Videos: an Abu Izzadeen collection

Here are some that Izzadeen prepared earlier ...

UK Home Secretary John Reid heckled by Abu Izzadeen in East London, 2006

terrorism is islam abu izzadeen, Londons Regent Park Mosque

abu izzadeen remove heads, Londons Regent Park Mosque

ABU IZZADEEN CALL FOR JIHAD, Londons Regent Park Mosque

abu izzadeen kill the police, 2007

Izzadeen mocks victims of 9/11, 7/7, etc

BBC Interview after John Reid heckling

Islamists at Dublin's Trinity College

abu izzadeen stiring up muslims, 2007

Abu Izzadeen Charged, 2007

Abu Izzadeen talking inside Londons Regent Park Mosque before he was arrested and mpacuk reaction to arrest, 2007

Video: Radical Islam Over Runs London Street

May, 2008. Holy Cow!! Britain is officially dead. Abu Izzadeen and his cohorts terrorize Londonistan and the dhimmified police back off, terrified by the sheer madness.

Izzalunatic: Voting in the upcomings elections is a act of kufr. Anybody who supports the kafir, be they Labour, Lib-Dem, Conservative ... he becomes a kafir like them ... fumunyahuminababble ... whoever aligns with the disbelievers, he is a kafir.

Remember George Bush, Tony Blair and aaaall those political parties, they are at war with Islam and Muslims ... sofeblablah ... and do not vote for any kafir. Let Tony Blair go to 'ell ... fahasjahuminawhatever ... the hell fire. Muslim votes for nobody ... ooo la la babbleablabber ... We have our own sharia ...

Bobby: Stop please

Izzalunatic: We have our own way of life. We do not follow nobody apart from the message of Muhammad. Sa la la lollypop, lollypop oo la la lollypop.

Bobby: Can you listen to me for two seconds? Guys, this march is causing havoc ... Listen, wait please sir, I've asked you nicely. Pull over to the side over there.

Mob: Allahu akbar

Bobby: Please, hold on, don't say any more ... I'm asking you please, nicely. No, no, no, you can, listen ... I need to talk to you before you do

Izzalunatic: The police have asked us to speak to them, but I'm going to continue on the mic'. Let the kafirs go to hell. Wewalahumina-chicken-kebab-with-humus.

Bobby: stop, stop, stop, ...

Somebody: get out, get out, get out ...

Mob: you wanna hit Muslims? You want to hit Muslim? ... pigs ... How dare you ... allahu akbar ... rabble rabble ...
RIP, Britain. Wake up, Australia.

Via: Winds of Jihad

gingerbread haka

Just for fun ...
A look at the future Australian rugby league and union teams.

Australia set to poach Springbok schoolkids

June 28, 2008, FoxSports:

AUSTRALIA is to venture into the heartland of South African rugby, Craven Week, in a bid to recruit the big, rawboned forwards it can't seem to produce itself.

Craven Week is the annual schoolboys tournament which showcases the emerging talent of the next generation of South African rugby.

... the expectation in Australian rugby is that as South Africa goes further down the transformation path, Springboks teams will become almost totally dominated by black players.

If that happens, there could well be a crop of highly talented Afrikaaner players who find themselves denied Springboks honours because they are white.

... identifying players who might want to follow in the footsteps of Dan Vickerman and Clyde Rathbone in playing for the Wallabies ...

"Down the track, if they're unsettled in South Africa and are thinking about making a move, then we might be able to help."

Good, but the same thing is happening here in rugby league and union.

NRL's island talent
, March 27, 2008:
This anecdote can now be supported by hard cold statistics - one in four players in the NRL are of Pacific Island descent. That's right, no less than 100 NRL players come from Samoan, Tongan, Maori, Fijian or Cook Island backgrounds.

And don't think the home-grown Warriors players have distorted the facts. Of the 15 Australian clubs, 22.5 per cent have Islander backgrounds (86 players) with 46 born in New Zealand or the Pacific.

And it is a trend more than likely growing. One in five players in the new national under-20 competition, the Toyota Cup, are also confirmed as Island boys by birth or parentage - not including the Warriors ...

The NSWRL Academy reports that 52 per cent of SG Ball (under-18s) and Harold Matthews (under-16s) players are of Pacific Island background.

"They are just made for rugby league,'' says Peter O'Sullivan, Sydney Roosters, and former Melbourne Storm, recruitment manager, who has been "adopting'' 16 and 17-year-olds from New Zealand for years ... O'Sullivan would visit New Zealand four to six times a year ...

But these days talent scouts don't need to travel far. Strong communities in Sydney's west particularly, and in southeast Queensland towns of Toowoomba and Ipswich, are producing explosive Pacific Island footballers who dominate under-age competitions and are ready-made for the NRL. Just look at state age teams.

The Parramatta junior league reports that 60 per cent of its players are of Pacific Island descent. Penrith have tracked the ethnic origin of all players this year but have not yet collated the figures.

NSWRL Academy coaching and development manager Martin Meredith says there are strong pockets of Pacific Island footballing families in Hurstville, the Manly area and South Sydney while Bulldogs juniors have extremely high percentage Arabic and Pacific Islander numbers ...

League's ethnic explosion has seen the NSWRL appoint its first development officer, Samoan David Lakisa, assigned purely to promote the game to the Pacific Island communities ...

The hot topic in junior football is the size of some of these early-matured boys and their intimidation of the "caucasian'' kids ...
Islanders in junior leagues, it's a really big issue, July 16, 2006:
FORGET new rules, expansion teams and codes of conduct - the biggest influence on Australia's rugby codes has been the influx of Pacific Islanders. Some even say that it's inevitable the NRL and senior rugby union will soon be dominated by players with Tongan, Samoan or Maori blood.

This represents a fundamental shift in the way these century-old games have been played in Australia.

Rugby league and rugby union once attracted players with English, Irish and Aboriginal backgrounds. Later, they attracted players whose parents and grandparents came from Lebanon, Italy, Greece and Malta. Now Islanders with the perfect body shape for these power sports are beginning to dominate.

"The Islanders are emerging as a force because they generally have the qualities NRL talent scouts crave - size, speed and strength," says former rugby league international Mark Geyer, who coaches in the Penrith juniors. "It's like the NBA in the 1970s and '80s when African-Americans became the dominant players.

"People will have no choice but to accept it in league. The big thing is, these kids are Australians and I have no problem supporting them." ...

League and rugby have captivated the sons of the Islanders who migrated to Australia in the late 1980s and early '90s ...

Football has become their meal ticket and junior competitions throughout Sydney are crammed with players of Pacific islander background whose desire to succeed has been labelled as "confronting" ...

NSWRL statistics suggest Islanders are dominating the Jersey Flegg and SG Ball competitions, the stepping stones to an NRL career. Rugby administrators also appreciate what Islanders offer ...

The next stage of the "Polynesian-isation" of the two codes in Australia is how the predominantly white society accepts the inevitability of the game being dominated by players from a different culture. The players should be spared the racist taunts Olsen Filipaina allegedly suffered when he joined Balmain in 1980.

"There were very few Polynesians playing in the Winfield Cup and the way people treated me was unbelievable," he said recently. "When I was training, blokes would deliberately try to put me out of action during opposed sessions.

Racial sledging was on every week, too. I was called a black bastard, a nigger and had cans thrown at me. It ruined rugby league for me."

Marketing man Rob Horton, of Horton-Ella, says mainstream Australia will accept the two rugby codes accommodating more Islanders. But he warns there are provisos ...
Nah, no provisos, whites will just find a way to separate themselves from the diversity. Anyone for gaelic football?

Islander blood runs deep, March 15, 2007:
MEET Melbourne Storm's Polynesian connection. With Maori, Tongan and Samoan roots, the growing contingent makes up almost one-third of Storm's full-time squad -- and it's only going to get bigger.

Melbourne's recruitment chief Peter O'Sullivan said kids with Pacific Island heritage were dominating junior representative carnivals.

The trend has captured the attention of NRL clubs.

"I watched Balmain's (under-16 representative) Harold Matthews Cup team play a couple of weeks ago and there were two white kids in the team," O'Sullivan, the man responsible for recruiting Greg Inglis, said.
Polynesian Power Play, 15 June 2007:
At the grassroots, big changes are occurring both here in Australia and in New Zealand.

One of these changes concerns players of Polynesian background, and their rapid emergence as a dominant element in both league and union, reflecting not only the professionalisation of the codes, but the societal changes on both sides of the Tasman.

So just how significant is the presence of Polynesian players in rugby?

Spiro Zavos is a rugby columnist for the Fairfax press, and the author of a just-published book of essays on the World Cup.

Spiro Zavos: In the 1980s I wrote an article in a New Zealand magazine called 'The Browning of the All-Blacks'. At that stage there was one Samoan origin player, Michael Jones, playing for the All Blacks, and I predicted by the year 2000, at least two-thirds of the team would be Maori or Islander, as it is. Recently I wrote an article about the browning of the Wallabies, and the same thing is happening with rugby as happened in New Zealand, and you can see it, the Wallabies are becoming a side which in say ten years time, most of the side will be of islander origin.
1978 All-Blacks

Islanders 'too big' for league, May 31, 2008:
CONCERNED rugby league officials are demanding an immediate switch to weight divisions - fearing the Polynesian player explosion is driving smaller players straight into the clutches of AFL ...

"About 40 per cent of our players are Polynesian - over at Parramatta it's the same," Mr Feltis said.

"And if those numbers keep increasing we're going to have a problem where a lot of the smaller, white players are driven out of the game.

"Kids will leave rugby league for Australian Rules - a code that has warned it will spend $28 million in Sydney's west between now and 2011.
France soccer team, 1959 v 2008:

Who feels any identity with a team that looks like a foreign country? Not me. So long as the mantra of non-discrimination remains dominant, the colouring of sport will march on. Whites will need to start acting as whites in order to preserve their interests.

League is gone. Union is going. Cricket will be lost to Indians, Pakistanis and maybe Africans. AFL will be lost to Africans if they start playing the game. So come on over, white South Africans, but whites face the same struggle to preserve anything of our own identity no matter where we live.

See also: video of future Oz league and union teams.

