European Union

Noted Homophobe Named Norway's "Role Model of the Year"

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No, you aren't imagining it. There was a time when the Scandinavian countries could reasonably boast that it was in the grim, cold north of Europe that the most liberal, socially tolerant societies were to be found. But something, it seems, is stirring; a disturbing acquiescence to the rising tide of religious fundamentalism. While criticism of the (American) Christian right are still regularly found in Stockholm and Oslo's "quality" dailies (most of it overdrawn, but often entirely justified), the increasing fundamentalism of their fellow citizens is either ignored or excused. Take this most recent example, detailed here by Norwegian journalist Rita Karlsen, of the "Role Model of the Year" gong, awarded by Norway's Ministry of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion. (And yes, having a ministry with such a silly title is itself a problem.)

According the government, Mahdi Hassan won plaudits for his tireless work on behalf on indigent local youths:

We know that good role models mean a lot when it comes to creating opportunities for children and teenagers.  Mahdi Hassan is such a role model.  He is visible, he has knowledge and a strong sense of commitment and makes use of these things to create a better day-to-day life for young people in Tynset. People like Mahdi Hassan make a difference and his award for "2009 Role Model of the Year" is highly deserved.

Well, huzzah for Hassan. The only problem, though, is that Hassan the Role Model has a wee problem with the gays; typically something that disqualifies one from being publicly celebrated in Scandinavia. According to Karlsen, "Hassan told the newspaper Arbeidets Rett that he wants a ban on homosexuality, based on the Koran." Does he support the death penalty for gays? That's "up to each individual country to decide." Wouldn't want to judge the wonderful diversity of Koranic interpretation, now would we?

Seems like a nice chap; the type of role model I'd expect in my local Big Brother program. Obviously, Hassan's tolerance (of capital punishment for homosexuals) has angered Norwegian gay rights groups. But Stein Petter Løkken, leader of the Socialist Left Party in Hassan's home kommune of Tynset, defended the choice: "There is freedom of speech in Norway and in the Tynset Socialist Left Party we consider it unproblematic that Mahdi is opposed in principle to homosexuality. It is in accordance with his religion." 

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  1. Damn it, tolerance of religious beliefs doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call them stupid. This douchebag’s freedom of religion entitles him not to be arrested or punished by the government for being a bigoted glob of smegma, it does not entitle him to awards and defenses of his “culture.” Fuck him (actually, don’t fuck him, involuntary abstinence is a better consequence.)

  2. Hey Norway, can we send you our Westboro Baptist Church people? They would make good role models.

    Ohh, darnit, I forgot they are Chistian bigots, not Muslim ones.

    1. Not to mention registered Democrats. Funny, that…

      When David Duke tried to run as a Republican, LA Republicans ran ads saying he’s not ours, vote for his Democratic opponent. Anyone ever seen any Democrat leader drum Phelps out?

      1. Drum Phelps out of what? He holds no political office nor, to my knowledge, has he ever run for office.

        Do you think the Democratic Party would support Phelps if he ran or could you just be trying to score a cheap shot?

        1. From Wikipedia:

          Phelps has run in various Kansas Democratic Party primaries five times, but has never won. These included races for governor in 1990, 1994, and 1998, receiving about 15 percent of the vote in 1998.[57] In the 1992 Democratic Party primary for U.S. Senate, Phelps received 31 percent of the vote.[58] Phelps ran for mayor of Topeka in 1993[59] and 1997.[60]

          So, from 15 to 30 percent of Kansas Democrats have supported him, and your knowledge isn’t worth much. Of course, the larger point may be that 70% or more of Kansas Democrats have always rejected this fringe nutball.

          Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..atic_Party

          The problem with trying to “drum Phelps out” is that party leaders have little control over who’s a member and who isn’t. One effect is extremists like Phelps and Duke trying to seize parties; another is parties running straw candidates to weaken specific opponents. It is part of our political system and we’re stuck with it.

          I do not know whether Democratic leaders opposed Phelps vigorously in his various primaries, or whether they would have supported him if he’d won. I’d like to think that even if a Phelps or Duke would somehow grab the nomination of a mainstream party, most men and women of good will would vote for his opponent. I know I would.

  3. “Hassan told the newspaper Arbeidets Rett that he wants a ban on homosexuality, based on the Koran.” Does he support the death penalty for gays? That’s “up to each individual country to decide.”

    Can Sharia be far behind?

