Solberg out against divisive forces at Id

Prime Minister Erna SolbergOslo.Prime Minister Erna Solberg.Photo Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Solberg out against divisive forces at Id

Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) spoke of the similarities that unite Norwegians with different faiths when she spoke to several thousand Muslims during the celebration of Id in Oslo on Sunday.


The celebration in the sports hall Vallhall was hosted by the Islamic Cultural Center (ICC) and the Islamic Association (Rabita).

“As humans, we are more like many people want to admit,” the Prime Minister said. She lashed out against forces that try to create “more division and less cohesion”.

Solberg pointet at extreme Islamic and anti-Muslim sentiments, as well as terrorist acts performed by both sides lately.

Hege Storhaug On the warpath

Polarization is strong in the question of immigration and integration, not least on social media. Recently, a survey showed that immigration-critical and the Human Rights Service web pages are in the Storyboards list of media with most shared articles.

And on Facebook, information director in Human Rights Service, Hege Storhaug, writes that she is “on the warpath”. In her opinion, Minister of Justice Per-Willy Amundsen (Frp) tries to curb the discussion regarding the “disturbing crime trend in Oslo”. The background for the criticism is comments Amundsen gave the press a visit to Stovner with the Oslo police and the prime minister earlier this week.

– We should be careful about portraying this as Swedish conditions in Norway. That is not the situation at all, Amundsen said.

Sticks to her view

– I understand that someone is trying to draw a picture that does not exist, says Solberg in a comment to NTB.

The Prime Minister adheres to the descriptions that she and the Minister of Justice made during their visit to Stovner , where the recent car fires in Oslo’s eastern districts were among the themes.

– I have been visiting the police and got their intelligence information. It’s not all that can be shared with the media because the investigation is underway. But, as I said, I am reassured with regard to media reports about the connection between these happenings.

The question is whether everyone in the Government partner, FrP, is equally reassured. Sylvi Listhaug, who is soon back to work as Minister of Immigration and Integration, Wednesday wrote on Facebook that she hopes the other parties will wake up before we get “Swedish conditions” in Norway as well. The same message came the same day from party leader Siv Jensen, illustrated by a burning car and the call “We will not have this in Norway.” The picture of the car was taken in Bulgaria.


– It is quite clear that it must be quite chaotic in the Ministry of Justice at present. It is mildly said chaotic that two ministers, from the same party and the same ministry, are making utterly opposite messages with a two-day interval, says Labours City Council leader in Oslo Raymond Johansen to NTB.

“Amundsen has at least taken the trouble of visiting Stovner and talking to the police, and afterwards he says he is reassured. Perhaps Listhaug could learn some from her Ministerial colleague to check the situation before she spoke out the way she did? He continues.

Some want to draw a picture that Norway is very poor at integration, says Solberg.

– It’s wrong. We are quite good at many things, although we can also get better. Therefore I have always addressed the challenges minority environments face, such as arranged marriages, circumcision and other questions, she argues.

Cries of “Racist” against the Prime Minister

Solberg says she was very pleased to attend the big id marking in Vallhall, where big and small Muslims with different ethnic backgrounds had dressed up to pray together.

– It is important that we in Norway manage to build a community culture. We live in the same country, and the similarities are greater than the differences, Solberg said in the speech to the assembly. She finds a number of common features between Id and the traditional Norwegian Christmas celebration.

– It’s about food, family and friends, and many more attend the church and mosque than in the rest of the year, she said.

But on the way into the car, polarization appeared in the political debate about immigration when two younger girls shouted “racist” after the prime minister. The two girls were quickly taken care of by guards and others that clearly disliked their cries.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today