Videos: Raymond Ibrahim on Al Qaeda

Hannity's America Interview:

Talk by Raymond Ibrahim:

"When you look at these documents ... they make up 200 pages of the book ... 50 pages of those 200 are the actual writings of Osama Bin Laden ... the other 150 are just pure quotations from the Koran, not pulled out of context, quotations from the Hadith and quotations from the most revered Islamic scholars throughout the ages. And that's why I think that makes this book doubly important, because it's not just Al Qaeda's world view, it's really a world view that's very well grounded in Islam ... so when people tell you Al Qaeda's hijacking Islam ... not really because if you read it here they go to great pains to actually justify their actions through the medium of Islamic jurisprudence ... so everything they say here is legitimate.

... A radical Muslim is someone who is taking his religion seriously, he's a real Muslim. A moderate Muslim, well they're mediocre Muslims ..."

Raymond Ibrahim: The Al Qaeda Reader

The Al Qaeda Reader exposes al-Qaeda's ultimate motives by showings the striking differences between statements published in English for Westerners and those in Arabic for Muslims. Al-Qaeda's publications for the Muslim world are completely different in tone and content. In addition to laying bare al-Qaeda's ultimate motives, The Al Qaeda Reader includes the organization's propagandist speeches, which are directed primarily at Americans, Europeans, and Iraqis. This book makes clear that al-Qaeda is not an organization committed to a war that is finite, defensive, and based on specific complaints. Al-Qaeda stresses Islam's compulsory demand for "offensive jihad," that is, not because Islam is "under attack," as they claim in messages to the West, but simply to offer the world the three sacred choices: accept Islam, live in total submission to Islamic overlords as marginal citizens of an Islamic state, or die.
Oct, 2007, Raymond Ibrahim
The Two Faces of Al Qaeda:
When the September 11 attacks occurred, I was in Fresno, Calif., researching my M.A. thesis on the Battle of Yarmuk, one of the first yet little-known battles between Christendom and Islam, waged in 636 A.D. That battle, in which the Arab invaders were outmatched and yet still triumphed, would have immense historical repercussions. A mere four years later, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and all the land between, would become Islamic. A century later, all the land between southern France and India would be added to the House of Islam.

The next time I came across any reference to this pivotal battle was four years later, as I was translating the words of Osama bin Laden. Surprisingly, an event that seemed so distant, almost irrelevant, to the West was to bin Laden a source not only of pride but of instruction. For him it was not mere history but an inspiring example of outnumbered and under-equipped mujahedin who, through faith-inspired courage, managed to defeat the Western empire of Byzantium. When the Arab and Afghan mujahedin, including bin Laden's nascent Al Qaeda — outnumbered and under-equipped — defeated the Soviet invaders, history was repeating itself ...

Soon after relocating to Washington in order to attend Georgetown, I landed an internship, which later evolved into a full-time position, at the Near East Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, where thousands of new books, serials, and microfilms arrive yearly from the Arab world.

Numerous Arabic books dealing with Al Qaeda passed through my hands in this privileged position. A good number contained not only excerpts or quotes by Al Qaeda but entire treatises written by its members. Surprisingly, I came to discover that most of these had never been translated into English. Most significantly, however, the documents struck me as markedly different from the messages directed to the West, in both tone and (especially) content.

It soon became clear why these particular documents had not been directed to the West. They were theological treatises, revolving around what Islam commands Muslims to do vis-à-vis non-Muslims. The documents rarely made mention of all those things — Zionism, Bush's "Crusade," malnourished Iraqi children — that formed the core of Al Qaeda's messages to the West. Instead, they were filled with countless Koranic verses, hadiths (traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), and the consensus and verdicts of Islam's most authoritative voices. The temporal and emotive language directed at the West was exchanged for the eternal language of Islam when directed at Muslims. Or, put another way, the language of "reciprocity" was exchanged for that of intolerant religious fanaticism. There was, in fact, scant mention of the words "West," "U.S.," or "Israel." All of those were encompassed by that one Arabic-Islamic word, "kufr" — "infidelity" — the regrettable state of being non-Muslim that must always be fought through "tongue and teeth."

Consider the following excerpt — one of many — which renders Al Qaeda's reciprocal-treatment argument moot. Soon after 9/11, an influential group of Saudis wrote an open letter to the United States saying, "The heart of the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is justice, kindness, and charity." Bin Laden wrote in response:
As to the relationship between Muslims and infidels, this is summarized by the Most High's Word: "We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us — till you believe in Allah alone." So there is an enmity, evidenced by fierce hostility from the heart. And this fierce hostility — that is, battle — ceases only if the infidel submits to the authority of Islam, or if his blood is forbidden from being shed, or if Muslims are at that point in time weak and incapable. But if the hate at any time extinguishes from the heart, this is great apostasy! Allah Almighty's Word to his Prophet recounts in summation the true relationship: "O Prophet! Wage war against the infidels and hypocrites and be ruthless. Their abode is hell — an evil fate!" Such, then, is the basis and foundation of the relationship between the infidel and the Muslim. Battle, animosity, and hatred — directed from the Muslim to the infidel — is the foundation of our religion. And we consider this a justice and kindness to them.
Bin Laden goes so far as to say that the West's purported hostility toward Islam is wholly predicated on Islam's innate hostility toward the rest of the world, contradicting his own propaganda: "The West is hostile to us on account of ... offensive jihad." ...

... Whatever one's position in regard to the "war on terror," understanding the ideas of our enemy is both a practical necessity in wartime and a fundamental liberal value. It is my hope that both sides in this bitter debate will profit from a deeper acquaintance with these works. In any case, it simply will not do to dismiss Al Qaeda as an irrational movement without ideas.
Hugh Fitzgerald, 2007:
Ibrahim, who is a researcher in the Near East Division of the Library of Congress, has had the intelligence to publish the writings of Al Qaeda members. He had noticed that these assorted manifestos and appeals, when addressed to Infidel audiences, always contained some rhetoric about such obvious "grievances" as Iraq, "Palestine," Kashmir, Kosovo, and so on. This litany, however, was completely absent from the writings and speeches directed at fellow Muslims. For them, Bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri, and others had no need to deceive ("war is deception") but could stick to Islam -- plain Islam.

And so they do: they offer the texts of Islam, passages from the Qur'an and stories from the Hadith, unchanged by a jot or tittle, the very same passages and stories that are part of Islam, and have been read, and are known, by Muslims all over the world. There is no "European Islam" or "American Islam," as some fondly believe, or somehow, illogically, think magically comes into being once Muslims are physically present on the soil of Europe or America.

Having realized that the Arabic versions of what Bin Laden and others say remained largely untranslated, and therefore unknown to Western policy-makers and the Western public, Ibrahim took on the task of translation, and mass divulgation, himself. Before Raymond Ibrahim (an Arabic-speaking non-Muslim) came along, apparently, none of our "loyal" and "moderate Muslim" Arabic-speaking scholars in colleges, or universities, or employed by the government, saw fit to discuss, much less translate, those texts. Apparently none, before Raymond Ibrahim performed his indispensable service, felt a responsibility to undertake the task themselves, and thereby to better inform Infidels (the very Infidels whom some of them have, as their professions, a duty to advise on the nature of Muslim terrorism and its sources) of what it is that menaces them now, and indeed, menaces them permanently, for Muslims are taught to think of themselves in a permanent state of war -- though not always active warfare -- with Infidels, until such time as Islam everywhere dominates and Muslims rule, everywhere.

The communiques and tapes made for Western audiences are, Ibrahim noticed, not at all like the tapes made by terrorists for fellow Muslims as recruiting tools. Those tapes, those writings, are full of standard Islamic doctrines, well-known passages from the Qur'an, "authentic" Hadith from the collections of Bukhari and Muslim. They are intended to motivate those who, out of laziness or self-interest, have become "bad" Muslims and are not sufficiently inspired to participate directly in violent Jihad, or are not "bad" Muslims but merely those who fully support the efforts of the "good" (i.e., violent) Muslims through donations of money ...

Raymond Ibrahim's book of translated documents by Bin Laden and other terrorists, The Al-Qaeda Reader, has been published in paperback. Every government official, every FBI agent, every DHS bureaucrat should have a copy.
Jihad Watch, June 2008:
I am very pleased to announce that Raymond Ibrahim will now be contributing to Jihad Watch. Raymond is a historian and writer on the Middle East and Islam, and is the author of the superb and essential Al-Qaeda Reader.

Fluent in Arabic, Raymond has studied with Victor Davis Hanson, has an MA in History from California State University, Fresno, and has done graduate work in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies of Georgetown University. He is currently working on a PhD in Medieval Islamic history at Catholic University. His op-eds, essays, translations, and al-Qaeda related analyses have appeared in publications including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Syndicate, United Press International, The Washington Times, Financial Times, National Review Online, The Washington Post, The American Thinker, FrontPage Magazine, and The Jewish Press, as well as in international publications. He has lectured at colleges and universities, as well as at governmental agencies, such as the U.S. State Department.

Raymond works at the Near East section of the African and Middle Eastern division of the Library of Congress, where he discovered many of the never-before-translated Arabic texts that make up the bulk of The Al-Qaeda Reader.
See also:
- videos of Raymond Ibrahim.
- In Their Own Words

Bostom: the Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism

June 20, 2008, Jihad Watch:

In his writing, Bostom tries to chase away a different kind of demon: the pervasive belief that the anti-Semitism common to so many Muslims today is a modern, and alien, influence on what more than 1 billion people call "the religion of peace."

One look at the cover art of The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism is all it takes to discern what Bostom thinks of that. Alfred Dehodencq's vividly colorful but starkly ominous painting "Execution of a Moroccan Jewess" is a recreation of the actual public execution, in Tangier in the 1830s, of 17-year-old Sol Hachuel, who was falsely accused of converting to, and then renouncing, Islam. In an introductory note on the painting and on the heartbreaking tale, Bostom asserts that Sol's cruel fate was shared by countless Jews over more than a dozen centuries, wherever Muslims ruled. Then, in the several hundred pages that follow, he proves it ...

