In September, Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg said she was pleased with an Oslo court’s ruling that Krekar was a danger to Norway. In her view, this meant the path was clear to deport him as soon as possible. Krekar told Al-Jazeera that if he was sent back to Iraq, he would consider it a crime that demanded to be punished. The situation was put into the proper perspective in a wise Aftenposten op-ed by retired law professor Edvard Vogt, who compared Krekar, whom he called a “Kurdish politician” (bravo!), to Norwegian freedom fighters under the Nazi occupation. “During the war,” recalled Vogt, “there were many thousands of us so-called Norwegian terrorists who were saved by the right to asylum that Sweden gave us.” Did Krekar, thundered Vogt with stirring righteousness, deserve any less?
In March, the infidel US, recognizing in Krekar a valiant opponent of its imperialist designs on the Dar al-Islam, put him on a list of five people who finance – well – the “t” word, and Norwegian cabinet minister Bjarne Håkon Hanssen said that Krekar could be put on a plane to Iraq within a month or two. In July, Norwegian officials announced that all Iraqis without residency permits would now be sent home – with, thank goodness, the sole exception of Krekar. In a June interview with a Kurdish newspaper, the always big-hearted Krekar praised bin Laden and the recently killed al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. “I am proud of what he has done,” Krekar said of al-Zarqawi, calling him a “martyr.”
In June, Aftenposten‘s magazine section ran a heart-rending profile of Krekar by Inger Lise Olsen, who showed every side of him: Krekar the proud man reduced to being a house husband because he’s denied a work permit; Krekar the loving dad, whose kids suffer from the prejudices of their classmates (some of whom actually call him the “t” word!); Krekar the pious Muslim who, in interactions with his fellow believers, seeks to help them “find their way back to the narrow path”; and Krekar the Norwegian resident who, for all the trouble that benighted Islamophobes in Norway have caused him, still loves his adopted land so much that he personally called off a planned terrorist attack on it. What more could a man do to prove his love?
“Mullah Krekar tells about the tough time for his family when the storms were breaking worst over him. But he still has a positive impression of Norwegians.” Thus ran the subhead over Lars Akerhaug’s November 25 article in VG, in which he quoted Krekar as saying in an interview with al-Hiwar TV that before coming to Norway he had heard that the country was “Europe’s butterfly, with peace, beauty, civilization, and culture. Nothing has changed for me, despite everything that has happened. Norwegians are a peaceful, cultivated, and open people.” Once again, Krekar proved to be the personification of that most Islamic of virtues – forgiveness.
After somebody fired a shot at their Oslo flat, the Norwegian government put up Krekar and his family in a luxury hotel, the Radisson Blu Plaza, for eleven days while a new government-subsidized apartment was made ready for them. Finally, some respect!
At a June press conference, Krekar warned that if he was deported to Iraq and killed, Erna Solberg, the killjoy who had labored for years to have him expelled, would “suffer the same fate.” In September Krekar was charged with making death threats against a Norwegian who had dared to burn a copy of the Holy Koran. In the same month it was reported that Krekar had been in regular contact with Shawan Bujak, who had recently been arrested on charges of – well, if you must know – the “t” word.
All good things, as they say, must come to an end. So it was that in early January came the dreadful news that Gramps intends to leave us soon. It also emerged that in an interview with Finnish TV just before Christmas, Krekar – persevering in his effort to educate Europeans – affirmed that armed warfare against the West is still necessary.
On February 15, Krekar is set to go on trial for threatening Erna Solberg. His testimony in court would give his fans yet another opportunity to benefit from his wisdom. Yet perhaps it was not meant to be. By then, he may already have returned to his Kurdish homeland to continue his important work. If so, those of us whom he leaves behind in Norway will simply have to be content with the thought that somewhere in the north of Iraq, yet another small village is being brought closer to God by means of Krekar’s tough love.
He’s not even gone yet, but we already miss him.
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