Whether it is possible to stop Islamophobia? The Norwegian experience of
In the city of Bergen, as well as in many Norwegian cities, among youth the community SOS - Rasisme is popular. One of the main activities of anti-racists is opposition of Islamophobia.
On March 2, 2011 on Torgalmenningen - one of central squares activists of SOS - Rasisme baked and sold wafers, distributed leaflets and talked to passersby.
The action continued with 13 - 30 to 16 - 00. 55 wafers were during this time baked and several hundreds of leaflets with such text are distributed: “We see that in Europe and in Norway Islamophobia accrues. It is unreasonable horror before Muslims.
Here two most popular statements of those who hate Muslims.
“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims“.
It is very big mistake. According to the data published in Europe in 2010, among the acts of terrorism all planned, executed or prevented Muslims took part in Europe only in 0,3%. (From each 300 acts of terrorism only 1 it was organized by the Muslim.)
“In 2060 most of citizens of Norway will be Muslims“, - according to the forecast of statistical bureau SSB.
It is not realistic at all. Despite the fact that we hear in mass media, Muslims make 1,9% of the population of Norway. Whether it is possible that 99 thousand Norwegian Muslims increased the number by 50 times - provided that all other residents of Norway would not breed at all? We do not trust in it. SSB cannot foretell what will be in 40 years. These sounded figures - just game with numbers, nothing more.
Muslims are represented as huge threat to everything that is Norwegian. But people and territories always changed. And if some number of Muslims joins the population and culture of Norway - it cannot be considered as threat. Anyway it threatens the Norwegian culture less, than the frozen pizza and the Internet.
SOS - racism considers that all people, irrespective of an origin, skin colors and religions, are equal. The biggest threat for Europeans is a racism and Nazism which manifestations lately steadily grow. This most important danger to us. But not the potential growth of number of Muslims. It is very important to stop racism and Nazism in all forms. Be together with SOS - racism!“
But is in Norway and other opinion - that Muslims really represent real danger. However, decide to express it openly the few.
On May 14, 2010 13 local Islamophobes carried out the action. To protest against Islamophobes there were 200 anti-fascists and anti-racists.
In the run-up to an action of Islamophobes-2011 of SOS - Rasisme held the Public meeting on Islamophobia where it made the report Å smund K. Hatlestad, the human rights activist who studied statistics, a real situation of affairs in Norway much more understanding a situation with migrants, than the people armed only with blind hatred to all unusual.
Osmund told about the historical background: “After the USSR broke up, the image of the Muslim terrorist very quickly occupied the released niche of the enemy. Before even in the Hollywood movies Muslims were usually mentioned in a positive context. A typical example of the similar Hollywood movie - “Rimbaud - 3“ (1988) where Muslims are shown by kind and peaceful people, fighters for independence of the country of the external enemy.
And the Soviet soldiers are represented as stupid robots which smile, only when kill people. At the same time, unlike “Communistic danger“ about which politicians spoke “Muslim danger“ was formed also by intellectuals“.
Osmund cited as an example the speculative book “Collision of Civilizations and Transformation of a World Order“ of Samyuel Phillip Huntington (1996) in which historical roots of inevitable hostility of a Christian and Muslim civilization are proved.
Anyway crimes of fascism and communism are not comparable to Islamic problems.
Further he said that to unite in one “Islamic“ group of people of such different countries as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, - it is absurd as people these countries differ very strongly. Including also their beliefs differ. All the same that to unite Latin America and Scandinavia on a “Christian“ sign.
“Very often Islamophobes manipulate the invented or distorted figures. But the facts of are as follows: 53 million Muslims in Europe (Turkey and Russia are excluded from statistics), in Norway 99 thousand Muslims, and in Bergen - less than 2 000 people. There is no hidden Islamization of Norway. And such quantity cannot pose threat to either culture, or society of Norway.
However people who support nationalist views in Europe it is much bigger, than radical Islamists. And people forget what threat is posed by fascism“.
Osmund mentioned xenophobia in us - that he felt unpleasant feelings, going to mosque. In spite of the fact that he understands irrationality of Islamophobia, promotion does the part, and it is very difficult to resist to the internal nazi.
People against mosques because for many it is the visible symbol of Islamization perceived so: Muslims “plan something“. However comes to nobody to mind that “something is planned“ and Christians, which temples everywhere.
And on May 14 opposition of racists and anti-racists at Festivalnaya Square took place. Six Islamophobes stood with the poster “Stop Islamization of Norway“. Among them there was a grandmother with a crutch, three very old old men, two very ugly ladies and the young man from Nazi - subcultures.
On the contrary, on other side of the square, with banners and flags, replacing each other within several hours, there were hundreds multi-colored, uneven-age, speaking different languages believing in different Gods of people for whom the principle of equality of people is very important.
Madly funny the fact that near fascists this day on the square the small market organized by Christians in favor of Congo was located. As the head of society SIAN (Stop of Islamization of Norway) tried to outvoice musicians with microphones and electric guitars, nothing was impossible to it.
And the area looked so - a half is occupied by anti-racists, the most part of other half - the Christians supporting Congo. In the center three police officers missed, and from the edge of the area hung on sticks - to hold - that nobody - the poster of sianets.
Has to be, over time such people in Norway will die out in the natural way. It would be desirable that and in other countries fascists became a rare endangered species.