My first encounter with a “Norweigan Muslim”.Posted: 31/01/2011
Let me tell you all a little story, I’m an American working in Norway. I was at a get together with a couple of guys from work, one British and the other a fellow American a couple of years back.
We arrived and everyone was in full swing having a good time. The ladies were drinking some wine and the fella’s were standing around discussing soccer. My friends and I decided we’d go have a seat and chat amongst ourselves. To the right of us, sat a young “Norsk”-Arabere. Anyways, we talk about the weather, a little about work and a little about life in Norway when we’re interrupted by the young Muslim who said with a smirk on his face, “So how did you guys like the gift we gave you?” We were totally clueless and thought he was going to joke around with us. I answered, “What gift is that?” The next words that came out of his mouth made my stomach churn, and it’s not something I’ll forget…
We were all stunned, our co-workers over heard what transpired and went to have a chat with the fellow. (Who’s been in Norway since the age of five from what I have been told.) Our hosts apologized for him but all we could do was shake our heads and thank them for the invite as we headed our way out the door.
He was the first Arabic person I interacted with here in Norway. So you can say that he made a poor first impression. I’ve met other nicer Muslims, but I keep feeling that they all feel the same. Of course, the 9/11 encounter hasn’t been the only negative one I or others have had here, but it’s the one that stuck with me the most. Especially seeing how he’s been “raised” Norwegian and “really isn’t a Muslim”. (My co-workers words.) Why would he say something like that? Out of ignorance? Hate? Racism?
We’ve done nothing to him, I’ve seen him around town a couple of times but we ignore each other even though I’d like to grab a hold of him and ask him why he said what he did.