Norwegian imam supports van Gogh murder

Dr. Zahid Mukhtar, spokesperson for Islamic Council in Norway, stated that he sympathize with reason why the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh was murdered.

Mukhtar made the statement at the Norwegian debate program Holmgang Wednesday. Program leader Oddvar Stenstrom asked if he understood that some Muslims could become so provoked that they killed, answered Mukhtar, «I understand that, even if there is no statutory authorization to do so.»

Jens Stoltenberg, leader of the Labor Party, demands that Mukhtar retracts his statements.

«I want to ask Muslim leaders in Norway in the most urgent manner to clearly and unmistakable condemn such violent acts as the murder of van Gogh,» Stoltenberg said to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

Stoltenberg stressed that Mukhtar’s statements to a large degree injures Muslims in Norway and the work for increasing tolerance.

Erna Solberg, minister of local government, did not participate in the program, but stated to Aftenposten that it is important to stress that no one in Norway must show understanding for the murder of people like van Gogh.

«It is one thing to understand what has happened. It is something entirely different to have understanding for the action,» Solberg said.

«Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Have mercy,» the 47-year-old film director Theo van Gogh reportedly called out before he was shot eight or nine times on an open street in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh had received death threats before because he through his work criticized and made fun of Islam.

A 26-year-old known Muslim fundamentalist was last week arrested for the murder.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
TV2, Norway
Nov. 19, 2004
Carin Pettersson

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday November 19, 2004.
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