Muslims in Norway

Muslims in NorwayLast Wednesday I was fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to Nora Eggen, a Norwegian Muslim presently a guest researcher at IAIS, who gave an informative talk on the Muslim community in Norway. Below is an excerpts from my article in Klik4Malaysia.

...Historically, Eggen revealed that the interaction between the Norwegian and the Muslim world started as early as in the 13th century, when an envoy from a Muslim sultanate in the Middle East was sent to Norway. She also relates another occasion when the King of Sweden, King Karl XII was given refuge in Istanbul by Sultan Ahmed III (Sultan of the Ottoman Empire), after losing a battle against the Russians.

As a result of Karl XII's long stay in Ottoman land, he has brought along new beverages such as coffee into the Scandinavian lands. Also, several Ottoman-Turkish words were introduced into the Norwegian language through Karl XII's encounter with the Ottomans.

However, it was not until the late second half of the 20th century that saw significant growth of the Muslim population in Norway, due to the liberal immigration laws which has allowed thousands of immigrants from Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Turkey and Morocco. Many were initially planned for a short stay, but eventually most stayed and settled down.

The second wave of migration, Eggen said, comprised of mostly refugees from war-torn countries or victims of political oppression, such Iraq, Iran, Palestine and Somalia...