... Bostom ... provides an extraordinarily thorough look at the history of Islamic anti-Semitism in practice, from the dawn of the religion until today and in every place where Muslims predominated, using first-hand accounts of renowned Muslim scholars and historians as well as Western observers. The questions facing Muslims today - Will they deny this religiously motivated hatred? Excuse it? Use it for political gain? Reject it and reform Islam? - all require an in-depth examination of the Koran, the hadith (sayings and deeds of Muhammad and his companions), and the sira (the biography of Muhammad) as the textual roots of this hatred. And that is what Bostom provides in The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism.

What makes this work truly unique, though, is that Bostom had virtually no knowledge of Islam prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks. He is an epidemiologist and clinical nutritionist from New England who spends the vast majority of his time researching renal diseases.

"I wanted to know what had motivated the terrorists," says Bostom, who grew up in New York. So, on the afternoon of September 11, "I grabbed a couple of books at a bookstore on the way home and read them that night. But they were so treacle-y and so transparently apologetic." The contradiction between the Islam espoused by the terrorists and the religion described in the books, he says, "just didn't make any sense."

In search of deeper analyses of Islam, Bostom began exhausting the resources of local libraries.

"I was quite interested in learning more about the history and the theology of jihad," he says. (The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism is essentially the continuation of his 2005 book The Legacy of Jihad in Islam.) "The model for me was to go back and look at essays written by great Orientalists and materials that I felt had fallen by the wayside. Of special interest were materials that were not available in English, for which I sought out Arabic and Farsi translators. Almost all my primary sources were Muslim scholars."

WHILE SEARCHING for the roots of jihad, Bostom found the roots of Islam's Jew-hatred. More often than not, they were intertwined.

"As I was putting the first book together, I came across Ahmad Sirhindi," he explains. "He was an Indian Sufi who was enraged by the reforms of Moghul Akbar, who abolished the jizya [poll tax]. This enraged the orthodox ulema [scholars], one of the chief representatives of whom was Sirhindi. Amongst his virulent tracts against the moghul he says, 'Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.' Now, this is a 16th-17th century anti-Hindu ideologue, and there's no evidence that he ever had contact with a Jew. So I was like, 'Where on earth did this come from?'"

Bostom looked first to the Koran for an explanation.

"When I put together the Koranic verses on the Jews," he continues, "they read like an indictment, prosecution and conviction. It was virulently anti-Semitic. Going into the hadith and the histories of Muhammad - where his assassination is attributed to a Khybar Jewess, for example - only strengthened this conviction.

"So when I juxtaposed that with the notion that there was no theological anti-Semitism in Islam, it was stunning. It's just so in-your-face that to claim that the foundational sources don't create anti-Semitism or aren't inherently anti-Semitic... it's absurd."
Ibn Warraq: forward to The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism:
"During the last fifteen years, certain Western scholars have tried to argue that, first, Islamic antisemitism—that is, hatred of Jews—is only a recent phenomenon learned from the Nazis during and after the 1940s, and, second, that Jews lived safely under Muslim rule for centuries, especially during the Golden Age of Muslim Spain. Both assertions are unsupported by the evidence ... Islam of the texts, as found in the Qur'an and hadith (the sayings and deeds of the Prophet and his companions) and in the sira (the biography of Muhammad, which obviously overlaps with the hadith), and ... the Islam developed or elaborated from those texts early on by the Qur'anic commentators and jurisconsults, and then set in stone more than a millennium ago ... and even ... Islamic civilization—that is, what Muslims actually did historically— have all been deeply antisemitic. That is, all have been anti-infidel, so that Christians too are regarded with disdain and contempt and hatred, but the Jews have been served, or been seen to have merited, a special animus."
Diana West
In history, as in science, the truth lies in the evidence:
The obvious question is: How does a medical researcher studying homocysteine’s effect on cardiovascular disease in patients suffering from chronic kidney problems shift his focus to the study of jihad and anti-Semitism in Islam?

Answer: He doesn’t. That is, while embarked on his Islamic studies, Bostom — a lifelong Democrat, by the way — has remained the Principle Investigator in a $40 million, decade-long National Institutes of Health renal study involving more than 4,000 patients in the United States, Canada and Brazil. Not only that (and this is something that has impressed me, both as what you might call a confrere in Islamic inquiry and also as a friend), he has applied essentially the same scientific principles he uses in medical research to the study of Islam.

“We are used to analyzing things very critically and taking almost everything with a grain of salt,” Bostom explained recently, discussing his work as a medical researcher at Rhode Island Hospital, the major teaching hospital affiliated with Brown University. Such analysis includes, for example, monthly gatherings known as morbidity and mortality reviews where errors and oversights in medical treatment are critically examined. “We are trained to think the stakes are never higher because we are dealing with life and death. If you get something wrong, you kill people.”

Bringing such skepticism and urgency to the study of Islam (where, he maintains, “getting something wrong” can kill even more people), Bostom soon found himself butting up against consensus teachings contradicted by the voluminous evidence he was gathering. Take anti-Semitism in Islam, the subject of his new book. The view that Islamic anti-Semitism is a relatively recent import into Islam from Christian Europe and Nazi Germany is declared as settled fact by historians such as Bernard Lewis and popular authors such as Lawrence Wright (“The Looming Tower”). Bostom’s conclusions, based on an array of religious texts and commentaries, historical analyses and eyewitness accounts, which he presents in “The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism,” suggest otherwise.

Both the anti-Semitism book and the jihad book before it are constructed similarly. They open with long introductory essays by Bostom, comparable, he says, to scientific grant proposals. In these essays, he presents his hypothesis based on his interpretation of the evidence and data reproduced in the rest of the book. In both books, such “raw material” includes key works from both Muslim and non-Muslim sources that have never before been translated into English. Such materials serve “as a reality check,” Bostom says, “for people to read for themselves” in order to test his hypothesis.

After all, in history, as in science, the truth lies in the evidence.
Alyssa Lappen:
Bostom's ground-breaking "Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims," conclusively proves that profound Islamic hatred for the Jewish people originated with the religion's founder, Muhammad. Moreover, his companions, successor "rightly guided" Caliphs and Islamic jurists over the next 1,400 years maintained that hateful overarching passion.

Bostom's evidence is impossible to ignore, waive off or attribute to anti-Islamic bias. Most of the book's double-columned 766 pages contain primary source material: excerpts from Islamic sacred texts, jurisprudence and historical accounts (by Muslims and non-Muslims alike) across the span of Islamic history.

The opening 171-page review (and 962 citations) breathtakingly maps the roots of Islamic anti-Semitism--within the religion's unique and judicial traditions, and its historical record.

This alone should convince even skeptics that Islamic anti-Semitism began in the 7th century.

The Quran refers to Jews as apes and swine (2:65, 7:166, 5:60), themes that were repeatedly exploited in incitements to murder ...

... one 12-page chapter contains 55 anti-Semitic Quranic verses, each translated three times to avoid confusion or denial of their toxicity ...

A Jewish woman, Bukhari reports, murdered Muhammad when she "brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet who ate from it." (Vol. 3, book 47,. no. 786) He also records Muhammad saying, Muslims "will fight the Jews "til some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, "O "Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him."" (Vol. 4, Book 52, no 176) The Hamas Charter prominently features the latter Bukhari tradition in Article 7--and contains many more unadulterated Quranic passages and Hadiths too.

... Hadith encourages Muslims to curse rather than greet Jews ...

U.S. legislators and policy makers--and journalists, Middle East and Islamic scholars--take note: As Stanford University's Victor Davis Hanson observes, conclusions adduced from Bostom's tome may surprise critics as much as this "vast literature of Middle Eastern Islamic anti-Semitism" confounds all attempts "to refute his carefully compiled corpus of evidence."

Jihad Watch video: Bound and gagged

Jun 20, 2008, Jihad Watch:

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution stipulated that "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."

But now the freedom of speech is in imminent danger. Concerted attacks upon it are increasing in number in countries that share the free speech traditions of the United States ...

It can happen here. We could lose the freedom to speak out against Islamic supremacism and jihad, and that will only enable the Islamic supremacists to advance farther into the heart of the West ...

It's time to wake up. Please, try to wake someone up today.

New Oz Blogs

A few more welcome voices of sanity ...

Right Jab
- proud aussie infidel

Reclaiming Australia - fostering debate about immigration and multiculturalism.

The Realists - concerned about the impact that current government policies regarding immigration, multiculturalism, and the welfare state are having upon Australian society.


Britain's knife crime 'huge lesson for Australia'

Britain’s social discord is thin end of the knife
19th June 2008, Paul Murray
the West Australian:

I was sitting in an English country pub last week surveying the Sunday crowd and came to the conclusion that no one around me was packing a knife. The cause of my concern was two weeks of wall-to-wall media coverage on so-called knife crimes in Britain.

The newspapers, television bulletins and the endless radio chat shows reacted violently to a new spate of knife attacks which came on top of 17 stabbing murders of young people in Britain — mainly in London — in the past six months.

That alarming statistic and the heavy racial element embedded in it has caused a serious outbreak of soul-searching ...

... characterised by the tides of black and Asian immigrants and refugees which has left several generations of younger Britons who have no culture — new or old — and struggle to find their place.

This has led to the formation over the past decade of a wave of new racially based street gangs that has, in large part, been responsible for many young people arming themselves, particularly with knives.

There is a huge lesson for Australia in these gangs. Tolerant authorities, committed to multiculturalism, sat back and watched disaffected youths, many from war-torn backgrounds, gravitate to the gangs ...

We are seeing the development of similar gangs in Perth and if we don’t nip them in the bud, we are likely to face the same crisis that is now causing so much heartache in Britain’s cities.

A leaked Metropolitan Police report that surfaced last year said there were 169 gangs in London alone ...

The BBC reported that African-Caribbean gangs were the biggest group, followed by south Asian and white gangs. Religion was also a defining factor, with some gangs comprising solely Muslim or Catholic members, for example ...

Just a week before, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Church’s most senior Asian clergyman, said the decline of Christian values was destroying Britishness and had created a moral vacuum which radical Islam was filling ...

Australia still lags some way behind the social decline evident in British cities. But we would be reckless not to have a close look at what is happening there and learn from it.

However, our Labor governments are still pilfering Britain for the very social policies that are clearly failing.
Well that's a lot more honest reporting than we are used to, so Paul Murray is to be applauded for that. But he is still dreaming if he thinks tinkering with social policy will fix it. Diversity is the problem. All the "soul-searching" and "close looking" is delaying the inevitable. Stopping immigration from incompatible sources is the first step in reigning in the problem.

