English

The New Antisemitism has arrived in Norway in full force. The decision to decorate a notorious antisemite and Khomeini-supporter, Tron Ali Linstad, is a telling sign of how deeply embedded antisemitism has become. It is no longer an obstacle to social recognition. It is part of the social fabric.

The King’s special commission for decorations, seems to have overlooked Linstad’s long record of articles defending Iran’s every word and action, including defence of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie. One seems to have forgotten Iran’s repeated threats to wipe Israel off the map.  Antisemitism is just part of the package.

The commission also seems to have missed that Linstad’s work is in direct contravention of the values that underpin Norwegian society: he does not introduce muslims to democracy and freedom – he has even said that islam and liberal democracy are incompatible. On the contrary – Linstad introduces them to the worst, in both islam and his own leftist background: hatred of America, Israel, gays, freedom of expression and Jews, for being Jews.

How can this contribute to integration?

The prize is thus a sign of how confused the establishment in Norway has become, how far removed it stands from what used to be selfevident values. Today an inveterate islamist and antisemite can pass off as a pioneer in integration.

It is a scandal, but it is a scandal on the part of the establishement that has let development drift this far.

Officially a decoration is for services past rendered. But what services? Linstad’s record leaves that open to interpretation: is advocacy of hatred and dictatorship laudable?

The royals have been in the forefront of the new Norwegian society based on multiculturalism. Decorating Linstad flies in the face of the individuals from Muslim background that have broken with tribal and religious customs, and struck out on their own. Norway does not have many such courageous voices, but a few. Honouring Linstad is to disgrace their achievments.

When it comes to taking sides, the leftist-liberal elite that runs Norway, prefer the women in multicoloured hijabs that are taking higher education, to the artists and writers who dare criticize their own culture and break taboos. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is no heroine for these women or for official Norway.

Antisemitism is part of the baggage: the case for Israel are not presented, and gradually official society has become more inimical to both Israel and Jews. Muslims register this of course. They feel they have carte blanche. Educated people may coach their words in more polite language. But that is a matter of style only.

Historian Linda Helen Haukland wrote Monday an article in the newspaper VG. She has researched stories about Jews who had to change their Jewish names during the war to escape arrest and deportation. Today, she writes, she hears from Jews in Norway that they hide their Jewish origins. She says it is spooky. The past is becoming the future.