The bill, which would allow denying funding to religious communities if they receive support from authoritarian regimes, makes Muslims suspicious, according to the Muslim Dialogue Network.
“We’re not sure that the proposal can hold up legally,” Basim Ghozlan told the newspaper Vårt Land.
He is a board member of the Muslim Dialogue Network (MDN), an umbrella organization that represents over 30,000 Muslims in Norway.
Recently, they submitted their consultation response on the proposed funding ban in the new Religious Communities Act.
Religious or philosophical communities that accept contributions from states that do not respect the right to freedom of religion and belief can be denied grants, it is stated in the bill that was sent out for consultation in July.
Ghozlan: Tailored to affect Muslim denominations
We believe that the proposed regulations are tailored to affect precisely Muslim communities, Ghozlan said.
Ghozlan believes the proposal is an example of Islamophobia creating constructs around Muslims that are used to justify state-sponsored discrimination and hostility towards Muslims.
“Freedom of religion and belief is inalienable, and it takes quite a bit to limit it,” he said.
The MDN has now informed the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief about the bill.
The Ministry of Children and Family Affairs did not want to comment on the case, Vårt Land writes. The consultation deadline was October 15.
When the bill was sent for consultation this summer, the then Minister for Children and Families Kjell Ingolf Ropstad (KRF) said that the goal was to protect democratic values.
“Funding of religious communities in Norway by foreign states that do not respect the right to freedom of religion and belief can challenge important democratic values on which our society is based, such as mutual respect, tolerance, individual freedom of religion and expression, and free choice,” Ropstad said.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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