  4. “There is freedom of speech in Norway and in the Tynset Socialist Left Party we consider it unproblematic that Mahdi is opposed in principle to homosexuality. It is in accordance with his religion.”

    What does Norway law say about somebody who trumpets that Mohammad was a false prophet and supports bringing the Inquisition to Norway to root out and expel non Christians?

    Excuse me while I google.
    *googling*
    The convenient but less than authorative Wiki states

    Norway prohibits hate speech, and defines it as publicly making statements that threaten or ridicule someone or that incite hatred, persecution or contempt for someone due to their skin colour, ethnic origin, homosexual life style or orientation or, religion or philosophy of life.

    Head spins while trying to digest all of this conflicting data.

    1. It’s perfectly logical, Jsub, if you look at it as fear, not “tolerance”.

      1. ‘sright, there just aren’t that many Christian suicide bombers knocking about. Hence, Christians warrant less tolerance.

  5. Yeah, like their little “anti-hate-speech” laws ever stopped anyone from hatin’ on me.

    Can a brother get some love?

    1. Oh, yeah, like YOU got problems

  6. Doesn’t ‘-phobe’ mean someone with a fear of or aversion to something? I think that is somewhat different than the hatred espoused by the good Dr Hassan.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Homophobe doesn’t quite cover it.

      Anyways, good to know the Left pecking order, I guess.

      Muslim > women > gays > cattle

  7. Doesn’t ‘-phobe’ mean someone with a fear of or aversion to something? I think that is somewhat different than the hatred espoused by the good Dr Hassan.

    1. Yea, and “Homo-” means “same”. So the guy must have an irrational fear of people that are the same as him.

      1. Wow, he’s smarter than I thought.

  8. Show me where he touched you. Show me on the doll where Mahdi Hassan touched you.

    1. “You’ll be my unregistered sex offender…”

  9. I saw the headline and thought, ‘Wow, the Reason guys are criticizing rightwing homophobes? Haven’t seen that since November 08!’. Then I clicked through and saw that you’d picked a safe (Muslim) target that wouldn’t upset your new Tea Party readers. Oh well.

    1. Can I assume you view Muslim homophobes as “Leftwing” homophobes? Why does choice of religion make one “Right-Wing” vs. “Left-Wing”. Do tell us.

    2. I’m sure there are examples even more recent. But here’s an example from 17 days ago
      https://reason.com/blog/2010/02…..dard-issue

    3. When rightwing homophobes kill filmmakers, riot over cartoons, and fly airplanes into buildings, you might have a point.

    4. Well, Mahdi Hassan is actually representing the socialist left party in the city council for Tynset.
      But just like the liberals in the US, when one of the protected groups higher in the oppression hierarchy collides with someone lower on the oppression-totem-pole, principles (if they ever even existed) are abandoned. At the moment, the muslim male reigns supreme on top of the pyramid as far as the left are concerned, and is untouchable.

  10. Interesting. Hassan calls for the persecution of homosexuals. Norway labels inciting persecution of homosexuals hate speech. Hate speech is against the law in Norway. Can someone connect the dots for me?

    1. Easy. It’s all about which minority group is the most feared.

      Gay rights activists hold protest rallies. Muslims threaten to cut off your head and burn your house down.

      Therefore, Muslims >> homosexuals.

      Plus, hate-crime laws in Norway were never intended to be applied against minorities anyway.

      1. Now I understand how the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded! This is why Yasser Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize but Irena Sendler who saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children during the Holocaust lost to Al Gore who won for making a movie.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irena_Sendler

      2. Muslims not only threaten to cut your head off, sometimes they actually follow through on their threats

      3. Oh I see, it’s not hate if an entire religion or cultural group adheres to it. Got it.

        1. Close, it depends on which group or culture it is. White, male, western cultures can’t be called anything but a bunch of haters who should just consider themselves lucky they are allowed to exist.

          1. Oh sorry, and Christian.

    2. Muslims are exempt from connecting the dots. It’s against sharia.

  11. And you can be damn sure that were he of viking descent and a christian that he’d have been roundly condemned. Muslims, particularly ethnic ones, are the new darlings of the euro-socialists. Gay people are so bourgeoise.

  12. if he is quoting the Koran
    we should be aware, that he also feels
    JEWS AND CHRISTIANS,AND OTHER NON BELIEVERS SHOULD ALSO BE PUT TO DEATH
    What a hellava nice guy.

    1. “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the Lord: whoseoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.” (Exodus 35:2) For the chilling application of this law, see Numbers 15:32-36, where a man who picked up sticks on the sabbath was stoned, “and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses.”

