The image of Zeliha Acar refusing to handshake to the crown prince creates the wrong impression of most Muslims, according to two Muslim community advocates.
The case gives the impression that refusing to handshake is something all Muslims do. Those who have met Muslims know that most people are relaxed about shaking hands, says Basim Ghozlan, head of the Islamic Association in Norway to Vårt Land.
Last week, Zeliha Acar, Youth Coordinator of the Islamic Council of Norway, made headlines when she did not shake hands with Crown Prince Haakon during his visit to the terror-hit mosque Al-Noor Islamic Center. The mosque has since made an official apology to the Crown Prince.
Shoaib Sultan of the Anti-Racist Center calls the case a non-debate.
“In many ways, I think this is a non-debate that is being raised by some who are interested in the real debate about Islamophobia and discrimination not coming up,” says Sultan.
On Tuesday morning, Sylvi Listhaug (Frp) published a picture of herself while handshaking party colleague Jon Helgheim. In the photo, Listhaug writes: “A reminder: In Norway, we shake hands with each other. It’s about respect. Like and share if you agree.” One day later, the status was shared almost 2,000 times and liked over 11,000 times.
That this picture becomes an election campaign stunt just weeks after the terrorist attack says it all about the focus of the FRP, and maybe a little about the need to play the “immigration card.” It’s all just sad, says Sultan.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today