No one should be forced to enter the house of God

31 March, 2011
The Islamic Council of Norway (IRN) asks for the legal right to for Muslim pupils to refrain to visiting synagogues as part of schooling. It should not be obligatory, says the Council, to visit the houses of worship of other religions as part of one’s education. Christian or Jewish children shouldn’t be forced to visit the mosque either, says Mehtab Afsar, secretary General of IRN. But he also wants to make clear there is no Islamic rule that forbids Muslims from visiting other religion’s houses of worship, as long as they do not partake in the rituals.

1000 cab drivers in caricature demonstration

Last week Dagbladet published one of the infamous Muhammad caricatures – this one showing the prophet as a pig – as an illustration to an article on the caricature being used on the secret police’s Facebook page. The publication (shortly after Aftenpostens re-publication of the caricatures) has meet with massive protests and demonstrations in Norway.

Saturday and Monday nights, approximately 1000 cab drivers of Muslim cultural background parked their cars in Oslo in a silent protest against the re-publication.

Norwegian police, as well as representatives of Islamic Council Norway (IRN) and Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) in Oslo is expressing worries about a planned demonstration Friday. The demonstration is being organized on Facebook by Arfan Bhatti, who in 2008 was convicted for an attack on the synagogue in Oslo.

Shoaib Sultan of IRN, just as imam Mehboob ur-Rehman (ICC), advice against the demonstration. Both express worries that it easily could degenerate into a violent protest which would do (even more) damage to the general opinion of Muslims in Norway.

There are currently reports of about 3000 persons joining a supposedly calm demonstration in Oslo.