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PM reacts to Hagen's statements

Sist oppdatert:
Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik (right) stated that the Progress party leader’s negative statements against Islam create favorable conditions for terrorism.

Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress party, gave a controversial speech attacking Islam at the independent congregation Levende Ord in Bergen July 14. Hagen criticized the religion founder Muhammad and accused him of being an inspiration for terrorists.

Hagen has received a lot of reactions to the controversial speech.

«I understand that Muslims feel that they are being campaigned against,» Bondevik said to TV 2 Nettavisen. «The statements may provide favorable conditions for terrorism. It confirms extreme attitudes that we in the West are enemies, and this is dangerous.»

The ambassadors from Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, and Morocco, and the chargé d’affair from Tunis have distanced themselves from Hagen’s statements against the Muslim faith, and wrote in a letter to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten that «Hagen has offended 1,3 billion Muslims and insulted the principles of tolerance and freedom the Norwegian society is build on.»

«I understand that they react on behalf of their people,» Bondevik said. «The time has come to create a dialogue, not for harsh statements and war declarations. I think it is sad that Hagen does not know international trends better, or what the Norwegian government is doing to try to create an inter-religious dialogue.»

When asked what he thought about the fact that some members of his party, the Christian Democrats (KrF), have supported Hagen’s statements publicly, he answered that two wrongs do not make a right.

«The statements do not become any better because of it,» Bondevik said.

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