In some regards, the celebration of Christmas goes even further in Norway than it does in the U.S., or at least in some parts of the U.S. Because, until a generation or so ago, almost everybody in Norway was at least a nominal Christian, and because the separation of church and state is a relatively new concept in these parts. The Church of Norway was the nation's established church until this past January, and continues to be fully funded by, and to have strong ties to, the government. Christmas events at public schools still tend to have a more religious tinge than they do in public schools in the U.S., at least in religiously diverse urban areas such as New York City and Los Angeles.
It drew national attention, then, when Document.no, an online outpost of honesty about Islam, reported on November 7 that the Stigeråsen School, an elementary school in Skien (Henrik Ibsen's hometown), announced that this year that its Christmas festivities would include not only the usual reading by pupils of verses from the Bible but also a bonus -- two verses from the Koran. All of the verses in question are about Jesus, whom Islam considers a prophet, although not, of course, the Son of God.
Breaking the news of these plans, reporter Hanne Tolg noted that some such change in traditional holiday programming was probably inevitable, given that 40% of the kids at the Stigeråsen School speak Norwegian as a second language (if they speak it at all). Still, added Tolg, the whole thing was pretty bizarre, given that (a) Christmas is not an Islamic holy day, and (b) thanks to such misguided innovations, a whole generation of Norwegian children will grow up thinking "that Allah and the Koran have something to do with Christmas."In "honour" of this development, I have rejigged a Christmas standard:
It's beginning to look a lot like Islam
Ev'rywhere you go.
Take a look at that Norway school,
They're learning the Golden Rule:
"Do unto Islam what you'd like Islam to do to you."
It's beginning to look a lot like Islam.
Diversity's a blast!
But the silliest sight you'll see
Is a roomful of dhimmis
Who think that croc'll eat them last...