My Sympathy to Jewish People When I Read the Constitution of 1814

I’m going out to go to the school in a semi-dark Scandinavian morning with the lovely snow shower. After a few minutes I arrive the school while wondering what my colleague would have prepared for the new sociology lecture today. I grab a cup of coffee and go to the class. My colleague is preparing the overhead projector to show the pages of a book on the screen. My curiousity lead me to the desk where the overhead projector is already has been set up. The book is the Norwegian constitution, including the first edition and the amended ones.

In less than five minutes the second paragraph of the constitution which was written in 1814 catches my attention. In 1814, the Norwegian constitution was written to declare an independent Norway out of the hands of Denmark.

The following is what the second Article -paragraph- of the first edition of the constitution says:

“The Evangelical-Lutheran religion remains the public religion of the State. Those inhabitants, who confess thereto, are bound to raise their children to the same. Jesuits and monastic orders are not permitted. Jews are still prohibited from entry to the realm.”

The second paragraph of the Norwegian constitution written in 1814.

The last sentence in the paragraph shows that even under the Danish kingdom, the Jewish people were been prosecuted. Later on, in 1851, the last sentence about the Jewish people was annulled.

Frankly, I did not know this and that is why it surprised me a lot. Obviously, the Jewish people have gone through many different kinds of harsh treatment and experienced horrible things. The Kurds have gone through similar harsh treatments too and that is why it touched me in the first glance. Sympathy!

I and my colleague who prepared the lecture were clearly sad and sighed, then began the day.

About the Author
Ramyar Hassani is a human rights observer and journalist covering the Kurdish struggle from the field and office. He was born in Sanandaj (Sine in Kurdish), in Eastern Kurdistan, the part of Kurdistan that has been attached to Iran.
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