Islamic Council loses its state funding

UPDATED: Norway’s conservative government announced on Monday that it has lost confidence in  Norway’s Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd Norge). Conflicts have swirled both internally and around the council, and Culture Minister Linda Helleland said the government’s annual financial grant of NOK 1.3 million (USD 165,000) would not be paid out. “There is considerable doubt whether the […]

Islamic Council loses largest members

After months of warnings, four of Norway’s largest muslim organizations have withdrawn as members of the national Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd Norge, IRN). They’ve been unhappy with the council’s leader, Mehtab Afsar, who also has provoked the government minister providing much of the council’s funding. IRN confirmed that three mosques including the Bosnians’ and the […]

TV program leader confronts her critics

A young Muslim woman who won fame in Norway for speaking out against Islamic extremists made her TV debut Thursday night as leader of a  program aimed at encouraging other young Norwegians to vote. Faten Mahdi al-Hussaini also responded to all the criticism state broadcaster NRK has received for allowing her to wear her hijab on the air, suggesting it […]

NRK upset by flap over anchor’s hijab

Norway’s state broadcasting company NRK has received more than 3,000 complaints over an upcoming new TV program, tied to the parliamentary election in September, that allows its Muslim anchor to wear her hijab on air. “I see that there are strong and dark forces that don’t want young Muslims to be visible,” claims NRK’s chief, Thor Gjermund Eriksen. The […]

Pilgrimages keep gaining popularity

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Crown Prince Haakon’s official re-opening of Norway’s historic pilgrim trail from Oslo to the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. More pilgrims than ever are hiking at least parts of the 643-kilometer trail, with 70 percent of them coming from abroad. A group of high-profile Norwegians including two government ministers set off from Oslo […]

Progress Party won’t act on circumcision ban

Norway’s conservative Progress Party created a fuss last weekend, when it decided at its national meeting to make a ban on circumcision of baby boys part of its party platform. Now party officials say they won’t make any moves to propose a ban as law. After days of criticism from religious groups and not least […]

Israel objects to any circumcision ban

The Israeli Embassy in Oslo is criticizing a decision by Norway’s conservative Progress Party over the weekend to support any proposed ban on circumcision of baby boys in Norway. Circumcision is a ritual within both the Jewish and Muslim religions, and the embassy called any prohibition of it “disappointing and unfortunate.” The party policy approved […]

Listhaug fends off attack on her cross

Sylvi Listhaug, Norway’s government minister in charge of immigration and asylum issues, is off on maternity leave but that hasn’t exempted her from more controversy. Now she’s been subjected to what she calls a “degrading attack” over the cross she’s often been wearing around her neck during the past year, claiming it’s “incredible” that it should […]

Hindus upset over Norwegian beer label

Hindus around the world are urging Norwegian brewery Berentsens, located in the coastal town of Egersund, to remove the image of an elephant that they claim is their Lord Ganesha from bottles of the brewery’s Bombay India Pale Ale. They call it “highly inappropriate” to use Hindu deities, concepts or symbols for commercial means. Rajan Zed, president of […]

It’s official: Homosexuals can marry in church

The government body for The Norwegian Church voted as expected on Monday in favour of a new wedding liturgy that can be used in same-sex marriages. It means that same-sex marriages can be held in the church from February 1, with proponents calling the vote “joyful” and “historic.” It came just three years after a […]