Iceland: the Accidental Melting Pot? Pt 2

How a Dam in Iceland Floats Chinese Dreams
Time Magazine, Apr 06, 2007:

Building a 630-foot dam and 45 miles of tunnels in Iceland's sub-Artic highlands presents a few logistical challenges. There's the sun, or, more precisely in winter, the lack thereof. There's the wind, which blows so hard it can snap doors out of their frames. There's the heavy machinery and the weekly six tons of food that have to be shipped to the island and driven for hours along narrow roads to the empty expanse of the site. And then, of course, there's the rice.

"According to the Chinese, this is not cooked," says Gianni Porta, a manager for Impregilo, the contractor in charge of the job. He pokes a finger at his plate of rice and meat in the work camp's cafeteria. "According to the Pakistanis," Porta continues, "this is overcooked."

If it came to a vote this afternoon, the rice would stay in the pot a little longer — about 40% of the 1150 workers currently living at the Karahnjukar camp are Chinese. Though it has drawn on workers from dozens of countries since construction began in 2003, Chinese employees have done the heavy lifting on the massive project due to begin powering a hydroelectric plant this month. The largest industrial undertaking in the history of this nation of 300,000 was always going to need outside help. "You would never have found the manpower in Iceland in the quantity that was needed," says Porta. "You can't just pick people up from the market and put them in the tunnel." ...

One of the main beneficiaries of the Karahnjukar project is Alcoa, the U.S. corporation that is taking advantage of the planned supply of low-cost hydroelectricity to base an aluminum smelter here. Local environmentalists have protested loudly, but most of the employees scrutinizing the rice in the cafeteria today, or standing atop the dam overlooking a frozen reservoir and the wintry emptiness of eastern Iceland, are here because each month they are paid the equivalent of up to two year's salary in China ...
Iceland's modern sagas, 12 Aug, 1998:
It's a rugged and hauntingly beautiful place, where for centuries tiny communities have scratched a living from windswept grazing lands and the richly-stocked sea. The Icelandic people are fervently proud of their homeland, their language and their culture, and the country has historically been one of the most isolated and homogeneous societies in Europe.

But now Iceland is having to confront its ambivalent attitude to outsiders, as for the first time in history it's playing host to significant numbers of foreigners - including contingents of European and American businessmen, the Thai wives of Icelandic sailors, and most recently an influx of refugees from the former Yugoslavia ...

... While they're happy to be here, many still feel isolated and wonder how much their neighbours really accept them ...

... A new term, nybor, has been coined for those who don't have Icelandic as their mother tongue, and it's a slightly pejorative word. More pointedly, it's usually only used to describe those who look different. "Russians, Norwegians, Danes are not nybor", Ingibjorg notes; "the Asians, the Africans are... foreigners here are terribly isolated and have terribly few Icelandic friends." ... aspect of Icelandic life ... the country's typically stolid and no-nonsense attitude towards single motherhood ... for Icelanders, motherhood is a badge of honour for any woman, whether married or not.
Again, the most peaceful country says that appearance matters. But is anybody listening?

Liberal Party Fans the Flames of Xenophobia, Dec 01, 2006:
“The issue of immigration as such needs to be discussed. We need to decide how we prepare Icelandic society to welcome immigrants. In a way, the government has opened the debate by not taking the initiative in this discussion. But the way the discourse has been presented lately by the Liberal Party, it is coming from an entirely different direction.”
-Úlfar Hauksson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Iceland

Last month, Liberal Party member and former reserve-MP Jón Magnússon, brought up the topic of immigration in Iceland in a column in the daily newspaper Blaðið, titled ‘Iceland for Icelanders?’. Despite the obvious reference to racism in the title, Magnússon has maintained that the core argument of his column is that “the system is obviously not prepared to deal with the growing influx of foreigners.”

Displaying incredible lack of respect for the rules of logic, Magnússon claimed that “if the influx of foreigners continues to grow at the current rate, Icelanders will number 400,000 (currently 300,000) by the year 2015, and immigrants will number 80,000.” Choosing to completely ignore the difference between permanent immigrants to the country and the migrant work force who are temporarily employed and make up the majority of foreign residents in the country, in order to pad the weight of his argument, Magnússon also makes the erroneous assumption that the need for such a migrant work force will continue to increase at the same rate for the next decade.

As faulty as his logic is, there is a good reason to discuss the “system’s” preparedness to deal with the recent influx of immigrants, particularly how we assist them in their assimilation to Iceland. Magnússon however is calling for a stricter immigration policy and shuns all attempts to critically discuss an important issue, revealing his true motives when he goes on to say, “If I was an out-of-work Pole, I would not think twice before moving to Iceland. Nobody should understand my words so that I have anything against Poles or other Christians from our part of the world.”

That is, although Magnússon has concerns over immigration, there are certain immigrants that are more desirable than others. He goes on to especially mention his fondness for people from Denmark, Sweden and Norway (why he simply didn’t use the term “of Aryan descent” is beyond me), while especially sorting out the more undesirable ones, “I don’t want to bring in people from the brotherhood of Muhammad who have their own laws and don’t respect minimum rights and offend women.”

As easy as it would have been for all concerned – leaders of the Liberal Party included, to dismiss Magnússon’s diatribe as the ramblings of one disgruntled member, the party’s vice chairman, Magnús Þór Hafsteinsson appeared on the TV talk show Silfur Egils, where he voiced his support for the views expressed in Magnússon’s article. Soon enough, other leading proponents of the party, including the Chairman Guðjón Arnar Kristjánsson and the party’s MP Sigurjón Þórðarson, circled the wagons and defended Magnússon and his calls for stricter immigration policy, lending him credence as a party spokesman on the issue.

Icelandic media jumped at the chance to stir the controversy and misguided Icelandic nationalists soon found themselves filling out entry forms to the Party, with a recent poll showing a substantial increase in its support.

The emergence of a semi-nationalistic anti-immigration party in Icelandic politics should perhaps not come as a surprise. As recently as last spring, former MP Ásgeir Hannes Eiríksson commissioned IMG Gallup to conduct a poll on his behalf, gauging the attitude of Icelanders towards a party with an anti-immigration / nationalistic platform. According to the poll, one-third of Icelanders said they would consider voting for such a party. For a political party on the verge of elimination, that is a lot of potential votes.

In a conversation with the Grapevine, Úlfar Hauksson, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland said, “The Liberal Party is clearly moving in the direction of the Danish People’s Party (Folkepartiet). They are appealing to people’s nationalistic tendencies and the discourse is similar, warnings about how “these people will change our society.” This is a very typical reaction for a political party that is on the defensive. The party has based their campaigns on one issue in the past and it is not enough anymore. They were likely to be wiped out in the next election, so they grab this issue to attract voters when polls show that up to 30 percent of Icelandic voters would consider supporting a party with an anti-immigration platform.” ...

... “They are becoming a carbon copy of the Danish People’s Party ..."

But perhaps, all this is over-explains a rather simple issue. The Labour Union’s Guðmundur Hilmarsson thinks we might be well-served by looking closer to home. “I think when we are discussing these issues, we should keep in mind how Icelanders have in large numbers sought work in other Nordic countries, such as Sweden, every time unemployment increases and the economy has been slow here. We regard this as basic survival instinct on our behalf, but when a Pole decides to do the same then suddenly it is something completely different. They are doing this out of the same basic survival instinct as we are.”
So when Icelanders are forced to look outward, they deal with people who look like them. John Carlin didn't mention that part of their global "obsession".

Anti-racists Unite, March 07, 2008:
Dane Magnússon immigrated to Iceland from Jamaica in 1991 when he was 12 years old. Over the years, he has experienced increased prejudice against immigrants in Iceland and wants to see a more open discussion on immigrant issues. He took matters into his own hands and is today the chairman and one of five founders of the Anti-Racist Movement, an independent organisation set to fight against racism, discrimination and, in particular, physical violence directed against foreigners living in Iceland.

For how long has the Anti-Racist Movement been operating?

Since September 2006 ... About 30% are immigrants and 70% Icelanders, many of whom have lived abroad and know how it is to be a foreigner.

What encouraged you to start the organisation?

Our goal is to fight against racism and prejudice in society and while prejudice increases we will be there to protest things we find unjust and discriminating ...

These are people who have been victims of racist attacks out on the streets or harassment in the workplace. Many of them are also afraid to go to the police because they feel that they can’t trust the police. Therefore, many violent acts are never reported ...

We also try to get people’s stories told in the media so the public can be more aware of the things happening in society. We have worked mostly with the newspapers DV and 24 stundir and although the media coverage is improving, many news media could do much better. If I name one example, a foreigner was stabbed downtown recently. It happened on a Sunday morning and we wrote about the attack on our website but the story wasn’t published in the papers before Wednesday, I think. We found this remarkable, because we know that if it had been the other way around, the story would probably have been on the cover the next day. The media coverage needs to be fair.

Many people think racism is not a real problem in Iceland, but it is quite obvious that there are groups out there that go around town and attack foreigners without any motive. We know of plenty of incidents but, as I said, most of them are never reported to the police.

You’ve lived in Iceland for the past 17 years. Do you sense that racism in Iceland is increasing?

Yes. When I moved to Iceland, I first lived in a small country town where people quickly learned to recognise me and got to know me. When I moved to Reykjavík eleven years ago, the experience was quite different. I’ve been called all sorts of degrading names, often because people think I don’t understand the language. I used to answer back but don’t really bother anymore. Sometimes I even wish I didn’t know the language so I wouldn’t have to listen to all the things people have to say about foreigners. But I’m glad I learned Icelandic, because then I can understand what’s going on and I encourage people to learn the language.

Over the past 10 years, things have changed for the worse. Iceland has many more immigrants today than it had 10 years ago. There are more rich people today than before but at the same time inflation has gone up and living in Iceland has become more expensive. People get angry and immigrants become easy targets. I can understand, in a way, that Icelanders are worried, and I know many people think that if too many foreigners come to the country it could lead to unemployment. But that’s not how things work. Foreigners can’t just come and take their jobs. There has rather been a shortage of workforce. Also, it doesn’t solve anything to attack one or two immigrants downtown ...

