Thursday, November 29, 2007

Simple problem befuddles Norwegian authorities

It's fashionable in Europe to depict the US as a fascist police state in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, but without context, it's hard to understand why they think that way. Well, here's your context.
Just three days after Norway's highest court upheld a state expulsion order against Mullah Krekar, the man who's considered a threat to the nation's security has made new threats against the country that's harboured him for years.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Thursday that Krekar, the former head of Islamic guerrilla group Ansar al Islam, told a Kurdish web site that he's sure the Norwegian authorities will never deport him, because that would spark "reaction" against Norway from his Islamic supporters.

Krekar told web site Awane that the "reaction" would come from his relatives, from an armed group, and also from those who follow his religious teachings and sympathize with him.

[ ... ]

The official [explanation of why Krekar remains in Norway] is that Krekar faces a death sentence if sent back to his native Iraq. Norway won't deport anyone if their lives would officially be in danger, and no other country has volunteered to take over responsibility for Krekar.

The mullah originally came to Norway as a refugee, later won permission to have his family join him, and since has lived largely off Norwegian welfare. He first got in trouble with Norwegian authorities when it became known that he had repeatedly violated the terms of his asylum by traveling voluntarily back to northern Iraq, to lead the guerrilla group. US authorities have long considered Krekar a terrorist suspect.
To a society that won't lock up or deport a terrorist over fears of what his fate might be, I guess one such as ours that deals harshly them might appear, well, harsh.

Incidentally, an appeals court in Norway ruled over a year ago that Krekar can be deported back to Iraq.

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