      1. “Then he said to them, ‘Is it permitted on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then he looked angrily round at them, grieved to find them so obstinate, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was restored.”

        1. Interesting that you would use the notoriously anti-semitic “New Testament” as an example of Jewish behavior during Shabbat. Here are some more credible sources, ancient Jewish commentators:

          Just like a doctor will cut off someone’s arm or leg so that his totality will live, so too the court can rule at certain times to temporarily violate some commandments in order that they will all [eventually] be fulfilled. It is like the early sages said, “Violate one Shabbat for him so that he may observe many Shabbatot. [Rambam]

          R. Akiva answered[31]: “If a man acts intentionally against his fellow [to kill him with guile, from My altar shall you take him to die]” (Exodus 21:14) — From My altar but not from on top of My altar. Rabbah bar Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Yohanan: This was taught only regarding to kill but to let live, even from on top of My altar. If there, where there is a doubt whether his words are substantive and the worship overrides Shabbat kal va-homer that saving a life should override Shabbat. [Rabbi Yishmael]

          The Children of Israel shall observe the Shabbat [to make the Shabbat an eternal covenant for generations]” (Exodus 31:16) The Torah said to violate one Shabbat for him so that he may observe many future Shabbatot. [Rabbi Shimon ben Menasia

          For more on this topic: http://www.aishdas.org/student/shabbat.htm#_edn17

          1. Heller,

            My friend, if there is one thing that is dangerous in the world of apologetics it is defending one religion by simultaneously insulting another. The New Testament, despite what some may think, was not directed by Mel Gibson. It is not “antisemitic” by any reasonable definition of the term. If your meaning is that “some bad people in the story line happen to be Jewish” I could give you far worse stories from the Tanakh. itself. Moses and his army is accused of the genocide of the Midianites in Numbers 31:1 – 31:35.

            I can give you other horrific tales from the Tanakh but my point is merely to show the dangers of defending one religion by insulting another.

            1. The problem is not that “some bad people in the story line happen to be Jewish,” the problem is that there is an ideological agenda in the New Testament of slandering Judaism in order to persuade readers to follow Jesus instead. I wouldn’t have a problem with this if the criticisms of Judaism were accurate, but they simply aren’t. And the fact that the person above used it as a credible source of Jewish behavior only reinforces my point. I would not contest that there are horrible things that make Jews look bad in the Tanach because that is a valid source, although whatever travesty you cite is most likely not being practiced by Jews today, as I was attempting to show with the commentaries on breaking Shabbat in order to save a life. These commentaries, as part of the oral law, have replaced the literal meaning of the written law found in the Tanach.

              1. If that is your concern, it would be more useful to say “notoriously inaccurate” rather than “notoriously anti-semitic”. This would get to the root of the issue and not drag in possible side issues that have nothing to do with theology.

                1. Simply saying “inaccurate” does nothing toward showing that it is being inaccurate specifically about the Jews, my friend. It has a bias against Jews based on an agenda. Sounds like anti-semitism to me…

                  1. The original reasons for the inaccuracy are lost in time forever. It was probably a mixture of reasons. The important thing (if true – I have no reason to doubt you on this) is that it is inaccurate. Religion is an inherently emotional topic to begin with. Dragging in extra emotional language to the debate is likely to do nothing but distract further.

                    1. Lost in time? Ummm, no. The writers of the New Testament knew how Jews behaved. They themselves were Jews (except for Luke). So it is obvious that they wrote a purposefully distorted account of the Jews of their time. If they didn’t, then most Jews would have no reason to convert to Christianity on the basis of its ideology (instead of the belief that Jesus was the Mashiach), since Jesus was teaching the same shit as every other rabbi of his time. So I don’t see how you can avoid the fact that the New Testament is purposefully anti-semitic. And I’m not even getting into the rise of the medieval, Mel Gibson style Crucifixion story, which obviously had its roots in the anti-semitic attitude of the New Testament.

                    2. “They themselves were Jews (except for Luke). So it is obvious that they wrote a purposefully distorted account of the Jews of their time. If they didn’t, then most Jews would have no reason to convert to Christianity on the basis of its ideology (instead of the belief that Jesus was the Mashiach), since Jesus was teaching the same shit as every other rabbi of his time.”

                      So they were Jewish. OK, fine. Why would they deliberately slander their own people? The had an ideology. Anti-Semitic references hatred for an ethnicity, not an ideology. It means hatred for Semitic peoples. You want to argue about ideology? OK, fine. You want to argue about twisting beliefs that existed at the time. OK, fine. It is NOT anti-Semitic. That is all I am arguing about.

