Islam is an inclusive religion” that “adapts to the society we live in,” you might expect her to reply with a query about executing gays, but no: her next question is “Do you have any dream destinations?”
A search through all the major Norwegian papers and several lesser ones shows that none has been moved in recent days to editorialize about the Islamic Council’s continued on-the-fence posture about executing homosexuals. On the contrary, instead of acknowledging that more than a few Muslim leaders in Europe are well on their way to being the continent’s new Nazis, the Norwegian media have continued, in the face of all evidence, to cling to the mantra that Muslims are Europe ’s new Jews. To read the Norwegian media, you’d think European Muslims are huddling together in their homes, trembling in terror that an Islamophobic mob will break down the door any second and drag them out to be lynched. The media make no effort to reconcile such fantasies with the reality that Muslim leaders are out there every day, throwing their weight around with increasing self-assurance and being increasingly open about their devotion to even the most brutal parts of sharia law.
As it happens, the news that the Islamic Council was still awaiting the Fatwa Council’s verdict on gays came a day before a report that Mullah Krekar, Norway’s #1 resident terrorist, was suing Norway in the European Court of Human Rights because he wanted “to see that I’m getting everything I have a right to.” What both of these stories underscore is that on every front, and with every weapon they can find — lawsuits, veiled threats, guilt-tripping, and puff pieces masquerading as journalism — Islamists are poking and prodding at the edifice of European democracy in a tireless effort to weaken the system and bend it ever more surely toward sharia. They’ve realized that the work of jihad — of restoring the caliphate, of making Europe a part of the umma — doesn’t require suicide bombs and airplane missiles; for the prevalence in the West of useful idiots who’ve been brainwashed by multiculturalism makes such weapons superfluous.