Life is stirring in the fish tank. It is a controlled space, where one cannot see out and is dependent on nourishment from above.
Or undernourishment. It comes from the press, with its censorship; from politicians, with their refusal to acknowledge how the increased presence of Islam is directly connected to the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, and from the country's "we-know-better" intellectual elite, who pass along "correct" truths. The term "prefabricated fodder" comes to mind. Norway is not the sole purveyor of it in Europe, unfortunately.
In our little fish tank in the north, we have been kept apart from our fellow fish in the ocean. We have been kept apart from the possibility of receiving other opinions (dangerous!) and finding our own nourishment (uh-oh, knowledge). Increasingly, one gets the impression the "establishment" would like to keep us in this hermetically sealed fish tank forever. Here, in this controlled space, it is easy to be scrutinized; and you if you step out of line, heaven help you.
Much of the media, in many of the articles about recent terrorist attacks in Australia, France and Denmark, has started by suggesting that the perpetrators were insane, and then that their acts had nothing to do with Islam.
What is it, then, that makes European media deny a link between the killers' last words -- the familiar "Allahu akbar!" ("Allah is greater") -- and, throughout the world, the horrors one now sees almost daily, all done in the name of Islam?
What seems to be missing is addressing the problem, and the problems that surround it, with a truly hard look, and with discussion. What, for instance, should we in the West really be doing about the many statements by Muslims that they feel "offended" and see themselves as victims -- all coupled with an apparent inability to see that modern-day slavery, the treatment of non-Muslims in Muslim countries, or even Muslims of other sects; not to mention throwing homosexuals off buildings, beheadings, stonings and burning people alive -- might offend others?
In other words, in some Muslims, there often seems to be a pronounced lack of empathy that apparently creates a fluctuation between a mentality that is sometimes passive (victim) and sometimes aggressive (dominating).
These dualisms seem to pervade Islam in other ways as well. Islam appears to divide the world between believers (other Muslims, but only if they subscribe to one's own version of Islam), and the rest of mankind, who are kuffar (non-believers). There is also, in Islamic ideology, the division between Muslim-controlled territory (Dar al Islam, Abode of Islam) and non-Muslim-controlled territory (Dar al Harb, Abode of War ) -- land soon to be "liberated," by force if necessary, for the furtherance of Islam.
With such demands for divisiveness at its core, it is hard to see how Islam can not be in constant conflict with its surroundings. The concept that peace will come if all non-believers convert, submit to Islam as dhimmis or are killed, does not, in the West at least, seem an acceptable solution.
Further, as Muslims have become more numerous in many non-Muslim countries, to what extent should one accommodate those who keep upping demands for their hosts to change their practices, traditions and legal systems to create for them, and often for everyone, a halal (permitted by Islam) environment as opposed to one that is haram (forbidden by Islam)?
Arfan Bhatti, a well-known violent Islamist ex-convict in Norway, wants to introduce sharia law in the country. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)
Other Islamic scholars, such as Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi (1903-1979), state that Islam's goal is world domination under Islam through the concept of the Caliphate ("successor" to Mohammad) and ummah (Muslim community), by means of jihad (war in the service of Islam).
In Jihad in Islam, just as one example, Maududi wrote: "Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam, regardless of the country or the Nation that rules it. Islam requires the earth -- not just a portion -- but the whole planet." There are many more examples.
Europe is now in the process of handing over not only values and freedoms but also its wealth, through taxpayers' money, to Muslims via the welfare state and mass-immigration (both legal and illegal).
It is hard to think that any non-Muslim desires to live in a Muslim state run by sharia law, but of course, as we see Europeans running to join ISIS, there are exceptions. Meanwhile, many of Norway's -- and Europe's -- mostly cowardly politicians, members of the media, and the politically correct elite, who are still in denial that anything is wrong, seem to be competing to see who can get us to this nightmare as quickly as possible.
