Posted on April 21, 2005

Book Calls Norwegians ‘Satan’s Sons’

Aftenposten (Oslo), Apr. 19

A book that’s quietly being distributed within Norway’s Muslim community refers to Norwegians as the sons of Satan. The book, written by an anonymous author, has been turned over to police by Oslo’s Anti-Racism Center.

In addition to associating Norwegians with the devil, the book lashes out at Norwegian ethics and morality. The author, believed to be a mullah or other Muslim religious leader living in Oslo, claims that Norwegians don’t have legitimate children. “They’re conceived here and there,” claims the author.

Several local politicians who themselves are Muslims say they’re appalled by the book. “I can’t accept that this author pretends he’s speaking on behalf of all Muslims or Pakistanis,” Kamil Azhar of the Labour Party told newspaper VG on Tuesday. “The book’s content is ridiculous and far from reality.”

Azhar joined other Muslim politicians and the Anti-Racism Center’s efforts to get the book labelled as illegal, on the grounds it violates Norwegian law against racist expression.

A Norwegian lawyer who specializes in free speech issues said the book, called “Satan’s son,” appears to teeter on the edge of legality. Turning it in to the police, however, isn’t a good idea, says lawyer Kyrre Eggen.

“I believe Muslims have the same right to freedom of expression as Norwegians do in relation to Muslims,” Eggen said. “The best response is open debate, not to go to the police.”

The book, written in Urdu, was published by a group called the All Pakistan Muslim Society. The group isn’t registered in Norway.

The author calls Norwegians “barbarians” and “poisonous snakes” who have poisoned humanity. “These white men have set off a devilish spiral in the whole world . . . to plague people,” according to the book.

“I feel a responsibility to react when I come over something like this,” Akhtar Chaudhry, also of the Labour Party, told VG. “I don’t want it on my conscience that I didn’t try to fight something so racist.”