There is, however, one exraordinary clause: Article II proclaims freedom of religion in the Lutheran state, with the caveat that “Jews shall still be banned from entering the Realm.” This was peculiar, evwn at the time. Napoleon, defeated in that same year, had secured civil rights for Jews in the countries he had conquered. And just before the clause entered Norwegian law, the King of Denmark had granted citizenship to Jews in his realm.
What is most interesting about Norway's 1814 constitution is not that it contains this clause, but why. The stated motives of the intellectuals who created it were not racist; they did not assume Jews to be biologically inferior. Rather, the question was argued in terms of culture and faith, with Jewish beliefs and customs deemed incompatible with modern, enlightened Western values.
The parallels with current notions about Muslims and Islam hardly need to be pointed out. Now, too, the Enlightenment is often invoked as shorthand for the Western values that are supposedly in danger of “Islamization.”
There are populist demagougues in the West who would ban the Koran and prohibit Muslims from immigrating to their countries. But thay are not yet in the majority. Yet even mainstream poliitcians, sometimes for the best of reasons, are in danger of making the same kinds of mistakes as the member of the 1814 Norwegian Constituent Assembly.
*1:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20061021/1161440194 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20080418/1208455455 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20110829/1314543718 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130806/1375761335 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130930/1380479628 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20131002/1380642004