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A response to the Norwegian MP Kjell Ingolf Ropstad

17/04/24

Original Article:

https://www.stortinget.no/no/Saker-og-publikasjoner/Sporsmal/Skriftlige-sporsmal-og-svar/Skriftlig-sporsmal/?qid=98502

This is a response to the inaccurate and distorted fabrications of the MP Kjell Ingolf Ropstad who asked the justice minister of Norway to impose a ban on myself to the country. I usually would not spend expend this much effort in a task like this but since it has legal implication, I will afford myself the luxury on this occasion. The shocking first part of the question stated that the speech on my channel entitled ‘a message to the Jews’ ‘went a long way in legitimising violence and suicide actions against the Jews’. Suffice it for me to say that I deny these distortions categorically and would challenge anyone to provide a shred of evidence for such a heinous and repugnant claim. This is a transcript of the section of my speech which deals with the Islamic theological position on suicide:

“the Quran is extending the olive branch to every Jew in the world, you can be part of this community. Yes, you can be this is what Allah is telling us in the Quran, that there is something more. But then the question is, if your belief is one which encourages preservation of life at all costs and our religion is not like that because yes preservation of life is important but preservation of religion is more important and there is a concept of martyrdom, then I would consider that to be an advantage frankly. Because as Robert Greene said “the one who is willing to commit suicide has the initiative”. I am not saying commit suicide or anything “oh I got him here” I am just saying figuratively the one who is willing to take it further…’1

One may find it flabbergasting, flummoxing or otherwise dumbfounding that the MP has stated that I went a ‘long way in legitimising violence and suicide actions against the Jews’ with this speech (which is still online and has been viewed by almost one quarter of a million people) and that such speech states the categorical opposite of the alleged. This not only constitutes libel/defamation of character but compounded ignorance at the highest level; either that or a kind of religious partisanship potentially motivated by the MP’s own Christian religious beliefs which are on the public record. In any event, we expect a full apology and retraction from the MP for these comments.

As for the comments on homophobia and misogyny, this is interpretative. My views relating to gender roles are normative and orthodox Islamic if the MP wants to label me in this way due to such views, I await his courage to do the same thing of individual members of the Orthodox Jewish community who have traditional views on gender issues and homosexual sex incommensurate with many liberal and feminist interpretations. It should be stated that my following across platform ranges from 20-40% female and that there was about that number of females in the very lecture that I was giving in the Islam net event (as is usually). Having said this, it may be interesting to note that Mr. Ropstad himself was accused of homophobia in 2019 by the leader of the Labour Party’s women’s network2. In fact he was accused of stating that ‘bullying and inflicting some shame on homosexuals is okay’ and that ‘he would not condemn religious societies that claim that homosexuality is a sin’3. If the mere accusation of misogyny and homophobia is sufficient for condemnation, then perhaps Mr. Ropstad should be condemned by the Justice military himself. In fact, as a member of Norwegian parliament perhaps a formal investigation should be conducted upon him. What we may be witnessing with Mr. Ropstad is classic psychoanalytic projection or psychological overcompensation. Perhaps Mr. Ropstad secretly admires my continued ability to state/believe that homosexuality is a sin in Islam while keeping firmly within the confines of the law in all western countries and is ashamed of his own lack of courage for changing his beliefs for his career.

As for the allegations about antisemitism, then it is true that due to my Palestinian activism and my opposition to the policies of  Israel, I have been labelled by Zionists and others positioned far-right on the political spectrum as antisemitic. This is despite my opposition to antisemitism wherein the latter is defined as a discrimination of Jewish people due to ethnicity as can be evidenced by various videos, I have done against antisemitism4 including a famous interview I had with the BBC5. At this point though, even intense Liberals like Jeremy Corbyn have been labelled by Zionists and others as antisemitic and so such labelling from such individuals (i.e. Zionist proponents of Israel) at such a time cannot and is not an academically neutral observation. Moreover, Mr. Ropstad states that someone in a protest I attend stated that ‘they want Jewish blood’. Pro-Palestinian protests can amass hundreds of thousands of people in London, if someone did say such a thing I find it shocking that Ropstad is therefore implicating me in such a statement. Such a move indicates that Ropstad in addition to being potentially dysfluent in English (or at least has poor reading comprehension) does not know basic concepts of natural justice in Western law systems and therefore is unfit to be in parliament. If one were to associate Ropstad with things that party members and co-religionists or pro-activists had said, he would clearly be out of a job.

