She's even good at taqiyya: four years ago, she recounted a visit to an Oslo mosque whose members find it “difficult to be accepted in society.” What she failed to mention was that they were Ahmadi Muslims who, as I noted at the time, “are oppressed, persecuted, beaten, and even executed throughout much of the Islamic world, where they're considered infidels.” Far from having problems being accepted by Norwegians, they've found in Norway a refuge from the oppression and violence they endured in their homelands at the hands of mainstream Muslims Islam. But you won't hear that from Erna, for whom Muslims are always the victims and Norwegians the bad guys.
This past January, I wrote about Erna again – this time focusing on her latest New Year's Eve speech, in which she praised Norway's first female, hijab-wearing Somali bus driver. The woman is not the world's best bus driver or anything like that. Her accomplishment, apparently, is being a female Muslim bus driver. If you're a Muslim bus driver, all you have to do to win praise from Erna is to drive a bus without steering it onto the sidewalk and plowing down a crowd of infidels.
If I'm moved to comment on Erna now, it's because even though she's not a Facebook friend of mine, her recent Facebook postings have been making their way onto my feed. Many of them have been about Ramadan. Erna is constantly congratulating Muslims on their holidays. She does everything but congratulate them for breathing. The other day she spoke at an event in Oslo commemorating Eid, the official end of Ramadan. Eight thousand Muslims (segregated by sex, of course) were in attendance. Cemal Knudsen Yucel, head of an ex-Muslim group, was disgusted: back in his Muslim homeland, he said, you celebrate Eid “with family, not at a stadium....This shows how effectively Islam builds power....When will Erna visit Jehovah's Witnesses, Filadelphia [an evangelical Christian group], or us ex-Muslims?”
At the event, Erna gave a speech in which she essentially equated Eid and Christmas, depicted Norway as a place where Muslims and non-Muslims live together in harmony, and warned about certain unnamed mischief-makers at both “extremes” who seek to sow “division.” Exactly whom was Erna describing as sowers of division? Well, at one extreme, of course, there are those devout and ambitious Muslims who, in recent months, have been very busy sowing all kinds of division all over Europe – division of the kind that involves separating various body parts from one another and leaving them strewn all over promenades in Nice, bridges in London, and concert arenas in Manchester.
And at the other extreme? Well, Erna didn't name names. But she didn't have to – as usual, the Norwegian media helped her out. In its report on the Erna's Eid event, NTB, the Norwegian news service, filled in the blanks, pointing out darkly that the websites of Human Rights Service (rights.no) and Document (document.no) – both of which are critical of Islam – are among the country's dozen or so most popular Internet destinations. “Some people are trying to paint a picture that doesn't exist,” Erna told NTB, plainly referring to HRS and Document. “Some people want to paint a picture of Norway as being very bad at integration.” As Christian Skaug asked at Document: are hundreds of thousands of Norwegians turning to the HRS and Document sites to read fantasy – or to get a reality check?
While NTB was eager to call out HRS and Document, however, it chose to remain silent about the two mosques that sponsored Erna's Eid event – the Islamic Cultural Center and the Rabita Mosque. Hege Storhaug of HRS describes both as “totalitarian.” As Rabita's Wikipedia page notes, the United Arab Emirates considers it a terrorist organization. Hate preachers have spoken from its pulpit, and several of its members have committed acts of terror. The mosque's supervisor, an unsavory creature named Basim Ghozlan, has openly supported Hamas suicide bombings and refused to criticize the execution of gays. But to Erna, this evil place is a full-fledged part of the New Norway, while those who dare to speak the truth about it are anathema.
After Erna's Eid event, Anita Farzaneh, an ex-Muslim and deputy head of a group called the Secular Forum, addressed an open letter to Erna, in which she noted that on the same day Erna was celebrating Eid, she, Farzaneh, was standing outside another major Oslo mosque, taking part in a small protest in support of Ayaz Nyazi – an activist who's currently incarcerated in Pakistan for committing blasphemy and who may face the death penalty. During the protest, innumerable Muslims passed by on the sidewalk, but none of them offered a sympathetic word. On the contrary, Farzaneh ended up being berated by one of Erna's New Norwegians, who aggressively shook a finger at her: “No one has the right to criticize Islam! No one has the right to criticize Allah! All of you who abandon Islam are infidels and should be executed!”
Such unpleasant encounters, Farzaneh explained, are a frequent occurrence in her everyday life in Oslo. But what can she do about it? That's Islam. That man was “just following his religion” – the same religion that Erna, at that very moment, was celebrating. Many Islamic apostates, Farzaneh pointed out, have come to Norway to escape countries where, in accordance with the Koran, they risk the death penalty for leaving their religion; but instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with those apostates, Erna, charged Farzaneh, was “congratulating the representatives of religious murderers and those who support them.” What else is new?