Illegal to Give Land for Reykjavík Mosque?

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Illegal to Give Land for Reykjavík Mosque?

By Alëx Elliott
Reykjavík mosque

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Brynjar Níelsson, lawyer and Member of Parliament for the Independence Party, says it is simply illegal to give plots of land away to religious groups.

The City of Reykjavík recently gave the Muslim Association of Iceland land on which to build the country’s first purpose-built mosque.

Brynjar made his claim in an opinion column for Pressan, and on Bylgjan radio.

Brynjar believes that it is crystal clear and that people need do nothing more than read the laws of the land. “This isn’t a question of some sort of equality rule. It is our responsibility, according to the constitution, to protect the National Church of Iceland. We have rules on how it is run and what it has to do. And one cannot transfer that over to other religious organizations or to just any religion. You’ll have to create special laws for that.”

Brynjar points out that the National Church has a variety of legal responsibilities to fulfill, which other religious groups do not.

“It is just the same as with various other organizations with legally binding roles. They get paid by the national treasury, but it doesn’t mean that all have that right. There is an unbelievable misunderstanding which I really don’t know how it got started."

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