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Norwegian minister demands modernization of Islam

Erna Solberg, local government minister, demands that Norwegian Muslims modernize their religion to better fit the Norwegian society.

Solberg voiced her demands after her visit with Beverly Hughes, the British minister of immigration, according to the Norwegian daily, Aftenposten.

“We must get the Muslim environments to face the fact that they are living in Europe, that they are a minority group, and that they have to contribute with something,” Solberg said as she particularly directs her demand to Norwegian Muslims. “There are no other ways to modify Islam in Europe.”

“The Norwegian Muslim environments must develop, and they have to see what is happening in other European countries,” Solberg claimed. “Islam in Europe must function in another way than in Muslim countries, and Norway is particularly behind in this.”


Solberg insists also that there must be certain requirements to become imam.

“They can not just be brought from the Muslim countries where Muslims are in majority,” Solberg said. “They have no understanding of what it is like to be a Muslim in country where they are a minority. They need more education, something they should be able to get in Europe.”

Solberg said she would closely study the British government proposal of having a separate ceremony for swearing in those who become British citizens.

An exam before they are granted Norwegian citizenship is not an option at this point in time, but it may be an option in the future, stated Solberg, according to the paper.

Do not understand

Amber Khan, spokeswomen for World Islamic Mission, said that she did not understand what Solberg is referring to when she says that Islam in Europe must be modernized.

“And I do not understand what she means when she says that we in Norway are particularly far behind,” Khan said.

The religious community has already requirements to their imams.

“He must be able to learn the language, and be able to adapt to a new environment with different cultural codes,” Khan said to the paper. “Our imam is a scholar with eight years of university education. The reason why we have to collect him from a Muslim country is that there are not any such educational facilities in Norway.”

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