Against Høyre-topp: – He lied to Muslims in our holiest house

Oslo city councilor Omar Gamal (SV) accused Conservative leader Eirik Lae Solberg of lying about burning the Koran in a controversial speech at a mosque during the election campaign.


– He said one thing, and then he will do another, SV leader Omar Gamal told VG one week before the election.

VG recently published content on an audio recording of city council leader candidate Eirik Lae Solberg (H), addressing several hundred people before Friday prayers at a mosque in Oslo.

In his election campaign speech in August, Lae Solberg strongly distanced himself from burning the Koran.

He also raised the possibility of preventing the burning of Korans on city property if he is elected to the city council in the fall elections.

But when VG contacted him afterwards, Lae Solberg emphasized that he would not use the law to prevent the burning of the Koran nor would he have the power to stop it.

GET CRITICIZED: Eirik Lae Solberg (H) is the top candidate for the Conservative Party in Oslo and is running for city council leader.

He also suggested that the city government find a “suitable place” to burn the Koran – and report it to the police who approved the request for a demonstration in Oslo. The aim is to prevent such marking from happening outside the mosque.

– The impression left by the public after his speech was that Lae Solberg would refuse to burn the Koran. When I visit the mosques, I hear the words, “The right side will vote on the prohibition of burning the Koran.” But he knew very well that he could not prevent the burning of the Koran. He says one thing and then he will do another, Gamal told VG.

– Lae Solberg lied to Muslims in our holiest house. He later speculated that many immigrants did not read VG afterward, so he got away with it. It’s unacceptable to behave like that. Lae Solberg seeks to become supreme leader of the city. And he knew very well what he was saying, Gamal explained.

Oslo has many Muslim congregations and organizations. In 2020 have Muslim religious community in Oslo more than 66,000 members. This number is just under ten percent of the total population of 709,000 people.

– All of Gamal’s claims are completely unrooted in reality, answered Hassan Nawaz from Høyre.

See Høyre’s further response in a later article.

– Lae Solberg knows that his party does not support what he said to hundreds of people
attended. I think he should go back to the mosque and apologize to correct the wrong impression he made, said Gamal.

Correct: – The levels don’t make any sense

VG has sent a statement from Gamal to Lae Solberg and requested comment. He left the onus on city council politician Hassan Nawaz (H) to answer them.

– It’s a shame that someone who wants to become the next mayor of Oslo takes such an unreasonable attitude, Nawaz told VG.

ANSWER: City council politician Hassan Nawaz (H) answered on behalf of Lae Solberg.

Nawaz is the fifth candidate for the Conservative Party in Oslo in elections this fall.

– I feel we agree that burning the Koran is a despicable and polarizing act, but banning is not the right way. What concerns Eirik, and as he has made clear in VG, is that the municipality, as the owner of the land, can and should be in close dialogue with the police on the matter.

If someone applies to the police for a permit to hold a demonstration on municipal land, the police will usually notify the municipality.

– Eirik said nothing about the ban on audio recordings of visits to mosques. Gamal was clearly campaigning when he deliberately misinterpreted and used such strong words. All of Gamal’s claims have absolutely no basis in truth, said Nawaz.

This was revealed by Lae Solberg

VG had previously published a portion of the speech from the mosque in August. Here’s what Lae Solberg had to say:

“And then I found out, and it made me really sad, that there was a lot of discrimination. There is a lot of joy. And one of the things that I think is the most provocative, and what is really heinous, heinous action, is when people defame religious texts. When they burned the Koran. Or if they burned the Bible, said Solberg.

We can’t accept that. I think we need to say more clearly that we don’t want that to happen in our city.

– Then I am a politician who cares about honesty. So if I am elected chairman of the DPRD, it is not something we decide at City Hall. But we can, for example, see if it is possible to say that if the municipality owns the land outside the mosque, then we have to make sure that they can’t do that here.”

When VG contacted Lae Solberg afterwards, he had the following to say:

– If I’m not quite right, I apologize. If I give the impression that the City of Oslo can solve this problem alone, I apologize. The Oslo City Government cannot solve this problem alone. We can recommend another place or another time, and then the police have to make a decision within the framework of freedom of expression.

He emphasized that the police must decide where and whether demonstrations can be held.

– If, for example, someone proposes a demonstration that could lead to the burning of the Koran outside the mosque in connection with Friday prayers, then I believe the city government as the owner of the land must arrange for this to happen elsewhere, regardless of the location. less offensive to those they target. And then recommend the place to the police, Solberg said.


Lance Heptinstall

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