Trouble in Valhalla? New ‘Soldiers of Allah’ set to counter ‘infidel’ ‘Soldiers of Odin’ in Norway
“In response to the infidel group Soldiers of Odin patrols, we Muslims have chosen to create a group that will patrol the streets, first in Oslo, to prevent evil and encourage the good,” an Islamist-linked source told the Norwegian newspaper VG.
The group is said to call itself “Jundullaah,” which is translated as “Soldiers of Allah.”
A purported member of the group sent VG a photo of what they said their official uniform would look like – black hoodies with the black flag of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terror group.
The Norwegian Police Security Service has declined to comment on the establishment of the Islamist group, the Local reports.
Hadia Tajik, the Norwegian Labour Party’s deputy leader, condemned the creation of both Islamist and far-right patrol groups.
“Vigilantism does not belong in Norway, whether they do it in the name of Odin or Allah. I assume that the police, who are the only ones who have the authority to patrol the streets and use force, are following these groups as closely as the circumstances require,” she said as cited by VG.
Ronny Alte, a spokesman for “Soldiers of Odin,” who are named after the main ancient Norse God, pointed out that the two groups are fundamentally different, saying that it is not valid to compare them.
“When it comes to ‘Odin’s soldiers’ and ‘Allah soldiers,’ so we have two completely different starting points. We want safe streets but they want to use coercion and oppression. That they use a word like ‘infidel’ to describe us really forces a reaction from me. What will they do – force us to convert?”
“That they say they want to patrol for ‘the good’ means nothing. What is good for us and what is good for them are two different things,” he added.
Alte’s remarks are said to have angered many members of the group, some of which have decided to disassociate themselves from him, as some of the comments the spokesman made speculating on a possible clash between the groups could damage the image of the “Soldiers of Odin,” the news portal Vepsen reports.
The “Soldiers of Odin” first emerged in mid-February, when they began patrolling the streets of the southern Norwegian town of Tonsberg. The group received backlash from several local residents, however, who said they the added security was unnecessary. Since that time, the patrols have been seen in some other Norwegian towns: Stavanger, Drammen, and Kristiansand.
“We want the streets to be safe, we want to get rid of the delinquency we see in Norway today, which the police are unable to address,” Alte told AFP in describing the aims of the group on Monday.