Clearly then, Islam does not appear to share Norway's values of Humanism, which forms such a strong part Norway's identity and lies at the heart of the country's education system.
Quranic schools and mosques all over Europe seem to be preaching the opposite of Humanism. Many Muslim families may also be preaching the opposite of Humanism to their children. These people might never have been taught it, or possibly believe that if they prefer it, they will be shunned, physically harmed or spend an eternity burning in hellfire. Kasim Kaz Hafeez, a British man of Pakistani origin who was brought up to hate Jews, supplies a candid account of the power of indoctrination. Now an enthusiastic supporter of Israel, Hafeez's views began to change when he bought a book to disprove what was in it, only to discover that everything he had been taught was not true. How many of us, every day, subtly, unofficially, are also being indoctrinated, not in mosques, but by politicians and the media?
There simply has been no real debate about the ripple effects created by this collision-course between Humanism and Islamism. Rather, there are reports of children, born in Norway to Muslim families, removed from schools and sent for their formative years to their parents' country of origin, to receive an Islamic education, to prevent them from "becoming too Norwegian."
Many Muslims seem unpracticed in, and discouraged from, independent thinking, and many Westerners also seem unwilling to try it.
For years we have heard that we have to look at the Qu'ran "in its original language;" that we have read verses out of context; that the interpretation or the context is wrong, and so on. However, these disparities do not seem to be the problem.
Nothing is likely to happen unless the Europeans or the Muslims, or both, first recognize there is a problem. It is this gap that makes arguments over translation, content, interpretation and context merely irrelevant diversions. It is high time to take a long, critical look at the contents of the Qur'an, and see what values and spiritual seeds it can plant in people's minds. Europeans are just starting to face a reality with which the Israelis have lived for years.
The media, still in denial, and the "anti-racist" lobby -- who still have not woken up to the fact that Islam is not a race -- refuse to believe that others might have views different from theirs but nonetheless legitimate.
Muslims themselves will have to sort out Islam's reform, but we do not have the time to wait for that. What we can and should be doing is protect our democracies and the values of our Judeo-Christian heritage.
Here, those who seem "out of line" risk being publicly and privately destroyed by self-appointed "anti-racists," who do their best to sabotage anyone with the audacity to voice an opinion different from theirs.
Either way, this reaction shows that the openness for discussing sensitive issues is not much better in Norway than in Pakistan. It also shows that the personal risks of being seen to dissent are probably too high -- frankly nothing to be proud of in a country that claims to be a democracy.
We are holding our breath, waiting for a response from the establishment about possible legislative, fiscal and organizational solutions that need to be implemented for both Norway and the rest of Europe. Politicians need to be especially wary of those they chose as advisors. It is so easy to be an extremist in moderates' clothing.
I would like to imagine that all Norwegians, despite their differences, are united in their pride of the country's tradition of Humanism. It is therefore time for all politicians and members of the media to get informed about Islam and address the issues at stake.
After years of hearing that these violent attacks by Muslims have nothing to do with Islam, people are feeling less protected and more disgruntled. At the same time, the laymen's knowledge of Islam has increased enough so that they no longer can be brushed off. What needs to be done so that people feel they are being heard, especially now with the almost daily atrocities meted out in the name of Islam around the world?
Politicians can no longer afford not to act. Muslims worldwide are now facing up to Islam's core issue: How should Islam go forward? One such person is Ahmed Aboutaleb, the Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, who says he wants a "we" nation; that if others do not subscribe to the freedoms, tolerance, values or the constitution of the country they have come to by choice, they are free to leave by choice.
Norway is no longer a safe fish tank, controlled, far away from the ocean. Challenges from other corners of the world have crept closer and now are here. The fish tank is leaking; water is bursting out at the seams.
Bjorn Jansen is based in Norway.
 Another example can be found in the book, Jihad is the Way, by Mustafa Mashur, the official leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt from 1996-2002.