Same in Finland I’m told, with Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila’s bastardized version that supposedly soft peddles the traditional Arabic text…
Norway: A Fake “Translation”
- This 2013 Norwegian-language “Koran” is available online. A perusal of key passages, however, shows that it bears little or no resemblance to the actual Koran.
- Let us hope that the word gets around that the book they are being handed is not really the Koran at all.
To borrow a phrase from Lewis Carroll, the news about the aftermath of a public Koran-burning in Kristiansand, Norway, on November 16, keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.
As explained in previous pieces here, the 30 or more police officers who were on hand at the event, which was organized by a group called Stop the Islamization of Norway (Stopp Islamiseringen av Norge – SIAN) were under secret orders from the chief of the Norwegian police, Benedicte Bjørnland, not just to douse any flaming Koran but to keep SIAN members from setting fire to a copy of the Muslim holy book in the first place. Bjørnland had maintained that the so-called “racism clause” of Norway’s criminal law gave her the power to issue such orders, while the Minister of Justice, Jøran Kallmyr, made the puzzling comment that while burning the Koran was legal, it could “become” a crime, a statement that made no more sense in Norwegian than it does in English.
To be sure, Bjørnland and Kallmyr, when confronted on a TV debate program on November 25 by politicians of the left and right as well as by a jurist, pulled back on their claims and acknowledged the primacy of free expression – although Bjørnland, apparently unable to shake off the idea that the intactness of any given copy of the Koran should be more sacred than free speech, clung to her line that the situation was “complicated.”
Nonetheless, the case seemed to be closed. Alas, not for long. Afterwards, Deputy Foreign Minister Jens Frølich Holte felt obliged to weigh in. He wrote an op-ed in which he condemned SIAN’s Koran-burning in the name of the Norwegian government and explained that whereas Norwegians do indeed have the right to say what they wish, their government also has the right to condemn what they say. The question Holte did not address in his op-ed was this: why, in a country with more than its share of newspaper op-ed pages, online news and opinion websites, and news discussion programs on TV and radio, does the government only feel obliged to refute publicly a private citizen’s point of view when that point of view concerns the topic of just one religion?