                    3. “So they were Jewish. OK, fine. Why would they deliberately slander their own people?”

                      Because they wanted their people to convert to Christianity as they themselves had. I thought I said this already…

                      “Anti-Semitic references hatred for an ethnicity, not an ideology. It means hatred for Semitic peoples. You want to argue about ideology? OK, fine. You want to argue about twisting beliefs that existed at the time. OK, fine. It is NOT anti-Semitic. That is all I am arguing about.”

                      anti-Semite: (noun) a person who discriminates against or is prejudiced or hostile toward Jews.

                      Both discriminatory and prejudiced describe well the New Testament’s account of Judaism, whether fueled by hatred or not.

                      On an unrelated note, anti-Semite does not actually refer to all Semitic peoples, only Jews.

      2. Ummm, there’s a slight difference in the laws that only apply to Jews who believe they were chosen by God and must follow laws set down in the Torah (none of which actually apply to non-Jews, by the way), and laws that say you should kill people of OTHER religions or creeds who have not agreed to your laws. The Torah is NOT commanding Jews to go kill Christians, Muslims, and athiests who are working on Shabbat.

        1. We only kill our own people. Thems other people can do whats they want but if you call yourself a Jew you better follow the good book. Otherwise we gonna makes you pay!!! You ain’t gonna call yourself a Jew if you don’t follow the good book!

          1. First of all, I am an antitheist and only Jewish ethnically, so if this was meant to be an imitation of me, you have failed. I was only clarifying the beliefs of practicing Jews who have already agreed to follow the laws of Judaism, not defending those beliefs.

        2. This is the dumbest shit I’ve read in days.

          You’re comparing Jews who’ve been moderating for 2-3 thousand years to Muslims who are actually doing this shit today?

          F’ng idiocy.

          1. “You’re comparing Jews who’ve been moderating for 2-3 thousand years to Muslims who are actually doing this shit today?”

            The Torrah telling people to kill others is very different from the Koran telling people to kill others. One is the Torrah and the other is the Koran – very different.

            1. The difference is not in what ancient practices are mentioned in an ancient document, but how modern people are able to interpret/reinterpret these things. Jews and Christians can say, “Boy, these ancient guys were pretty brutal weren’t they? Glad we don’t do that kind of shot anymore.” Muslims not so much.

              1. shot was supposed to have an i in it.

              2. “Jews and Christians can say, “Boy, these ancient guys were pretty brutal weren’t they? Glad we don’t do that kind of shot anymore.” Muslims not so much.”

                A better way of saying is that they COULD but a depressingly larger number of them choose not to. One need only google the words “Honor Killings” to find out how depressingly large this number is.

                1. The reading comprehension in this particular thread is for some reason quite low. PIRS, are you saying that Jews and Christians currently perform honor killings? Because gail’s comment referred only to Jews and Christians.

                  Anyway, your point is the second point that I have been trying to tell people here, which is that Judaism has evolved past it’s written law, whereas Islam has not.

                  1. “PIRS, are you saying that Jews and Christians currently perform honor killings?”

                    No. I was referencing his statement “Muslims not so much.”

                    1. Yes, gail was saying that Muslims practice the same brutalities as their ancestors, which is supported by the existence of Muslim honor killings.

                    2. So then we agree on this? Why are you acting like we do not?

                    3. Oh I see what happened here: I thought you were referring to Jews and Christians in your first response to gail, instead of to Muslims. Sorry.

          2. I wasn’t comparing them, I was stating the difference. The reason we don’t see Jews killing people who don’t follow their laws is

            a. because the original laws only applied to Jews in the first place.

            and

            b. because Judaism has evolved past its written laws and now no Jew is put to death for violating Jewish law.

            The original written law of Islam, on the other hand, called for the death of non-Muslims who do not follow Islamic law and the religion has not even come close to evolving past this as proven by Mr. Hassan and those who agree with him.

    2. JEWS AND CHRISTIANS,AND OTHER NON BELIEVERS SHOULD ALSO BE PUT TO DEATH

      Well, yeah, but only if they don’t convert. That’s … sort of tolerant. Isn’t it? I mean it’s not like they hate non-believers personally.

