A prominent Norwegian anti-Semite and convert to Islam was on the verge of receiving the King’s Medal of Merit, but at the last moment Norwegian officials changed their minds. Was this one too much, even for Norway?
Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer has translated two articles about the controversy, and includes this note:
The first translated article is from TV2:
This truly shocking story concerns an ex-communist, now hardcore Muslim, who was set to receive the King’s Medal of Merit next Tuesday.
Some refer to Trond Ali Linstad, an ethnic Norwegian, as the “Iranian regime’s man in Norway.” If I remember correctly, he has previously defended the Iranian regime’s policy of executing apostates.
Fortunately, the Castle has had an apparent change of heart and decided not to present him with the medal after all, as you will see in my second translation.
The second article, which concerns the Castle’s change of mind, is from Aftenposten:
Fabian Stang refuses to present the King’s Medal of Merit.
Oslo’s mayor will not present the King’s Medal of Merit to Trond Ali Linstad, who is known for lashing out against Jews, Jewish networks and their influence.
Trond Ali Linstad is set to receive the King’s Medal of Merit in silver on Tuesday. Fabian Stang was originally responsible for presenting the award, but has made it clear that he will not take part in the ceremony.
“I usually take great pride in presenting the King’s Medal of Merit, but in this case I considered it to be problematic. Linstad has probably done a good job in some areas, but in order for me to take part in the award ceremony I have to be able to feel affinity with the recipient to a much larger degree,” says Stang to Aftenposten.
The medal award ceremony receives criticism from several fronts.
“This just doesn’t ring true, and it degrades the dignity of all the other recipients of the medal,” says Ervin Kohn, the leader of the Jewish community, to the magazine Vepsen.
He refers to comments posted on the website Koranen.no where Linstad has lashed out against Jews, Jewish networks, their influence and their outward “dishonesty” in order to promote a cause.
“Is a scandal”
“Linstad plays on the classic Jewish world domination conspiracy, as if Jews are a collective entity working on an evil plan. It is an outright scandal that a person who makes such comments is rewarded with the King’s medal of Merit,” says Terje Emberland, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Holocaust Center.
Postpones medal ceremony indefinitely
The castle has had a conversations with Trond Ali Linstad and is delaying the scheduled presentation of the King’s medal of merit indefinitely.
“We have had a conversation with Linstad. We think the case is complicated and have asked for more time to reconsider our decision. We’ll have more talks with Linstad and we have set up a meeting for Monday,” says Marianne Hagen, manager of communications, to Aftenposten.
Linstad told TV2 that it was the Castle who requested more time to think the matter over.
“He has asked for some more time to reflect whether he should still give us the medal,” says Linstad.
Linstad will probably meet with the Medal Council at the Palace on Monday.
“Cancellation is an excuse to drop the controversial ceremony”
Harald Stanghelle believes that Nationatheatret does not want to be associated with the presentation of medal to Trond Ali Linstad.
Aftenposten.no could earlier today reveal that the ceremony at the National Theatre at 1200 was canceled due to “security” concerns.
It was then revealed that a planned ceremony would go ahead at 1400 at Urtehagen private school, but this has also been cancelled indefinitely.
Cancelling the presentation of the King’s medal of merit
Trond Ali Linstad was set to receive the medal at the National Theatre earlier today.
Trond Ali Linstad is the former leader of the Palestine Committee and was a member of the AKP (ml) movement in the 1970s. Later he converted to Islam and started the foundation Urtehagen, which runs Islamic schools and several day care centers.