Mona Grivi Norman- October 19,2010
Jonas Gahr Store will prevent Saudi Arabia to finance mosques in Norway as long as it is not allowed to build churches there.
Saudi government and wealthy individuals want to build mosques for tens of millions in Norway.
It has the full right under Norwegian laws on financial support to religious communities. But the gifts in the millions, there is a proviso that the Norwegian government approves support.
Foreign Ministry refuses not only to approve mosque contributions. In a response to the Islamic Center Tawfiiq MFA writing that it would be “paradoxical and unnatural if it was given approval for funding from sources in a country where it does not open for religious freedom.”
– We could have said no, the principle does not give UD such approvals. But when we asked, we use the opportunity to add that an approval would be paradoxical since it is a crime in Saudi Arabia to establish Christian communities, “said Jonas Gahr Store told VG.
State Secretary Espen Barth Eide, visiting Saudi Arabia today, and will take up the allowance:
– I understand that many of my European colleagues have the same problem, and Norway will take the matter up in the Council of Europe, says the Minister.
Could it mean a restriction of the ability to provide financial support to religious communities?
– There will be a parliamentary debate and the government may have to take.
The answer from UD is Tawfiiq Islamic Center, but the Minister said that the religious community Alnor that will build the mosque in Tromsø with the support of a Saudi Arabian businessman, will have an identical response.
– We have freedom of religion
The last week has the newspaper Nordlys written an article series about Alnor with message as “the Muslim leader of Tromsø linked to terrorist networks” and “Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia sponsoring the mosque in Tromsø.”
– Is that the direction of Saudi Islam, wahabisme, which is too controversial in Norway?
– I have noticed that the Saudi direction has a profile view of Islam, but I will not be the judge of the schools or the directions of Islam that establish themselves in Norway. We have freedom of religion. This is about the laws that exist in the country where the money comes from, “said Minister of VG.
Board of Tawfiiq Islamic Center does not want discussion of the matter, or to give any comments, said attorney Shazad Nazir on behalf of the church.
** This page has been translated from Norwegian to English