In an address delivered in English in Norway, Fahad Qureshi, founder of the Norwegian Islam Net organization, said that it was 'normal' Muslims, not just radical extremists, who supported the death penalty for homosexuals and stoning for adulterers. When he asked who supported the punishments prescribed in the Koran, the vast majority of those present raised their hands.
Following are excerpts from the address, which was posted on the Internet on May 19, 2013:
Fahad Qureshi: "Every now and then, every time we have a conference, every time we invite a speaker, [the media] always comes with the same accusations: This speaker supports the death penalty for homosexuals, this speaker supports the death penalty for this crime or that crime, that he is homophobic, that he subjugates women... It's the same old stuff coming all of the time.
"We always try to tell them... I always try to tell them that it is not that speaker that we are inviting who has these 'extreme radical views,' as you say. These are general views that every Muslim actually has. Every Muslim believes in these things. Just because they are not telling you about it, or just because they are not out there in the media, doesn't mean that they don't believe in them.
"I will ask you, everyone in the room: How many of you are normal Muslims – not extremists, not radical – just normal Sunni Muslims? Please, raise your hands. Everybody, with the grace of God. Okay, take down your hands.
"How many of you agree that men and women should sit separately? Please raise your hands. Everyone agrees, brothers as well as sisters. So it's not just these 'radical' sheiks, then?"
Next question: "How many of you agree that the punishments described in the Koran and the Sunna – whether it is death, whether it is stoning for adultery, whatever it is... If it is from Allah and His Messenger, that is the best punishment ever possible for humankind, and that is what we should apply in the world. Who agrees with that?
"Allah Akbar. Are you all radical extremists? So all of you are saying that you are common Muslims, you all go to different mosques in Norway... Or are you a specific sect, like the Islam Net sect, or anything like that? Are you like that? No. Are you like that? Please raise your hand if you are like that extreme Islam, that sect, or anything like that? No one, Allah Akbar.
"How many of you go to the normal Sunni mosques in Norway? Please raise your hands. Allah Akbar. What are the politicians going to say now? What is the media going to say now? That we are all extremists? That we are all radicals? That we all need to be deported from this country?" [...]