Racist groups like ‘Iceland against Poles’ and ‘Iceland for Icelanders’ have been popping up recently. Many young people are joining or even starting these groups and aren’t afraid to express their hatred, especially on the Internet. What do you feel about this development?

It’s really sad to see that young people think like this and it is important to do something now before this becomes a more serious problem. Many teachers have contacted us and asked us how to handle issues like these. What I think the schools lack the most is educational material to help children get to know different cultures. We are working on a programme to use in the classrooms, which we hope to get approved. But as it is with everything in Iceland, things take time and cost money.

Are you satisfied with the way the government has dealt with issues like violence and prejudice against immigrants? What would you like to see change?

No, not at all. Although Paul F. Nikolov [of the Leftist Green Movement] has tried to do his best, it is important that the authorities intervene right away. The Ministry of Education needs to intervene. The government needs to discuss this problem seriously and, while doing so, they should look to neighbouring countries, see how they have dealt with the issue and learn from their mistakes before things get out of hand. The most important thing is to look at the big picture: stop saying that Iceland doesn’t need immigrants because that’s just not true. The numbers don’t lie. I think everyone needs to be more open and try to get to know one another without judging beforehand. It seems everyone has an opinion on the matter but instead of spending the time on hatred, people should try to find positive solutions so everyone can be satisfied.
Again, the absurdity of the immigrant lecturing the most peaceful country on earth. Another righteous dunce who will destroy Iceland's peace under the guise of "progress" and "enlightenment".

Icelandic in Black and White, 21/04/2008:
I have discovered that there are basically two ways in which Icelanders deal with people who don’t speak their native language fluently: either they immediately switch to English or they refuse to acknowledge that any language other than Icelandic exists. This black-or-white ideology can be frustrating to a beginner of the language.

I’ve gone to restaurants and tried to speak what little Icelandic I know only to be talked back to in English. Even if I attempt to speak Icelandic for the entire conversation, I only receive English in response ...

On the other side of the coin, sometimes when I do speak the few Icelandic words I know, I will be looked down upon for not knowing more or for not speaking more fluently. If I can’t understand something I am doomed because suddenly the other person’s capacity to speak English has disappeared and I am not offered any hand gestures to help me guess what is going on.

I actually had a guy once make me repeat what he was saying seven times until I pronounced it perfectly before he would tell me what it meant. I felt like a humiliated parrot. Also, Icelanders tend to speak really fast and join words so that for a beginner of the language it is quite hard to tell when one word ends and another begins. I have asked people to speak slowly only to have them rolls their eyes.

I would just like some room for comfort. It is hard to try to speak Icelandic when your efforts are ignored and English prevails. It is also intimidating when your efforts are dismissed as not sufficient enough from stern stares of non-approving locals ...

I need some room to move in. Let’s create a grey area where I try the best I can and get some feedback without condescending remarks.

I understand when someone is in a hurry and doesn’t have time for the trivialities of dealing with a foreigner’s attempts at the language but it can’t be that everybody is in such a hurry that no one has the time for some helpful banter. I hope that sooner than later I will impress you by uttering a lot more than a “Gódan daginn” and that your response won’t be, “Have a nice day to you too!”

Alexandra Hertell is a freelance writer from Puerto Rico ... She finds herself seduced by the disturbingly beautiful and stark Icelandic landscape ...
No, it can't be that everyone is in a hurry, so what then? Maybe they just have no inclination to be politically correct and see their Icelandic identity disappear in a sea of grey. What right does a Puerto Rican princess have to tell the most peaceful country how to behave itself? None. Listen and learn the path to peace.

If there are suddenly a whole lot of foreigners speaking Icelandic, then what it means to be Icelandic becomes diluted and harder to protect. So it's also a defence mechanism. A smart move because, along with immigration, will come the mantra that Iceland is just a place where anyone should come and have the right to live: a place where everything is so grey that it ceases to have any identity and becomes dangerously vacuous and unable to defend itself. Differentiation is a defence mechanism.

Former President Disapproves of Bilingualism Policy, 16.11.2007:
Former President of Iceland Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has expressed her concern over a policy that has been adopted by some large Icelandic companies on using English as a business language within their walls in addition to Icelandic.

“I don’t think the companies should be sending such messages out into society. They are attacking Icelandic,” Finnbogadóttir, who will present the Reykjavík Educational Council’s Icelandic Awards today, the Icelandic Language Day, told Morgunbladid.

“They have also misunderstood the term bilingualism,” the former President said. “Bilingualism means being raised speaking two languages and being able to manage both. But the companies have a two-language policy and it saddens me […] that another language is supposed to be as fully-fledged as ours.”
There you go: Icelandic is being slowly replaced by English. The Icelandic identity will become harder and harder to protect. Goodbye Iceland, hello non-descript global village with rampant immigration. This is how a country dies. She is right to view this as an attack.

Tolerating Intolerance, 06/11/2007:
In most of the western world, a book called “Ten Little Negro Boys” would not make it past the agent’s desk, let alone down onto the presses and onwards into most bookshops in the land. And once in the shops, this book would not usually go straight to the top of the best sellers list. But that is exactly what has happened in Iceland over the last week or two.

The book not only uses language that many find offensive, but is also illustrated with frankly disgraceful drawings of the “negro boys” that play on every Victorian stereotype—it is illustrated because it is a children’s book.

Modern children’s books usually try to push positive attitudes and try to break unfair stereotypes – but not this one. The simple reason for that is that it’s not a modern book; and therein lies the debate.

The book was first published in Icelandic in 1922, but is a translation of an even older English nursery rhyme. The “disgraceful drawings” ... are nonetheless very accomplished and the work of one of Iceland’s most famous artists, Muggur (1891-1924) ...
Immigrant Issues and Controversial Book Discussed, 29/10/2007:
The republication of the book has caused considerable controversy. Parents of children of ethnic minority have written a letter to kindergartens in the capital region encouraging them not to read the book to children since they find both the text and the images in the book hurtful and likely to cause prejudice towards people of color, reports.

I didn’t know what the word ‘negri’ meant, but I knew the kids were calling me that to hurt me,” Bryndís Eiríksdóttir, a mother of two, who believes the republication of Tíu litlir negrastrákar is a mistake, told Fréttabladid. Eiríksdóttir added her husband had once been attacked for the sole reason that he has dark skin.

The couple worries that their children will be bullied following the republication of the book. “They talk about the freedom of publication. It is certainly important, but I think respecting people is more important and this book violates that importance,” Eiríksdóttir concluded ...
Well, John Carlin did say they were free of hang-ups. You can't have it both ways. After all, he did imply that being free of hang-ups is the path to peace. It looks like many Icelanders view political correctness as a hang-up. Their pagan practicality has junked it as a burden.

Part 3 to follow ...

[The website is now down, so all links to it are broken, but you can google segments of text from each article and still find the cached version]

Iceland: the Accidental Melting Pot? Pt 1

22 May 2008, the Independent:

Why are we asking this now?

Because Iceland has just been named the world's most peaceful place by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which has compiled an index based on 24 indicators of external and internal measures of peace – including the fact that it has no army and has the lowest ratio of citizens in jail of all the 140 countries surveyed ...

Iceland's men may be descended from the Vikings, but genetic studies show that most of its original female settlers were Celts from the support families of Irish monks who were the first settlers in the 8th century. Ever since women have played a key role in Iceland, which in 1980 was the first country anywhere to elect a female head of state (she was also a single mum). The strong female influence is said to have minimised belligerency.

But peaceful isn't the same as happy, is it?

True, but Iceland does well in other international comparisons, too. According to the UN's Human Development Index it is the world's most developed country, and one of the most egalitarian. It has excellent education and health care. Life expectancy for men (80.55 years) is the highest in the world. They do well on countless indicators from mobile phone use (they have more than one each) to car use (of which everyone over 17 has, on average, one each too) though that is not very good for their carbon footprint, which is higher than that in France or Spain. But it has more than just one of the highest standards of living in the world. Iceland is the fourth happiest country in the world according to a University of Leicester psychological survey, which found that the key determinants of happiness were health, wealth and education, in that order ...
No wonder Iceland has the happiest people on earth
John Carlin, the Observer:
Highest birth rate in Europe + highest divorce rate + highest percentage of women working outside the home = the best country in the world in which to live. There has to be something wrong with this equation. Put those three factors together - loads of children, broken homes, absent mothers - and what you have, surely, is a recipe for misery and social chaos. But no ...

Oddny Sturludottir, a 31-year-old mother of two, told me she had a good friend who was 25 and had three children by a man who had just left her. 'But she has no sense of crisis at all,' Oddny said. 'She's preparing to get on with her life and her career in a perfectly optimistic frame of mind.' The answer to why the friend perceives no crisis in what any woman in a similar predicament anywhere else in the western world might consider a full-blown catastrophe goes a long way towards explaining why Iceland's 313,000 inhabitants are such a sane, cheerful, successful lot.

... a society that is culturally geared - as its overwhelming priority - to bring up happy, healthy children, by however many fathers and mothers. A lot of it comes from their Viking ancestors, whose males were rampant looters and rapists, but had the moral consistency at least not to be jealous of the dalliances of their wives - tough women who kept their families fed in the semi-tundra harshness of this north Atlantic island while their husbands forayed, for years at a time, far and wide. As a grandmother I met on my first visit to Iceland, two years ago, explained it: 'The Vikings went abroad and the women ran the show, and they had children with their slaves, and when the Vikings returned they accepted it, in the spirit of the more the merrier.' ...

'Patchwork families are a tradition here,' explained Oddny, who was off work, at home, on the Thursday morning we met, looking after her youngest child. 'It is common for women to have kids with more than one man. But all are family together.'

I found this time and again with people I met in Iceland. Oddny's case was not atypical. When a child's birthday comes around, not only do the various sets of parents turn up for the party, the various sets of grandparents - and whole longboats of uncles and aunts - come too. Iceland, lodged in the middle of the North Atlantic with Greenland as its nearest neighbour, was too far from the remit of any but the more zealously obstinate of the medieval Christian missionaries. It is a largely pagan country, as the natives like to see it, unburdened by the taboos that generate so much distress elsewhere. That means they are practical people. Which, in turn, means lots of divorces.

