Threats and violence against Muslim gays cannot be accepted, says Crown Prince Haakon – who met Muslim gay rights activists on their home turf.
At Salam Norge, the mood was slightly euphoric in the minutes before Crown Prince Haakon’s visit on Wednesday. Hundreds of people, including representatives of both ecclesiastical and political Norway, had gathered for the celebrated visit.
We sent an email to the Palace and invited him, but we never thought it would happen, says General Secretary Begard Reza to NTB.
Under the motto “Nobody is born haram,” Salam Norge was founded in 2017 as the first Nordic organisation for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people with a Muslim background. That the Crown Prince chooses to visit is very important and a huge recognition, Reza believes.
I think it will have a great effect when it comes to both openness and tolerance. It sends an important signal, she says.
Assistant General Secretary Thee-Yezen Al-Obeid believes the attention the visit brings will help Salam Norge gain greater legitimacy.
Now that the Crown Prince has recognised us, we hope that the ripple effects will spread to other parts of society – to politicians, to our own and to the mosques, he says.
Salam Norge does not receive a krone in state aid, and does all the work voluntarily. Wednesday’s gathering was the first time the door was opened to anyone other than the organisation’s members. How many there are, however, is secret.
The Crown Prince tells NTB that he chose to come because he thinks Salam Norge is doing an important job.
I think it is important that we are different and can live together in a good way. The work that is being done in Salam is of great importance for precisely this, and I think that is an important part of the liberal democracy we have.
Salam Norge even calls the visit a huge recognition?
“It’s nice,” says the Crown Prince.
During the one-and-a-half-hour visit, the Crown Prince was served a small bouquet of different stories from people in the network around Salam Norge.
In this experience, there are probably quite a few difficult situations. Then it is important that you get together and talk about common challenges and support each other.
Impressed by the courage
What makes the most impression is the courage displayed by the active people in Salam Norge, says the Crown Prince.
I think it was simply an event to be a little happy with. I find it very nice to meet people who are fighting for love.
Many of them experience threats and hatred when it comes to their own orientation?
Of course, that cannot be accepted, states the Crown Prince.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today