Michael C. Moynihan has picked up on a story which, for some reason, I don’t think will get much attention on non-conservative gay blogs. Norway’s Ministry of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion (yes, I agree the name is Orwellian) has named Mahdi Hassan the “Role Model of the Year”.
The only problem, though, is that Hassan the Role Model has a wee problem with the gays; typically something that disqualifies one from being publicly celebrated in Scandinavia. According to [Norwegian journalist Rita] Karlsen, “Hassan told the newspaper Arbeidets Rett that he wants a ban on homosexuality, based on the Koran.” Does he support the death penalty for gays? That’s “up to each individual country to decide.” Wouldn’t want to judge the wonderful diversity of Koranic interpretation, now would we?
Defending the choice, Stein Petter Løkken, leader of the Socialist Left Party in Hassan’s home kommune of Tynset opined:
There is freedom of speech in Norway and in the Tynset Socialist Left Party we consider it unproblematic that Mahdi is opposed in principle to homosexuality. It is in accordance with his religion.
For some reason, I don’t think Mr. Løkken would be saying if Mr. Hassan’s religion were Christian. But, then again, being a follower of that faith would likely disqualify him from any honors were he to have done exactly the same things he had been doing–and not harbor any animus against homosexuals.