'That is not something to be proud of,' said Oddny, with a brisk smile, 'but the fact is that Icelanders don't stay in lousy relationships. They just leave.' And the reason they can do so is that society, starting with the parents and grandparents, does not stigmatise them for making that choice. Icelanders are the least hung-up people in the world. Thus the incentive, for example, 'to stay together for the sake of the kids' does not exist. The kids will be just fine, because the family will rally round them and, likely as not, the parents will continue to have a civilised relationship, based on the usually automatic understanding that custody for the children will be shared.

The comfort of knowing that, come what may, the future for the children is safe also helps explain why Icelandic women, modern as they are (Iceland elected the world's first female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, a single mother, 28 years ago), persist in the ancient habit of bearing children very young. 'Not unwanted teen pregnancies, you understand,' said Oddny, 'but women of 21, 22 who willingly have children, very often while they are still at university.' At a British university a pregnant student would be an oddity; in Iceland, even at the business-oriented Reykjavik University, it is not only common to see pregnant girls in the student cafeteria, you see them breast-feeding, too. 'You extend your studies by a year, so what?' said Oddny. 'No way do you think when you have a kid at 22, "Oh my God, my life is over!" Definitely not! It is considered stupid here to wait till 38 to have a child. We think it's healthy to have lots of kids. All babies are welcome.'

All the more so because if you are in a job the state gives you nine months on fully paid child leave, to be split among the mother and the father as they so please ...

... 'You have to be not only tough but inventive to survive here,' said Svafa. 'If you don't use your imagination, you're finished; if you stand still, you die.'

As the Vikings showed, part of that imagination means getting out into the world. That is what Svafa did (she studied for a PhD at the London School of Economics, lived in the US, spending a total of 10 years abroad) and what practically all Icelanders do. Very few do not speak excellent English. But now that Iceland has become prosperous the invitation is out to the world to come to Iceland. Reykjavik University has staff from 23 countries and the idea, after a planned move in two years to what Svafa describes as a new space-age campus, is to expand the foreign presence both in terms of teaching staff and students, and convert the university into a hub of global business education. Reykjavik University is already entirely bilingual. 'Students who only speak English can come and do postgraduate studies here.' Does nobody worry about losing the Icelandic language, when, after all, so few people speak it? 'Not at all,' declares Svafa. 'Our language is safe.' Not prey to the nationalist neuroses of other small countries (though practically none are smaller than Iceland), Iceland's obsession is with embracing the world, not fearing it ...

Icelanders know how to identify the best and incorporate it into their society. I talked about this to the Icelandic prime minister, Geir Haarde, whom I met at an official event at a steamy public swimming bath, a popular meeting place for Icelanders, like pubs for the British. Easygoing as everybody else I met, and without anything dimly resembling a bodyguard anywhere near him (there is almost no crime in Iceland), he agreed on the spot to sit down and do a quick interview.

'I believe we have blended the best of Europe and the United States here, the Nordic welfare system with the American entrepreneurial spirit,' he said, pointing out that Iceland, unlike the other Nordic countries, had exceptionally low personal and corporate tax rates ...

... Icelanders will continue to receive not just free, top-class education but free, top-class healthcare, private medicine being limited in Iceland chiefly to luxury procedures, such as cosmetic surgery.

... Someone called it bumblebee economics: scientifically, aerodynamically, you cannot figure out how it flies, but it does, and very nicely, too.' ...

Asvaldur, who was born in 1928 in a fishing town in Iceland's wild far east ... Today, he has a full-time job looking after his invalid wife. The blessing is that he receives money from the state to do so, a big reason (consistent with the culture of family cohesion) why most old people in Iceland live not in residences but at home ...

They are all sure to be receiving a fine education ... 'we must challenge the children with a broad educational foundation, teach them in a warm, creative environment ...'

Dagur, like the many people I spoke to in Iceland who were proud of their country, was confident but not complacent; content but ambitious - and open to the world in all its diversity. That was manifest even at Asgeir's school, where I came across children from China, Vietnam, Colombia, even Equatorial Guinea.

When I was talking to Svafa about the better influences from the rest of the world that Iceland seemed to have wisely plucked, or just happened to have, we mentioned, as the prime minister had done, the humaneness of Scandinavia and the drive of the United States. We also discussed how the Icelanders - who have excellent restaurants these days and whose stamina for late night partying must come from the Viking DNA - seemed to have much of southern Europe's savoir vivre. Then I put it to her that there was an African quality to Iceland that the rest of Europe lacked. This was to be found in the 'patchwork' family structures Oddny had spoken of. The sense that, no matter whether the father lived in the same home or the mother was away working, the children belonged to, and were seen to belong by, the extended family, the village. Svafa liked that. 'Yes!' the pale-skinned power executive exclaimed, in delighted recognition. 'We are Africans, too!'

Partly by dint of travel, partly by accident, Iceland, we agreed, was a melting pot that had contrived to combine humanity's better qualities, offering a lesson for the rest of the world on how to live sensibly and cheerfully, free from cant and prejudice and taboo. Iceland could not be less like Africa on the surface; could not be further removed from the lowest country in the UNDP's Human Development Index, Sierra Leone. Yet the Icelanders have had the wisdom to take, or accidentally to replicate, the best of what's there, too. Without any hang-ups at all.
Wow, Iceland is open to the world in all its diversity, an accidental or intentional melting pot with no hang-ups. A lesson for the rest of the world. John Carlin has planted the flag of diversity and liberalism on the most peaceful country and claimed it to be a successful global village.

Icelandic culture provides plenty to be envious of: a strong sense of cohesion, tradition, community care and higher birthrate. It provides plenty of food for thought: heavy drinking but non-violent, high divorce rate but happy families. No argument that there may be some lessons for us.

John Carlin makes it sound like Iceland's peace is due to their pragmatic and global outlook. But are Icelanders really open and welcoming to the world's diversity? And what is responsible for their peace?

Even Up There: Muslims Want Mosque in Reykjavík
Hjörtur Gudmundsson, Brussels Journal, 2006-09-07:
The situation concerning immigration is a total disaster in Norway, Denmark and Sweden while things are somewhat better in Finland. This we all know. But what about the fifth Nordic country? Many foreigners see Iceland as a place where immigration is not a problem. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. Iceland is moving in the same direction as other western countries. The flow of immigrants, legal and illegal, asylum seekers and foreign workers to Iceland has been growing fast. Icelanders are victims of the same political correctness that brands everybody as “racist” and “xenophobe” who dares to question multiculturalism. Even those who merely call for an open and informed debate on the issue have been stigmatised.

The only difference is that mass immigration and multiculturalism are rather new phenomenons in Iceland – no more than 15 years old – and as a consequence this evolution has been a bit behind most other Western countries, where these developments have usually taken much longer. Compared to those countries Iceland has a rather small Muslim population, with immigrants mainly coming from Southeast Asia (Thailand and the Philippines) and Eastern Europe (Poland and the former Yugoslavian territories). Nevertheless the number of Muslims in Iceland is growing rapidly. The Muslim Association of Iceland (only for Sunni Muslims) had 341 members in 2005 according to Statistics Iceland. When it was founded in 1997 it had 78 members.

Now the MAI claims that in total around 700 to 1,000 Muslims are living in Iceland. It also claims that growing numbers of Icelanders are converting to Islam, with some 100 converts in recent years ... Muslims in Iceland, for instance, have for some years been calling for the building of a mosque – preferably in the capital city of Reykjavík ...

Over 20,000 foreigners are now estimated to be living in Iceland legally, according to official statistics, about 6,6 percent of the general population. In other words, Iceland has reached a level of immigration comparable to Norway, Denmark and Sweden, in a much shorter time ... the number of immigrants in Iceland was growing faster than in the other Nordic countries and twice as fast as in Denmark.

Several thousands of those 20,000 foreigners living in Iceland are foreign workers, especially from Eastern Europe, who come to work for a short time (usually six months), mainly in the fishing industry in small towns and villages, but also in the building sector. Owing to the economic upswing in the country in recent years and very low unemployment (today 1,4%), increasing numbers of foreign workers have come to the country, especially from Poland. Many of these people choose to remain in the country and settle here, bringing in their families as well. As a consequence, foreigners now constitute large parts of many small towns and villages in Iceland, especially in the Westfjords, and in some cases even comprise one third of the population or more. In some primary schools in the countryside children with immigrant backgrounds form a large segment of the pupils, sometimes even the majority.

Indeed, Iceland is in a similar situation as Germany after World War II. The foreign workers are mainly seen as guests who will only stay in the country for a short time and then leave. The economic point of view has been dominant. It seems to be quite easy for people who come to the country as a foreign workers to remain in the country if they so wish. Little effort has been made to assimilate these people. In an interview with the Icelandic National Broadcasting Corporation last March a woman of Polish origin who has lived in Iceland for 12 years, warned that Poles in Iceland are not assimilating well enough due to their large and growing numbers in the country.

Owing to political correctness almost all debate on immigration in Iceland has been silenced ...

In the past couple of years the government has taken some measures to tighten the immigration laws. For example, all foreigners granted residence and work permits, must now attend classes in Icelandic. However, no exams at the end of those classes are required, which means the authorities have little information on how successful they are. The granting of residence and work permits has been growing fast and so has the granting of Icelandic citizenship. The number of asylum seekers has also grown fast in recent years, but very few who come to the country on their own initiative are granted asylum since they have usually already applied for asylum in another Schengen member state and been refused. Iceland has on the other hand accepted hundreds of refugees at the request of the United Nations, mainly from former Yugoslavia ...

In March 2004 the then director of the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration ... said the IDI had reasons to believe that several hundred illegal immigrants were living in Iceland. He said many of those individuals were believed to be living with relatives or fellow countrymen who are staying in the country legally. People of foreign origin constitute a fast increasing proportion of welfare beneficiaries in Iceland, in some cases more than one third. Most of these are Asian ...

Ghettos are already developing in at least one of Reykjavík's suburbs where immigrants, especially with Asian backgrounds, have settled in vast numbers. At the same time many Icelanders are reported to be moving out of these suburbs. Some conflicts have already occurred between gangs of immigrant youths and native youngsters, but the authorities still insist this has nothing to do with race or descent. Meanwhile foreigners are also a growing number of those sentenced to prison in Iceland.

