Saturday, 23 July 2011

Oslo and Muslim Rapes

Norway's most important paper Aftenposten ran a story earlier this week saying that 65% of the rape crimes in Oslo were committed by foreigners, even though they only represent a mere 23% of the population in the Norwegian capital. The article was prompted by a call by the Rape Commission (Voldtektsutvalget) to the imams to put rapes and the attitude against women on the agenda.

Foreigners are six times more likely to figure in crime statistics concerning rapes in Oslo. During the first two months of this year sixteen rapes and rape attempts have been committed, and the three men the police are looking for in connection with four of those cases have one thing in common: they all have a Muslim background. Especially Somalis and Iraqis seem to be well represented in the statistics.

Even though the article doesn't do much more than quote some simple basic facts, it was nevertheless a bit controversial. The social democratic minister Bjarne HÃ¥kon Hanssen reacted quickly to condemn the tone of the article since it made a link between rapes and Muslims. According to him, asking the imams for help is wrong, «because we don't ask Norwegian bishops for help either when a Norwegian rapes somebody». Apparently the minister had not noticed that the debate had started precisely because of the huge number of Muslims in the rape statistics. And I wouldn't even dare to suggest he could have another agenda than trying to reduce the number of rapes in the Norwegian capital.

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