Norwegian Muslim Labor politician serves anti-Semitic slurs on Facebook

Abysmal translation from google translate… but you get the gist…

       Jews harassed on facebook

 

From Nettavisen today, November 20th

It says that Jews are being harassed on facebook by AUF members (youth labor party) AND Ap politician Khalid Haji Ahmed. As a reaction to the escalation of the conflict with Hamas.

On Monday afternoon, an AUF member shared this message on Facebook, according to Hamar Arbeiderblad.

“Damn Jew whores (…) wish Hitler could come back and shower you a little more.”

The Facebook entry is a response to the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.

The comment provoked a strong reaction, especially when AP-politician Khalid Haji Ahmed decided to join the debate. Instead of reprimanding the Labor youth politician who posted the harassment, he wrote a flippant, slightly sarcastic comment back to one of the participants in the discussion.

When asked why Ahmed did not take more distance from harassment, says Labor politician to Nettavisen that he often uses humor to promote/prove a political point.

 Lighted torches for all victims

– I know the young people, and in dialogue with young people use their language. I tried to say “Oh, good luck, then, if you want to do silly things,” says Ahmed.

Ahmed says that he feels misunderstood, and that he really talked to the youngsters, but in a private chat, and not on his facebook wall. He also says to Nettavisen that the youth who posted the harassment is no longer a member of the Labor youth.

On Saturday, Ahmed participated in a ceremony where they lit torches for the 71 victims that had been killed in the ongoing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.

– Three of the torches were for those who died in Israel, he said.

Khalid Haji Ahmed says he strongly opposes what was written on the facebook status

He says that he thinks it is wrong to judge people based on what religion they belong to, whether they are Muslim, Jew or Christian.

Unacceptable

The leader of the Labour Party in Hamar, Thomas Jensen Jørgensen, says that attack on Jews by Labor youth members is totally unacceptable.

– I want to talk to our member Khalid Haji Ahmed about what has happened, he says to Hamar Arbeiderblad.

Deputy John Magne Tangen Pedersen in Hedmark Labor youth told the newspaper that what is written on Facebook is for people’s own expense.

Siv Jensen shocked

Progress Party leader Siv Jensen, writing on her Facebook account that she is shocked by the statements.

– It is painful to see how Jew hatred still exists in Norwegian society. Disturbing statements from some labor youth and labor politicians on Facebook. We all have a shared responsibility to get this out and especially educating younger generations, she writes

VG also writes about this story, but provides some more details:

- Grotesque utterances

Øyvind Kopperud is a researcher at the Holocaust Centre and seems statements are grotesque. This summer he released the report “Anti-Semitism in Norway,” and the report says that 12.5 percent of the Norwegian population has distinct prejudice against Jews.

– I think they are pubertal although obviously not clear how outrageous they are. Therefore, it is very sad to see how such statements are marginalized and some degree excused. One can not say anything then come to say that “I was misunderstood,” says Kopperud when VG confronts him with the comments of the former and current AUF shoulder.

– But it is disturbing that we are now in 2012 still have such attitudes. And it seems there is an increase in anti-Semitic utterances lately often linked to the conflict in the Middle East, he said.

- 12 percent is a worryingly high number

He is unsure if there are several such attitudes now than a few decades back, but with social media comes the lighter to light.

– It’s scary that so many anti-Semitic attitudes. Around 12 percent are not so much seen in a European context, but in other southern European countries have crises, and in times of crisis, we see a tendency for anti-Semitism flared up. In Norway, we have had good economic conditions and generally a stable society, and in this context we have a disturbingly high percentage share, he said.

Prejudice unrelated to Jewish presence in Norway

Monday 26 November marks the 70 anniversary of the Norwegian Jews’ deportation to Auschwitz and Kopperud think it needs a change of attitude needed to reduce anti-Semitism in Norway. Overall, approximately one third of Norwegian Jews killed during World War II.

– One thing is that we need to focus in part on Jewish culture and history. By showing all the contributions the Jews of Europe has given to our own culture – which is also their own – might prejudice be reduced little by little although I fear that this will have little to say in terms of just such statements here we have seen here. Jewish culture and history is not just about the Holocaust and Israel, says Kopperud, and continues:

– Another thing is that we have to cut off anti-Semitism by its root. Not only with more courses, but that the fight against anti-Semitism must be taken in all walks of life, at work and on the individual level. Such statements must be met with total resistance that such statements deserve. There are around 1,500 Jews in Norway, and it is these that can quickly be damaged when such attitudes come to the surface, a minority who live every day under heavy security, he says.

The report, “Anti-Semitism in Norway” concludes that the prejudice is often explained by the role of Israel in the Middle East conflict and almost never rooted in specific references to the Norwegian society.