The numbers mentioned in this article may not sound significant to the ears of most other Europeans. But one must always bear in mind that the total Icelandic population is only 300,000 people. 20,000 immigrants in Iceland are therefore equivalent to 4 million in the United Kingdom; 600 illegal immigrants is comparable to 120,000 in the UK; 900 Muslims in Iceland corresponds to 180,000 in the UK. And considering in how short a time this has occurred the development is huge and happening at a very fast rate.
Worried about the increase of racism
Anti-Rasista, 14 Jan 2008:
There is a good reason for being very worried about growing racism in this country. "I think we are experiencing that", says Jóhann R. Benediktsson sheriff, at Keflavik airport in his conversation with DV today. Crime records where foreigners are involved have made things worse and brought up intensive discussions and hatred against them.

As asked, Johann says he is aware of the organization "Iceland for Icelanders" in Reykjanesbær, which DV has brought up. He says he takes all the negativity in the discussion of foreigners very seriously. "I think the discussion is a based on badly informed people and is very typical for that matter. It's now in our hands to face and handle this discussion and give people the right information and facts.
November 07, 2006
‘Liberal Party’ Pushes Immigration Issues To The Forefront:
Last week has seen an onslaught of political debate in Iceland regarding remarks made by members of “The Liberal Party” on the explosive issue of immigration. In an article published in Blaðið last Wednesday entitled ‘Iceland for Icelanders?’, the struggling party’s latest addition, Supreme Court lawyer Jón Magnússon, voiced his concerns about what he perceives to be a ‘relentless stream of foreigners’ to Iceland and calls for a tougher immigration law.

In the piece, Magnússon emphasises that he has “[…] nothing against Poles or other Christians from our part of the world. For example, I really like Danes, Swedes and Norwegians […]. If you try and fight the increased stream of immigrants to the country, that has nothing to do with disrespecting other nations or racial prejudice.” He goes on to say that he would not want to see Muslims immigrate to Iceland, and that the country now faces “[…] the greatest threat an independent Icelandic nation and Icelandic culture has thus far seen.”

The party’s Vice President, Magnús Þór Hafsteinsson, followed Magnússon’s lead and continues to echo similar sentiments in talk shows and blog-posts, stating that he is concerned with increased unemployment, faltering wages and a rise in crime and poverty following unregulated immigration. In a recent blog-post, he stated that he had received tremendous support from Icelanders since the debate started.

“The Liberal Party”, formed in 1998, currently has three MP’s and has thus far mostly been known for its stance against Icelandic fishing regulations ...

... the leaders of all Icelandic political youth movements, save for “The Liberal Party’s” voiced their disappointment about the politicians’ racially and religiously prejudiced statements.
"I really like Danes, Swedes and Norwegians". You mean you prefer people who simply look like you? How refreshingly honest.

A third of Icelanders for Nationalist Party? 20.04.2006:
One third of Icelanders might vote for a nationalistic political party, suggests a Gallup poll, conducted on behalf of a former member of Iceland´s parliament.

According to, Ásgeir Hannes Eiríksson, a representative of the now defunct Citizen’s party, who served in parliament from 1989 to 1991, had Gallup conduct the survey.

Eiríksson claims that he would not form a new nationalist party himself, but would support those that might form a political party advocating policies to reduce the number of immigrants coming to Iceland.

Eiríksson was a guest on the news show Kastljós on RÚV-TV last night. He said that he wanted to stem the flood of foreigners to the country. He said that an increased number of foreigners would strengthen organized crime within Iceland. “Naturally I want Icelanders to enjoy Iceland... and to have advantages within their own country.” He said that the immigrant problem would materialize on May 1, when East-Europeans could move freely to Western Europe, including Iceland ...
We Have Enough with Caring for Ourselves”, 28/05/2008:
Magnús Thor Hafsteinsson MP for the Liberal Party and former chairman of the office of social affairs in Akranes, was against the arrival of 30 refugees from Iraq to Akranes this summer ...

“This is impossible.We are talking about 60 people in two years in a village where the budget is tight. To even think of bringing people in from refugee camps, who have experienced so much and have to be under constant care of the administration of social affairs, is nonsense. This would mean that the total amount of foreigners in Akranes would rise to ten percent of the entire population, ten percent of which would be refugees.” Hafsteinsson wrote.

Hafsteinsson ends his article by concluding “It is our main duty as a community to care for our own people[…] I’m not going to look into the eyes of our people and make budget cuts while accommodating around hundred immigrants at the same time. If the community of Akranes wants to help people; we should rather aid the Red Cross or those organizations that work in refugee camp, instead of bringing the problem to our town” ...
The Liberal Party, wikipedia:
The party has, before the 2007 parliament elections, moved from being primarily focused on issues of fishing quotas and small fishing communities towards immigration. It is the only political party in Iceland that supports strict restrictions on immigration and consequently, the party has been accused of xenophobia.
In the Name of Art, 25/05/2008:
Last weekend my friend, who was visiting from Berlin, and I drove along the south coast via Vík and Skaftafell to Jökulsárlón for a bit of sightseeing.

I’d driven along this section of Route 1 several times before, and knew that my friend would appreciate the cross section of Iceland’s varied and dramatic landscape: green pastures, tumbling waterfalls, rocky mountains, glaciers and lava fields. I’d seen it all before, but this time I was in for a bit of a surprise.

On the return trip amongst the fields and backdrop of snow-tipped mountains stood two billboards displaying the infamous right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) 2007 election campaign poster showing three white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag.

The Icelandic version translates as: “Ensure safety, Our sanctity, My home” and the party’s logo which includes the words “Swiss Quality.” Reaction? Shock and disbelief, of course. I would never have imagined seeing this image amongst the backdrop of the pristine Icelandic countryside ...

Anyway, after seeing the Monday evening news, we have since learnt that the posters were actually put up by a Swiss artist, Christoph Büchels, as part of the current Reykjavík Arts Festival ...

So, how is this relevant to Iceland? First of all Iceland has had its own troubles regarding anti-immigration and racism. Around 700 people, mostly teenagers, registered for the MySpace website, called “Association against Poles in Iceland” in the first 24 hours of it going online earlier this year, an Icelandic man was arrested in relation to a self-described “Pro-White Website for Icelanders,”, containing racist propaganda, and the re-release of children’s story “Ten Little Negro Boys” caused much heated debate, while a recent poll shows that almost 60 percent of teenagers either strongly agree or agree that there are too many immigrants living in Iceland.

While these posters were obviously set up to provoke debate, considering the current climate regarding issues concerning immigrants, it begs the question whether this is a case of art gone too far ...

The issue of the acceptance of foreigners is timely, with the recent circulation of petitions against the decision to welcome 30 Palestinian refugees to Akranes.

But, has Büchels’ stunt given us a taste of what could happen if racist attitudes and so-called free speech are allowed to flourish in this country? For the time being I pity the tourists and foreigners living in Iceland who were not able to understand the media reports that the posters—at least this time around—were in fact in the name of art.
The Suspect is a Foreigner, 20.04.2008:
In recent months foreigners in Iceland have been routinely making the news—and for all the wrong reasons.

Whether it is for drug smuggling, violent attack, rape, or even murder, residents of foreign origin—mainly Polish—have been making the headlines ...

Like many other foreigners, she is tired of the negative coverage of immigrants and the impact a few negative stories can have on the reputation of foreigners—notably the Polish community—as a whole.

In particular, this sentiment has been fueled by sensational news stories about foreigners involved in criminal activity. Let’s take some examples from recent headlines:

“Poles Fight with Bladed Weapons and Fire Extinguishers” ...

“Foreigners Take over Drug World” ...

“Custody of Poles Confirmed” ...

“Poles Hire Private Detective” ...

In an article on about the causes of increased opposition to foreigners in Reykjanesbaer, southwest Iceland, the only person quoted was Kamilla Sigtryggsdóttir, a member of anti-immigration association Iceland for Icelanders.

She said: “Poles and Italians come here and take all the construction work from us. […] “Then these people dare attack us.” ...

The media monitoring company Fjölmidlavaktin has now demonstrated that this sentiment does indeed reflect a trend of increased negative reporting about immigrants in Iceland...

... With headlines like the aforementioned: “Poles Fight with Bladed Weapons and Fire Extinguishers,” is it really any wonder that many contribute the increase in violence in Reykjavík to the recent increase of foreign-born residents in the country?

... a recent study by Statistics Iceland that Icelandic residents of Polish origin committed the fewest crimes in Iceland in 2006 compared to other residents—even fewer than Icelandic natives ...

... With an increase in foreigners, there is bound to be an increase in interest and coverage by the media, but do negative events or behavior concerning foreigners need to be covered in such a sensational fashion?
Pure Body – Pure Nation, April 13, 2007:

Eiríkur Bergmann is an Associate Professor and director of the Centre for European Studies at Bifröst University. He recently published a book called Opið land – staða Íslands í samfélagi þjóðanna, or Open land – Iceland’s Place in the International Society. In his book, Bergmann examines the relationship between Iceland and the outside world ...
Tell us a bit about the book.

What I try to do in the book is to look at the relationship between Iceland and the outside world and try to find common roots for Iceland’s position on issues relating to foreign policy, such as the EU, the relationship with the US and the former US military base in Keflavík, globalisation, and immigration issues. I believe there is a common root for Iceland’s conservative position on foreign policy that can be traced back to Iceland’s struggle for independence.

There is a certain nationalism in our ideas about the Icelandic nation that are different from other European nations because nineteenth-century European liberalism never reached Iceland in the same way it did other European countries. European liberalism was based on the demand for freedom of the individual, the demand for freedom of commerce, etc., but here in Iceland the focus was not on the individual – rather on the nation as a whole, almost as an organic bodily whole – which gives us a slightly different idea of the Icelandic nation. I think that this in some ways explains our fear of immigrants, the idea of the purity of the organic body that is the Icelandic nation.

You have claimed that Iceland has the strictest immigration policy in the free Western hemisphere, please elaborate a bit.

