Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress party, continues his crusade against Islam, stating that it is only a matter of time before an Islamic party is established in Norway.
Even if there currently are no concrete plans for an Islamic party in Norway, Hagen said his worse nightmare is Islamic fundamentalists at Stortinget, and he continues by stating that the government naïve.
«Im convinced that its just a matter of time before we get a political party based on Islam,» Hagen stated in an interview the TV 2 Nyhetene. «Of course, I dont know if it will be a moderate or fundamental party, but Im keeping an eye on the international expansion the Islamic fundamentalism is organizing and the coordination of Muslims in Europe as well, and Im convinced that it will come to Norway too. It may take five or ten years, but it will come.»
A different Norway
Hagen said that he sees that visit of the controversial Pakistani politician Qasi Hussein Ahmad in August as a sign that Norway is also included in this international trend of strengthening Islamic fundamentalism.
«He works for the establishment of sharia law, and its strange if he not tries to stimulate it in Norway,» Hagen said. «There are many Muslims in Norway, and probably also some fundamentalists that keep out of view. Its only a question of time before someone decides to become a representative in governmental organs through a political party.»
In his worst nightmare, Hagen fears that Islamic fundamentalists may get elected to the Norwegian parliament.
«This will be something I will fight as long as I live,» Hagen said. «If we get a party built on Islamic laws of sharia and a completely different set of values, then this will be a completely different Norway then what we inherited from our forefathers.»
Among Muslims, there are many divided opinions regarding forming a political party.
Iklaq Ahmad, spokesperson for Islamic cultural center in Norway, is positive to a political party, while Khalid Mahmood, who represents the Labor party in the Oslo city council, does not think there is anything to collect from forming a political party.
«I dont think Muslims can or want to have a party based on our religion,» Mahmood said to TV 2 Nyhetene. «I think people are preoccupied of viewing society as a whole.»
There are no concrete plans of creating a party in Norway, but if a party was formed, Ahmad said that Hagen has nothing to fear.
«All Muslims do not have to fundamentalists,» Ahmad said to TV 2 Nyhetene. «A Muslim party would be good for the democracy.»
Frank Aarebrot, Norwegian election researcher, agreed with Ahmad and said that there is no reason to worry.
«The truth is that there are no Islamic parties established on the national level in any European country that originally had a non-Muslim population,» Aarehold explained. «In Antwerp a party was created as a reaction when a party that is hostile against foreigners got majority in the city council, so there the chance that a Muslim party is created in Norway maybe increases if the Progress party would get majority in the Oslo city council.»
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