The 'Thought Police' Come to Norway


No matter whom you listened to, the inviolability of the Koran seemed to matter more than the authority of the Constitution. In defense of Bjørnland's novel interpretation of criminal law, Martin Bernsen, a senior official of the PST, the agency in charge of Norway's national security, argued that burning copies of the Koran can trigger acts of violence. Under this kind of logic, of course - the so-called heckler's veto - any statement or action whatsoever that just might antagonize violence-prone Muslims should presumably be treated as illegal, whereas burning, say, any number of copies of the Talmud or Bible is no problem, since Jews and Christians are not in the habit of responding to such actions with mass acts of savage bloodshed.