From Iceland — Police Officer Wants Limits On Immigrants' Right To Privacy

Police Officer Wants Limits On Immigrants’ Right To Privacy

Published November 28, 2014

"Biggi the cop", famous through Youtube, also claims Christians are discriminated against

"Biggi the cop", famous through Youtube, also claims Christians are discriminated against

Police officer Birgir Örn Guðjónsson, colloquially known as Biggi the cop, wrote an article, published in Fréttablaðið/Vísir on Thursday, under a title which may be loosely translated as “The Forbidden Article”. Birgir shares an anecdote about a man “of foreign origin” who, reportedly, would not allow his wife out to party, and claims that this shows the need “to wonder whether the cultures of those who come here are always their private matter.”

The article is vague as to which information should, according to the officer, be made public. Its appearance shortly after the leak of confidential documents about one Tony Omos, from Nigeria, led to the resignation of the Minister of the Interior, may, however, provide some context.

“Fastest growing church in Iceland”

The officer starts his article by claiming that “the church of political correctness” is probably “the fastest growing church” in Iceland. Birgir contends that “political correctness” dictates that such diverse groups as “muslims, heathens, those who don’t believe at all” and leftists are seen as “great, peace-loving and broad-minded supporters of progress”. Everyone, he says, except Christians, who, according to Birgir, are seen as “narrow-minded extremist, right-wing reactionaries”.

The police officer then goes on to claim that people who “ask if increased immigration could be problematic”, as well as those who ask if “we can or should accept all asylum seekers who arrive here” are “shot down”.

The story about the foreign chauvinist

The longest paragraph in Birgir’s article, however, is an anecdote from his job, as a police officer. Birgir recounts how he was once sent to an apartment, after neighbors called to complain about noises heard from there. Birgir says that when the police arrived, they met with a man “of foreign origin” and an Icelandic woman. The woman had wanted to go out clubbing, while the man had forbidden her to do so. As they continued talking, Birgir says that he was surprised to find that the man considered this to be his right. In the officer’s words: “When I told him that he could not keep her indoors, he looked at me and said, surprised: “Yes of course. I am her husband.” I was shocked by how surprised he was that he could not do this. He found it absolutely normal.” Birgir says that he went on to explain the relevant Icelandic legislation to the man. “He said he understood,” writes Birgir, adding: “but I wondered how thoroughly he did”.

The lesson that Birgir offers, based on his own anecdote, seems to be that immigrants’ rights to privacy should be limited. He writes: “After a case like this, it is perhaps not out of the ordinary to wonder whether the cultures of those who come here are always their private matter.”

Concluding the article, Birgir adds that the above story “perhaps shows” how “these issues can be complex and hard to handle”.

Biggi the brand

Birgir has become known, through recent years, for his YouTube videos, in which, wearing a uniform, he gives words of advice on various issues, ranging from traffic rules to self-help. In the clips, Birgir is often seen smiling broadly, while he asks people to do the same, not least while driving. One video, seen below, included members of a Methodist church, who sang a hymn in the background of a bus, while Birgir spoke and smiled. The videos are published through the account of the Reykjavík area police.

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