Monday, February 04, 2008

Muslim Author Hiding in Norway

Jens of Human Rights Service in Norway writes:

Mariwan HalabjaeeYou might remember that a while ago I sent you an article (see news report below the jump) about a Norwegian resident who is fatwa-convicted of blasphemy.

The man is Mariwan Halabjaee, a prolific writer and intellectual of Iraqi Kurdistan. After the release of his latest book Sex, Sharia and The History of Women in Islam (2005), which is highly critical of Islam and the moral qualities of the Islam-inventor Mohammed, Halabjaee received a fatwa on his head from Kurdistan’s “High Commission for Fatwa”, sentencing him to death, unless he repent and publicly apologize his blasphemous writings. Halabjaee thus fled his home country, taking his pregnant wife and three children along with him, and sought refuge in Norway, where he now lives in hiding.

I personally met with Halabjaee at a secret location in Norway, and obtained a TV-interview with him; the first he has given since after he fled Kurdistan. Halabjaee spoke neither English nor Norwegian, so I had to have a translator along with me. The result is this little film, published on YouTube.



I had to overcome some technical obstacles in learning how to edit multimedia material, but now that I have thrown myself into it, film is something I plan to do more of.

I am already in contact with one more refugee who has had to flee his home country after receiving death threats from Islamists, simply for publishing material criticizing Islam. These people feel isolated and forgotten, and I believe that we have an important mission in lifting them up, making them visible and getting their voice on record (before it is too late).

Who knows, perhaps this can develop into something like a series of portraits of people who are persecuted by Islam? So if you know of persecuted people living in Europe, people you think ought to come on air, please send me the information.

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From You Tube

Mariwan Halabjaee has been called the Salman Rushdie of Kurdistan. As an established writer and prolific intellectual of Iraqi Kurdistan, Halabjaee in 2005 published the book “Sex, Sharia and Women in The History of Islam”. Deemed blasphemous by the Kurdistan High Commission for Fatwa, the Islamic League of Kurdistan issued a “conditional” fatwa to kill him if he did not repent and apologize for writing his book. Thus forced to flee his home country, taking three children and a pregnant wife along with him, Mr. Halabjaee was granted asylum in Norway, were he now lives in hiding.

This is the Aftenposten article from January 8 of this year:

Two years ago author Mariwan Halabjaee wrote “Sex, sharia and women in the history of Islam”. Here he wrote that the prophet Mohammed had 19 wives, married a nine-year-old when he was aged 54 and that he took part in murder and rape. Last month a court in Halabja convicted him of blasphemy in absentia.

Halabjaee has lived in hiding in Norway for one and a half years. The sentence states that he should be arrested upon his return to north Iraq but he has now been granted asylum in Norway, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports on its web site.

The writer has had 14 books published. Halabjaee says that he has received a series of death threats and that there is a fatwa saying he should be punished by death unless he asks forgiveness.

Halabjaee also believes Norway is naive about radical Islamist groups that he says authorities allow to develop without control on Norwegian soil.

“Norway has protected me against the terrorists and I hope to be able to play a role in this democratic system. But I am alone and feel imprisoned. I have little contact with people and have to move carefully. Even if I have lived here a year and a half no cultural or other organizations have contacted me,” Halabjaee says.

The key sentence here is Halabjaee's wistful plaint, "...I hope to be able to play a role in this democratic system. But I am alone and feel imprisoned. I have little contact with people..."

I think Lionheart in this country feels much the same way: missing Britain and cast-off just for telling the truth.

9 comments:

E.D. Kain said...

The very concept of Fatwa is despicable to civilized minds. We must remember the bravery that authors and artists and advocates of freedom must have in order to defy the lunatics that run Islam in these parts of the world. This is no fringe group, either. These men hold on to power by using their religion to instill fear and despair, as well as ignorance and blind faith, into the hearts and minds of their own people. It is theocratic Stalinism. The day criticism becomes reason enough for death threats is the day all hope is lost. Fortunately, in America, this has not become a reality yet. Still, the threat of censorship looms over us, and we must fight against it with all our will!

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Erik: "Fortunately, in America, this has not become a reality yet."

Not yet but very soon. 'House bill H.R. 1955: "The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007" has passed the House and is currently in Senate committee. To learn the implications of this pending nightmare go here to learn how easily those who resist the islamists will ourselves be defined as the "terrorists" by the U.S. thought police.

E.D. Kain said...

Well, once again I think hearts may in the right place on this Act, but heads may not be. One would think that this sort of reactionary lawmaking would have died down by now. I think it is important to instate laws to guard against terrorists, home-grown terrorists, et al. But I think these laws must be based on actions not thought. We certainly have the right to think what we want, even if those thoughts are awful or stupid or unpatriotic. It is our actions that define us, and it should be those that laws are based upon as well.

Charles Chapman said...

The allegedly "blasphemous" book by Mariwan Halabjaee is available online with the author's permission at:
Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam
http://charlesrcblog.googlepages.com/home

The site also contains information regarding the author, Mariwan Halabjaee,* "the Salman Rushdie of Iraqi Kurdistan."

The book has also been published as two music videos:
Alice Cooper - Only Women Bleed (Sex, Sharia remix) music video
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZSPnJ-FXTmg

Open Season - Stuck Mojo (Sex, Sharia remix) music video
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZSPnJ-FXTmg

* Mariwan Halabjaee (sp. Marywan / Halabjay, Halabjayee, Halabjaye, Halabjayi)

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ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Erik, It seems to me that the "acts" to which you refer have been illegal for a long time. The proposed H.R. 1955 is nothing more than the enactment of additional "hate crimes". But we can expect this "feel good" legislation from politicians anxious to be seen as "doing something" in order to protect their careers.

E.D. Kain said...

Very true. The careers of politicians often get in the way of their doing the right thing. Reactionary legislation almost always causes more harm than good.

James Higham said...

Dangerous people once you cross them.

John Sobieski said...

Meanwhile, our governments are eager to suck up to the most conniving taqiyamasters while those who escape Islam and speak out are treated as if they have the plague. It's sickening.