In order to reach that conclusion, you have to look at how the immigration policy appears in Icelandic laws, the part that is directed at influx restrictions, and stipulates who can actually enter the country. These regulations are really twofold. On one hand, there are mutual regulations adopted from the EU through the EEA agreement, which stipulate that citizens from the EU area all have employment rights here. This is a decision that was taken jointly by the European nations in Brussels; Icelanders never made that decision for themselves. After the enlargement of the EU, this applies to the countries in Eastern European that have recently joined the EU as well.

But once you look beyond the joint European regulations and towards people outside the EU – i.e. the part of the regulations that we can decide for ourselves – then you have the strictest immigration policies in the free democratic world. We have adopted Danish and, to some extent, Norwegian immigration regulations. We have applied the strictest parts of their regulations, including highly debatable clauses like the 24-year clause stipulating that an immigrant’s spouse must be 24 years old to acquire a residents’ permit. There is also a 66-year rule, stipulating that an immigrant’s parents must be 66-years old to acquire a residents’ permit. It could be argued that these laws are in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, but the issue has never been put to the test.

In addition, there is the strange decision by the Icelandic government that work permits for foreigners are issued to the employer, not the employee, which means that foreign workers are dependent upon their employers and are not able to move freely. This could also be regarded as a violation of human rights, since the employee does not have freedom of occupation, which is supposed to be guaranteed according to the Icelandic Constitution.

On top of that, Icelanders do not accept refugees seeking asylum. I have not been able to find another western country that does not accept asylum seekers. Only one person has been granted asylum in Iceland; others have been refused based on the Dublin Convention. Iceland always applies the strictest resources and when you add these facts up, the conclusion is that Iceland has the strictest immigration policy in the free democratic world. I have at least not found an example of stricter policies.

You mentioned two possible violations of human rights conventions in Icelandic immigration laws. Why do you think law-makers have taken such extreme measures for immigration laws?

There is an underlying fear of foreigners and immigrants in our society. Some people fear that large groups of foreigners will come streaming to Iceland and somehow disrupt the fabric of our society. In reality, there is nothing to support this fear. If you look at the position of immigrants in Icelandic society, you will see that there are about 25,000 people of foreign nationality in Iceland. Immigrants are about 6% of the Icelandic population, but they are about 10% of the active work force in the country, which tells us that the level of employment among immigrants is much higher than the current level of employment in the country, which again tells us that foreigners are coming here to work.

Many of them are only working here temporarily on big building projects that are underway and that explains the great influx of foreign work force right now, but there is nothing that suggests that this will continue, not unless people want to build an aluminium smelter in every town ...

In addition, all studies suggest that immigrants financially benefit the Icelandic society ... The question then is, what explains this fear that we are witnessing in the public discourse.

The only explanation I can find is rooted in our ideas about the Icelandic nation. Historian Guðmundur Hálfdánarson has shown that in Iceland a different kind of idea of nationality developed, different from the rest of Europe where more liberal ideas developed which focused on freedom of the individual and freedom of commerce. Here, a more conservative idea of nationality developed, where the onus was not on freedom of the individual, but freedom of the nation, where the nation is personified as an organic bodily whole, or a body of its own. A great influx of foreigners changes that body. It becomes a different body, and people start to fear things such as diseases and politicians start talking about looking for tuberculosis in foreigners and so on. I think that is rooted in this idea of nationality and the fear that the national body will become impure and deteriorate with the influx of foreigners.

What you are saying is that there is no logical reason for this fear of foreigners, but rather it is all based on the Icelandic ideology of nationality?

Yes, I think that is at the heart of it. You cannot find any factual support for this fear, other than the idea of the composition of the nation and the fear that it will change. But this is in line with a certain axis of conflict that has always been present in Iceland. That is the conflict between what we might call “isolationists” and “internationalists.” Almost every controversial issue regarding the relationship between Iceland and foreign countries has been affected by the conflict between those two groups, whether is was over membership of EFTA, membership of NATO, the EU, fear of globalisation, protecting the pure Icelandic language, protecting the pure Icelandic agriculture, etc. The immigration issue is the conflict about the pure Icelandic nation.

There has always been a conflict between those who want to open up society and those who want to close it, and right now there is a conflict between the isolationists and internationalists over the immigration issue. I believe Iceland still has a chance to develop a successful co-existence of immigrants and natives, but you do not do that by stirring up the peace with immigrants like some Icelandic political parties have done. You do that by forming and installing an active and integral assimilation policy. Such a policy does not exist in Iceland right now. The Minister for Social Affairs recently introduced an assimilation policy which mainly focuses on the language barrier. There are other things needed for successful assimilation.

What are you thinking about specifically?

We need to address such issues as ghetto formations for example ... We can see the first signs of this development in certain neighbourhoods here in Reykjavík, and this is what we need to eliminate here in Iceland. We can do that by installing an official policy for distributed residence of immigrants, where we would encourage immigrants to move to certain neighbourhoods by granting them financial incentives ... That is how we manage society. Another thing that needs to be done is to provide financial incentives for civil society to get immigrants involved in its operations. The government pays large sums of money to organisations like sports clubs or the scout movement ...
What a grand ideology it is that has to pay people to come together. What a grand state of denial it is. It's as sad as the "buy a friend" scheme.

But Bergmann does raise some interesting points. There is apparently no economic reason for their anti-immigrant sentiment. He then describes the unique Icelander concept of nationalism. Nothing unique about it though, it's just so old fashionably natural that it looks unique and foreign to outsiders. It's just what happens when a racially homogeneous group acknowledges that cohesion is a desirable attribute to maintain.

He mentions that commerce and liberalism were bound, not to the individual, but the whole. Different from the current West, where the individual reigns supreme. The West is poorer for this radical liberalism.

National geographic has a story on the industrial developments taking place and the conflict they have created:
Iceland happens to be situated right on top of the intersection of two of Earth’s tectonic plates, straddling a volcanic boundary called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Consequently, a third of all the lava that has erupted from the Earth in the past 500 years has flowed out right here, and there are so many natural hot springs that almost all the homes and buildings are heated geothermally. On the surface, meanwhile, sit giant glaciers and the abundant rivers that flow from them. This hot-and-cold combination, of churning activity beneath the surface and powerful rivers above it, makes Iceland one of the most concentrated sources of geothermal and hydroelectric energy on Earth—clean, renewable, green energies that the world increasingly hungers for ...

The thing is, very little of that energy has been tapped, because it's stranded in the middle of the nowhere between continental Europe and Greenland. So, since the 1960s, the government has been wooing heavy industry to Iceland with the promise of cheap electricity, no red tape, and minimal environmental impact. But - except for two small smelters and a ferrosilicon plant - getting companies to come here has been a hard sell. The labor force is very small, highly paid, and probably overeducated. Add to that the remoteness of the place, the long, dark winters, and the inhospitable weather. Only an industry requiring the most intensive use of energy, and which could get a heckuva good rate for it over a long period, would find it economical to set up shop all the way in Iceland. The most obvious fit was the aluminum industry. And so it was- to the alarm of environmentalists who want to save that rare land and the thrill of industrialists who want to use some of it to finally produce something - that the paths of aluminum smelting and unspoiled Iceland were fated to cross.
Erik Davidek, Aug 11, 2006:
Between my Icelandic language courses, the hours that I have spent at immigration, and my time hanging around downtown, I have had the chance to talk with fellow immigrants from around the world about their experiences in Iceland. One unfortunate matter that seems to always pop up is the racial discrimination that so many of them feel they have encountered during their stay. For the most part, I have managed to avoid this, thanks no doubt to the fact that I look like a younger, chubbier American version of Bubbi Morthens. But it’s not hard to figure out that the ever-increasing number of people coming to Iceland from Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe might be easier to classify as “different” by the locals ...
Oops, you mean that Icelanders accept you, a white American, more so than other races? So that means they prefer people who simply look like them? Refreshingly honest, but unfortunately Erik then goes on to tell Iceland that it's the fate of every country to deal with the race issue. Yeah, like America and every other melting pot are shining examples to follow. Who is the authority here: the most peaceful country on earth, or the immigrant from one of the most violent countries on earth? The USA finished 97th in the peace index. Iceland should pack this righteous dunce on a plane back home to his haven of 'peace'.

Foreigners are taking their jobs, 11 Jan 2008:
Part of the members of IFI lined up for a photograph yesterday. "Polish people and the Italians come over here to take away all out construction work and people also come over here and takes all the work in fish, there is. Then there are the black people who don’t even work, they just comes here and get lost somewhere, this is disgusting. And then these people dare to attack us. I am putting my foot down, there will be no more, this is enough", says Kamilla Sigtryggsdottir, one of the members in "Iceland for Icelanders" in Reykjanesbær, where there has been a big conflict between Icelanders and foreigners.

In DV today there are discussions with people in the organization Iceland for Icelanders, in purpose to understand what it is that causes increscent hatred against foreigners, that reached its maximum limit when a four year old boy was killed after being hit by a car, belonging to a Polish person. There are up to 100 people in the organization IFI in Keflavik, but the organization has also spread around the country.
Ah, the melting pot boils over yet again. How often do we see this? Tensions simmer just below the surface until something finally triggers off blind rage: the French riots, lifesavers getting bashed at Cronulla, a murder-rape in Italy, etc. The melting pot is really a pot of repressed discontent.

Tim Murray,
... they have always pursued true National Socialist objectives. They know they are keepers of a precious culture that is 1200 years old and have no right to let that be absorbed or diluted by the influx of other cultures.

As matter of fact, whenever a foreign word invades the language, a special government commission replaces that word with a Norse neologism. Anyone who becomes an Icelandic citizen through marriage must change his or her name to old Norse names. Thus the language spoken today would have been entirely intelligible to Eric the Red a millenia ago, and he could have read the Icelandic Bible that sits in my living room.

Icelandic libraries are full of Norse sagas, poems, ghost stories and debates. The food they eat is second to none. Fish and lamb and all the deserts my grandmother made for me, and coffee made like no one else did. Only you hold the sugar cubes in your tongue when you drink it. Point being, there is nothing “deficient” in Icelandic culture that needs “enrichment” from the immigration of other cultures that would threaten it and also rob the people of their irreplaceable low-density living.
Hmm, well so far John Carlin's thesis is looking shaky. It seems like a lot of Icelanders are opposed to immigration and far from "obsessed with embracing the world". Before part2 let's have a look around Iceland ...