Who is Mohammed Usman Rana? He’s a 31-year-old Norwegian doctor and newspaper columnist who … said that he personally opposed executing gays, but refused to criticize countries that punish homosexuality with death. Pressed further on the issue by his opponents, Rana pulled a slick switcheroo, charging that it was not he but they who were displaying intolerance. How dare they sit in judgment of Islamic law? …
This year saw another milestone for Rana: his first book. It was published by one of Norway’s oldest and most distinguished houses …
What is Rana’s book about? Entitled Norwegian Islam: How to Love Norway and the Koran at the Same Time, it aims to substantiate a demonstrably absurd proposition: namely, that there’s no conflict whatsoever between being a devout traditional Muslim and a responsible, patriotic citizen of Norway or any other Western democracy….
Rana’s way of resolving the tension between Islamic and democratic values is to insist, quite simply, that the latter make room for the former: to do otherwise would be “not only unrealistic, but also deeply illiberal and unreasonable.” It’s the same argument he used years ago at that student debate: not to tolerate Islam’s extreme illiberality would be illiberal.
Rana actually pointed to the tolerance of Amish communities in the U.S. as an example for Europe to follow in its treatment of Muslims, dancing around the minor detail that the Amish don’t live on welfare, don’t beat up Jews and gays, don’t commit honor killings or gang rapes, and don’t drive trucks into crowds of non-Amish men, women, and children. Ness, reviewing Norwegian Islam in Finansavisen, called it “the year’s funniest book” — the humor, of course, being entirely unintentional.
If it can happen in Norway, it can happen anywhere in the West. In 2013 Muslims made up 2.4% of the Norwegian population (Australia 2.2%, US 1%).
hat-tip Stephen Neil