Norwegian Pakistani wants to reintroduce blasphemy laws in Norway

Arfan BhattiArfan Bhatti (in the middle of the picture).Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX .

The Norwegian-Pakistani social debater, Muhammad Qasim Ali,advocated banning caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.


The Norwegian Pakistani, who has worked as a journalist,told Klassekampen newspaper that he believes a ban on Muhammad caricatures will prevent radicalisation.

He pointed out that Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has asked the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to address the UN Caricature Questionnaire.

Ali hopes it results in a ban and sharpening of blasphemy laws in western countries.

“I wish it was forbidden to make offensive caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad” he told the newspaper.

Muhammad Qasim Ali was one of the organisers behind a major demonstration at University Square in 2010 after Dagbladet newspaper published a caricature of Muhammad as a pig. It was also attended by the the Islamist, Arfan Bhatti. About 3,000 people participated, and the demonstration is considered the start of the extreme Islamist group,the Prophet’s Ummah.

He does not think a ban is to give up to extreme forces.

“It will help to create calm, prevent radicalisation and increase the rigour of the Norwegian debate” said Ali.

He says he now trusts the Kristelig Folkeparti (KrF) who were the only party who voted to keep the blasphemy clause in the Criminal Code when it was removed in 2009. He also hopes for support from Arbeiderpartiet (Ap) leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, who during the 2006 caricature crisis talked about dialogue and responsibility of expression.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today