I consider the antisemitism accusation as a convenient means of shutting down the discourse on arguably one of the most dreadful and heinous oppressive disasters to afflict any people (in the Palestinian people) in the last century. It would be discomforting if the Justice Minister of Norway cannot see how this attempt by Ropstad to cause a distraction on the main events happening in the world is a red-herring and a desperation tactic from an intellectually bankrupt and defeated person.

The MP falsely repeats that I stated that Hindus are ‘pathetic and weak’. Once again, I have never stated this. I challenge him or anyone else to provide one clip of me saying that Hindus are pathetic and weak6. I mentioned that the Hindutva were pathetic and weak, and I stand by this. This can be shown clearly not only in my speech but the title of my video online which is entitled ‘Muslim responds to Fascist Hindutva thugs’7. I mentioned that if they believe in reincarnation that it would humiliating for them (the Hindutva) to be reincarnated as pathetic and weak. Although this may sound like mockery of the Hindu faith to an uninformed reader with below average reading comprehension, this is not so as I have stated clearly in the theological possibility of an all powerful God to perform reincarnation if such a God so wills8.  The Hindutva are a far-right Nazi inspired political group in India, the fact that he conflates between them and Hindus without evidence is further evidence to a potential malicious intent on behalf of the MP. The equivalent of me stating that it would be humiliating for the Hindutva to be reincarnated in this way if they believe in reincarnation can only be made as a personal insult for the Hindutva. This is the equivalent of saying that ‘if ISIS believe in hell, then they may be entering it’. A person with average intelligence will be able to note that the ‘if-then’ formulation clarifies mockery to the Hindutva and not to the entire Hindu population or indeed the Hindu faith.

Finally, I warn Norway that this move threatens not only freedom of expression and speech, but also secularism. This is as if political action can be taken due to the grievances of one public member and proponent of one faith (a Christian) against another (Muslim) it will set a precedent the like of which could call into question the very secular credentials of the Norwegian state. This is as one religious advocate would have used his political leverage to inhibit speech of another religious group. This also goes against the assumption of equality which undergirds the liberal democratic/pluralistic system. There is no doubt that if this decision is taken it will be scandalous and set a dangerous precedent the like of which is likely to taint the reputation of the justice minister not only with the Muslim community, but as a general matter of fact.

It could also be said to be unusually convenient timing that these complaints are being made now right after I protested for the Palestinian cause outside of the Norwegian parliament and was critical of the Norwegian Prime Minister on his stances towards Gaza. Many, I am sure will speculate that this is a feeble attempt at silencing critics and creating a gag culture of censoriousness.

Mohammed Hijab

 

1 A message to the Jews from 6:10-7:00 minutes. Access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJzYt_z6OsY&t=369s

2 See here: https://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/forbanna-pa-ropstads-homo-uttalelse–sier-at-paforing-av-skam-er-greit/71020847

3 Ibid.

4 See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYObHod61eQ&t=815s, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zHL2x0ndgE&t=1124s, https://www.youtube.com/shorts/lGzKRhkbGKY, https://www.youtube.com/shorts/NcqK3yASecc .

5 Note, I do not accept definitions of antisemitism which relate to criticism of Israel in any sense or even criticising Judaism as a religion.

6 Note there are 4 ongoing cases against UK media platforms on this issue, all of the sources that the MP have used have not yet successfully defended themselves in a court of UK law.

7 Perhaps Rodstad and others do not know the difference between a Hindu and a Hindutva proponent. Video link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4CetXTNmvU , note the title of this video has never changed and there is no evidence of it ever changing.

8 This has been stated explicitly in my Channel 4 interview which can be found here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhjIg11dP6k&t=2s