  13. The gays in Norway might be well advised to rediscover their Viking heritage and commence to sacking Istanbul again.

    1. Istanbul was Constantinople – no, they can’t go back to Constantinople; been a long time gone, Constantinople.

      1. Why did Constantinople get the works?

        That’s nobody’s business but the Turks!

        PS. If you’ve a dame in Constantinople, she’ll be waiting in Instanbul.

  14. You know what I used to eat for breakfast? Cocaine.
    You know what I used to eat for lunch?
    Cocaine.

    1. What did you eat for dinner?

      1. Was it cocaine?

        1. With a sensible between-meals snack

      2. Your mom.

    2. Wasn’t your nasal passage because the coke took care of that.

    3. Everyone above has failed to realize this is a quote from the movie Role Models. Thanks for ruining that, assholes.

      1. Heller grad student, future biologist, and expert on women…and educator!

        1. You forgot to change your name, asshole!

          1. Heller, it was just a little game and I didn’t forget. You’re too sensitive. I forgot to add………baby.;-)

            1. I told you it was me days ago
              https://reason.com/blog/2010/03…..nt_1609293

              1. I can’t see every single post you make here, especially in three day old threads on H&R…

                1. Heller, I’ll quit playing with you. You’re no fun, when you have a temper tantrum.

                  1. That has never stopped you before.

  15. “There is freedom of speech in Norway and in the Tynset Socialist Left Party we consider it unproblematic that Mahdi is opposed in principle to homosexuality. It is in accordance with his religion.”

    So the obvious question is whether Stein Petter L?kken would support giving the Role Model of the Year Award to a gay man who supported a ban on Islam and thought that the death penalty for Muslims should be “up to each individual country to decide.”

    I suspect the answer is “no”, but why does it always seem like the journalist never asks the obvious question?

  16. I suspect the answer is “no, he just peronally wants Muslims dead. It’s not based on his religion. So, I recommend that Norwegian gays start developing a religion that calls for holy war on Islamic fundamentalists and other slime.

    1. To me? It’s more like he would say “no” because Norway, quite heroically actually, resisted a foreign occupation by someone who quite literally believed that people of certain races and practices should be exterminated…

      He knows better than that.

      It looks like a case of the far left making a mirror image of what it opposes on the far right–a mirror image being very much like the things it reflects….

      Substitute gay people for Jews, and you really don’t have a problem with a little moderate Nazism, Herr L?kken?

      “According to Karlsen, “Hassan told the newspaper Arbeidets Rett that he wants a ban on homosexuality, based on the Koran.” Does he support the death penalty for gays? That’s “up to each individual country to decide.”

      Is that what the Socialist Left Party is about? Why vote for pretend Nazis when you can vote for the real thing on the far right?

      The sick bastard.

      1. That’s why you shouldn’t strive against things. You create more of what you strive against.

  17. This Hassan guy needs to be cockslapped. Come Norway, go phalus beserk on Mr. Hassan. 🙂

  18. Minor digression, I’ve had discussions with liberals about Jeremiah Wright and been told that his remarks are nothing to be concerned about because it is “part of the colorful social fabric of that community.” I believe Norwegians take a similar view of Hassan. I completely disagree with it, but Liberals (and Norwegians) support different standards for different ethnic groups.

  19. Also, remember that the name Mahdi, or Twelfth or Hidden Imam. Can you imagine similar comments from a Christian guy named “Revelations Jesus.”

  20. Also, remember that the name Mahdi means Twelfth or Hidden Imam. Can you imagine similar comments from a Christian guy named “Revelations Jesus.”

  21. Euro-wimp self-hating liberals never cease to amaze me. If I went there and and called someone a no-good fag, as a Catholic I’d find out that all of a sudden the Scandi wimps have gotten tough on crime.

  22. “in the Tynset Socialist Left Party we consider it unproblematic that Mahdi is opposed in principle to homosexuality. It is in accordance with his religion.”

    If however, say, a Lutheran were opposed in principle to homosexuality in accordance with his religion, I bet the Tynset Socialist Left Party would go apeshit and demand his prosecution.

  23. A fight between muslims and homosexuals with European socialists as referees? I don’t have a dog in that fight.

    1. But what do the gay Muslims have to say?

      That’s what people really want to know.

      1. But what do the gay Muslims have to say?

        Severed heads are usually quiet on a vast number of subjects.

        1. I didn’t know you could speak from that head;-)

  24. Here in Norway, as in most other european countries, and most certainly in the US, religion is the trumphcard that trumphs everyting else. Waive the card and you can get away with most things, and if the card is islam there are almost no limits to what you can say.

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