Closing the week 29 – Featuring Breivik: One Year After
Most popular on Closer this week:
- Van praktijk naar publieke actie: niet-vasten tijdens de vasten
- Islamophobia and the Politics of Hate in Europe – Liz Fekete
- Ramadan in Europe – A Youtube Essay I: First Day
Featuring One Year After Breivik
Rest In Peace, Mona Abdinur – Utøya 22. juli 2011
Daily Kos: ….and there was LOVE
This girl of Bosnian origin survived by swimming away from Utøya, allthough she didn´t consider herself a good swimmer and the water was very cold (she got eventually picked up by a boat). Her father who had experienced the Serbian bombings of Sarajevo used to forever thankful for having found refugee in a peaceful and functional country and it was of couse surreal for him that his daughter should experience a grave terror attack in Norway. Like many others who was at Utøya she sent SMS to her family in the middle of the attack when she still didn´t know what was happening or whether she would survive.
Bano Rashid, 18, was among the 69 people who died in a shooting spree by Anders Behring Breivik at a Labour youth camp on Utøya island on 22 July 2011. Days later she was the first victim to be laid to rest. A year on, her sister Lara, who survived the attack, and her parents, who had brought the family to Norway from Iraq in search of peace, are trying to cope with their loss.
Anders Behring Breivik, an anti-Muslim extremist, is accused of killing 77 people in an Oslo bombing and a shooting rampage at a summer camp for young political activists on July 22, 2011. Learn more about the victims by clicking on the images below.
Learning From Norway’s Tragedy – NYTimes.com
As Norway’s foreign minister, I have been frequently confronted with these questions over the past year. Without prejudice to the ongoing legal proceedings, I believe these are key questions. How we, as independent nations and as an international community, should fight violent political extremism is at the heart of politics in the 21st century. I also believe that Norway’s experience after the attack has important lessons that may be relevant beyond our borders.
As the trial of Anders Behring Breivik opened in Oslo last week, a friend e-mailed from New York with a question: Was it not a bit weird, he asked, that officers of the court took time to shake his hand, offering courtesy, deference even, to a man who had openly boasted of killing 77 people last summer in Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity?
Professor of Anthropology, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, told Dagsavisen about the King’s fourth visit to the area in less than a month that, “Groruddalen has long been considered as a stepchild in Norwegian society.”
“The fact the King is travelling here at this time is a clear message from the Royal family about the kind of society they want. One might quote the King’s grandfather, King Haakon, who said, ‘I am also the Communists’ King’. King Harald is doing something similar. In this way, he is showing that he is king for all people.”
The legal procedure in the case of Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the Norwegian massacre of July 2011, is a case-study of democratic values – in particular, that democracy is not a “what” but a “how”, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen.
“The bomb and the shots were intended to change Norway. People responded by embracing our values. He failed, the people won,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told the crowds, carrying red and white roses at the memorial in central Oslo.
The prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, says the massacre has not succeeded in changing Norway and the Norwegian people. Stoltenberg spoke at a memorial service on Sunday, attended by members of the royal family, on the first anniversary of the attacks in Oslo and Utøya in which Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and injured hundreds more
Populist right-wing politicians expressing extreme views on immigration, Islam and Muslims, have in general been confronted in the mediated public spheres to a much greater extent than before 22/7, as have extreme-right wingers. But how much else has moved on?
In the speech, flagged by the website Loonwatch, Hirsi Ali noted that she herself appeared in Breivik’s 1,500-word manifesto (Breivik reprinted a European right-wing article saying Hirsi Ali should win the Nobel Peace Prize). While she denounced Breivik’s views as an “abhorrant” form of “neo-fascism,” she then postulated that Breivik was driven to violence because his militant anti-multicultural views were not given a fair airing in the public discourse.
Norway on Sunday paused to commemorate the 77 victims of a bomb and gun massacre that shocked the peaceful nation one year ago, a tragedy that the prime minister said had brought Norwegians together in defense of democracy and tolerance.
As soon as it became clear that the perpetrator was a white Norwegian guy with some nativist and Wilders’ Freedom Party sympathies another game emerged. The link with Wilders’ ideology and rhetoric was immediately picked up by his opponents. Well first I should add that as soon as it appeared that the shooter was a blonde white guy the staunch anti-racists of the conservative and liberal right wing stated that this did not mean it wasn’t a Muslim and people discussed the alledged radical outlook of converts. After that proved to be nonsense in this case, the debate on the Internet turned to Wilders and his ideology. His supporters denying any responsibility by Wilders for the terrible attacks. A minority however, after the condemning the attack when they still thought it was Al Qaeda, were actually supporting the attacks for example by stating: ‘As things turn out now, the perpertrator is a right wing extremist. In that case the attack is the only correct answer to a totalitarian leftist state where right wing people are silenced‘. Another person stated on his photoshop blog (where he frequently attacks left wing and Muslim politicians in satirical photoshops) that the perpetrator should enlist in a new course: “Choosing sensible targets as an anti-islamist” thereby showing a picture of, what appears to be, an attack on the Kaaba in Mecca and the people who go there to the Hajj“. Satire of course. But these people constitute a minority as far as I can tell. Others condemn the attacks and as far as I can tell now most Freedom Party supporters I know abhor the attacks. The reactions on Twitter and Facebook however are starting to resemble the reactions towards (salafiyyah) Muslims after the murder on Van Gogh in 2004.
It is important I think to see how his ideas (but not his actions) not only are derived from bloggers and politicians but also who they resonate with and are grounded on a grassroots everyday level. I also think the Netherlands can give some clues to that and is relevant here since Breivik partly derived his inspiration from Wilders’ Freedom Party ideology. In this blog therefore I will present some material of the Dutch section of the Ethnobarometer research in which we held focus group discussions on issues of security and culture after 9/11, the murder of Van Gogh and the French riots and Muhammad Cartoons. The research was conducted in 2005 and 2006 and the focus groups consisted all of both Moroccan-Dutch and native Dutch citizens of Gouda (except one group that was a moderate right wing group of native Dutch citizens). We did not aim for a representative sample but for an even division with regard to age, gender and political preferences. I will focus mostly here on the statements of the native Dutch participants. It shows how people struggle with tolerance on the one hand (seen as an important part of Dutch identity) and fear of Islamization and Muslims on the other hand expressed by different modalities of culture talk. While in the case of Bawer, Breilvik and Wilders the presence of Islam and Muslims are seen as the cause of conflict and by definition leading to conflicts, the Ethnobarometer research also revealed mechanisms that can de-escalate conflicts.