(JTA) — Two leading Norwegian Muslims blamed Jewish influence for Christian hostility to Muslims.
Nehmat Ali Shah, the imam at Norway’s largest mosque, and Ghulam Sarwar, the mosque’s chairman, told the daily Dagsavisen that the fear Jews instilled in others explained fraught Muslim-Jewish relations as well as the Holocaust.
Jewish influence caused Norwegians to have a negative view of Islam, the men said in an interview at Oslo’s Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat mosque, which has over 5,000 members.
“People are ignorant because they get their information from the media, and the media only write negatively about Islam," said Ali Shah. "Judaism has a better grip on the media.”
He added: “The Jews control the media and that’s detrimental.”
Sarwar, agreeing, referred to "The Innocence of Muslims," an anti-Muslim film produced by an Egyptian American Christian Copt.
“A handful of people without means were behind the movie about Mohammed in the U.S. So who was financing them?” he said.
Jewish-Muslim relations have “never been good,” Sarwar said.
Asked why not, he replied: “Why did the Germans kill them? One reason is that they make other peoples fear them.” He called Jews “not a simple people.”
Sarwar said he thought there were few Jews in the world. “I read that seven million Jews were killed in World War II, so there are not many today,” he was quoted as saying. They attained their presumed power “through media and education,” he said.
Ali Shah also said that only some Jews, not all, “ruined things,” adding that “dialogue is very important to us.”