Monday, 1 June 2009

Norway: Mosque visited by Queen connected to Jamaat-e-Islami

The imam who on Monday received a visit from queen Sonja herself, has participated in the blessing of suicide actions targeting all adult Israelis. Mehboob-ur-Rehman is an imam in the Islamic Cultural Center, which this week received a celebrity from the royal family, in connection with the opening of an art exhibition.

Rehman is an honorary member of the European Fatwa Council, which as late as in 2003 declared a fatwa stating that suicide actions are actions which "please Allah" and that all adult Israelis are legitimate targets.

"The acts of martyrdom which the Palestinians carry out in their resistance fight against the Zionist occupation may not be reckoned as illegal terrorism, even though there should be innocent civilians among the victims" the fatwa declares, according to the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.
Read the whole piece here
Source: Norway, Israel and the Jews
The Islamic Cultural Center mosque has never hidden where they get their ideological inspiration: from Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, an organization considered to be an extreme group on the extremist side of the religious and political landscape.

When the Norwegian royal family wanted to visit a Muslim community in Norway for the first time ever on Monday, they chose the Islamic Cultural Center. It's unclear if Queen Sonja was aware of the links between the Islamic Cultural Center in Oslo and religious extremist groups in Pakistan.

Spokesperson at the palace Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen says that the Queen was there after having received an invitation to open an exhibition, and added that generally that Royal family doesn't comment on the reasons for their appearances.

Per Sandberg, Deputy head of the Frp (Progress Party), thinks the royal family can naturally visit whomever they want. But, he says, he would have wished the queen didn't legitimize a mosque with radical attitudes. She could have visited a mosque with moderate points of view. It's a paradox that so many Muslims in Norway follow radical movements within Islam after they come to Norway.

Laila Bokhari, researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, says that Jamaat-e-Islami is a fundamentalist and conservative movement. One of the movement's top leaders, Qazi Hussain Ahmad, is, at best, unclear about his attitude towards al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, according to Bokhari. Ahmad was invited by the Islamic Cultural Center in Oslo in 2004 to give a speech.

Fahrat Taj, originally from Pakistan, is writing a doctoral dissertation on human rights and Islam. She say that the Islamic Cultural Center, via its ideological links to Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, puts itself on the fundamentalist wing. Taj says that in Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami is considered to have connections with al-Qaida. It's typical that Jamaat-e-Islami is now one of three political groups who don't support the army's operations against extremism in the Swat area.

According to the Pakistani press, around 1990 Qazi Hussain Ahmad has several meetings with bin Laden. After the terror attack against the US on September 11, 2001, he said the Jews were responsible. When one of the top leaders of al-Qaeda, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, was arrested in 2003, he was found in the home of then important member of Jamaat-e-Islami. Several experts consulted by Aftenposten emphasize, however, that Jamaat-e-Islami was never a part of bin Laden's terrorist network.

Mehboob ur-Rehman, an imam at the Islamic Cultural Center, sits on the European Fatwa Council headed by Egytpian Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Earlier this year al-Qaradawi congratulated Adolf Hitler for punishing the Jews during WWII.
Read the whole piece here
Source: Aftenposten (Norwegian) and Islam in Europe (English)

See also:
- Norway: Islamic Council rejects Qaradawi
- Oslo: Queen visits mosque
- Oslo: Imam blames 9/11 on US in college lecture

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