The Muslims of Norway

Islam and Multiculturalism Under Attack

Courtesy Reuters

Last Friday’s terrorist attacks by Anders Behring Breivik against Norway’s central government district and a political youth camp of the Labor Party targeted not only the Norwegian political system but the very idea behind Norway’s multicultural society and, in particular, the place of Muslims within it.

Muslim immigrants, mainly from Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey, first began arriving in Norway in the late 1960s and early 1970s in search of employment. Norway did not actively recruit Muslims, as Germany and other European countries did, but the arrival of these so-called guest workers coincided with a growing need for labor. Although the Norwegian government halted work-related immigration in 1975, immigrants continued to arrive throughout the next decade by seeking family reunification and political asylum from oppressive Muslim-majority countries. During the 1990s, Norway welcomed a large influx of Muslim refugees from various conflicts, including the Gulf War and the struggle in

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