Skip to comments.Norway searches political soul on immigration after Breivik killings
Posted on 08/02/2011 9:13:35 PM PDT by marktwain
When Anders Breivik finally put his plan for mass murder into action in Norway last week, it didnt take long for anyone with whom he had claimed to have a connection or share a political platform to disavow any relationship with him.
Britains radical English Defense League said it had never heard of Breivik, despite Breiviks claims to the contrary in his now widely distributed, 1500-page manifesto, prompting British Prime Minister David Cameron to call for an investigation into a possible foreign connection in the Norway attacks.
Geert Wilders of the right-wing Dutch Freedom Party tweeted his denunciation of Breivik, while Germanys Pro-Deutschland group compared Breiviks motivation with those of the Islamic assassins that he had claimed to be targeting.
As far-right parties across Europe have tried to distance themselves from Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing Progress Party, which shares his anti-immigration stance and of which Breivik is a former member, also put out a statement: The horrible and cowardly attacks weve witnessed are contrary to the principles and values underpinning Norwegian society, party head Siv Jensen said.
Despite their reputation as a non-radical, conservative political party, unlike some of the other fringe groups which disavowed Breiviks actions, it will be difficult for the Progress Party to remove the taint of their association with the killer, said Yngve Carlsson of the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities . The Progress Party will see a backlash from voters in the September elections, he said.
Norway has very little in the way of nationalist and neo-Nazi movements compared to other countries in Europe, and even neighboring Sweden and Denmark, said Magnus Norell, an expert on terrorism at the Swedish Defense Research Agency. Right wing extremism in Norway is virtually non-existent. If you had asked me where this might have happened a week ago, Norway would have been at the bottom of our list of potential targets, because it just doesnt exist in Norway, said Norell.
Nonetheless Norway has long been undergoing a heated discussion of its policy of multiculturalism and the ramifications of mass immigration into the country. The popularity of the Progress Party, which now occupies the second place in the countrys congress, is linked to the rising tide of immigrants in Oslo and a reaction it by many Norwegians.
For Breivik, the group turned out to be too liberal, and ultimately his frustration against the party partially fueled his violent attack against the government district and Utoya, a youth camp that hosted many of the nations future political leaders, on Friday.
Norways problems with multiculturalism date back into the 1980s, when refugees and students came in droves to the country in part due to a lax immigration policy. The Muslim population in the country as a whole have grown modestly, making up around three percent of the countrys population. But in Oslo, the number is more than double that and many Muslims are grouped together in poorer districts, which some cite as evidence that the goal of creating a multicultural society in Norway has failed.
His views concerning immigration and Muslims and the multicultural society, theyre not fringe views. It isnt that the police were not looking hard enough, its simply that his publically stated views were similar to many other peoples, said Norell.
Others say that Norwegian societys stance has been creeping to the right since the beginning of the anti-immigration debate in the country, and what were once considered extreme views are now considered mainstream.
What is scary about this is that if you look past this act of extreme terror and the pain that this man has inflicted on so many lives in Norway, you see that his politics are no longer that extreme for Norway, and that is dangerous, said Aslak Sira Myhre, a liberal commentator and former politician.
In the east of Oslo yesterday, in the Central Jam-e-Mosque, a memorial service was held for the victims of Breiviks massacre. Among the panel of speakers was Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stone and Oslo bishop Ole Cristian Maelen Kvarme. The memorial and the government presence was, in part, a way of reconnecting the communities after much of Norway suspected that Muslims stood behind the attacks in the first place, as well as a way to show support for the Muslim communities that Breivik was targeting.
It was unfortunate to see that reaction [to the terrorist attack], said the mosques imam Najeeb Naz, but what you see in this mosque tonight is the answer to that problem. Everybody under one roof.
Myhre said that the tragedy may lead to a severe reduction of anti-immigration rhetoric in Norwegian politics in the short term. As a society, we have crossed the line, he said. Hopefully this tragedy will be useful in that for some time it will become impossible in Norway to use the sort of rhetoric that has become more and more widespread in the past decades.
In short, I don't see anything new here.
There is no soul in politics - that's the problem.
When Anders Breivik finally put his plan for mass murderIf the killing of scores of people in a murderous rampage is "mass murder," what do we call the killing of millions by governments such as the Nazis, Soviets, Red Chinese, and Pol Pot?
"Words mean things." But if there isn't a word for what you are trying to understand . . .
Right wing extremism in Norway is virtually non-existent."Right wing extremism" is an expression which lacks explanatory power, and tends to suppress actual thought.
Certainly the action in question was extreme, that's a given. But what does "right wing" actually mean?
Other than guilt by association for anyone who's not a socialist, that is . . .
“The Norwegian Left and radical Islamists are joined at the hip.”
I could have been a bad guy and caracterized what you say with a word starting with b and ending with shit, but I’ll be nice and just say that what you say isn’t through. Norwegians being able to see the world from more angles than you, don’t mean they’re some kind of collaborators with terrorists.
“Norway’s political soul is corrupt.”
Don’t make me laugh. A statement like that coming from someone living in a country where the influence of money in elections and politics is scaring from the point of view of someone with a not so corrupt Norwegian soul.
“If the killing of scores of people in a murderous rampage is “mass murder,” what do we call the killing of millions by governments such as the Nazis, Soviets, Red Chinese, and Pol Pot?”
I think we would call it crimes against humanity or genocide.
Some people are advocating judging Breivik by the laws for crimes against humanity since that could give a higher level of sentence.
However, I think it is a better solution to try him for each and every murder. That will make it clear that he’s just a murderer. A sentence under the laws of crimes against humanity will easily give him a kind of victory, since he would then be sentenced under the laws meant for people with a political agenda.
“.....But what does “right wing” actually mean?
Other than guilt by association for anyone who’s not a socialist, that is . . .”
Certainly not. Right wing means on the right like left wing means on the left. Then there are right wing extremism and left wing extremism.
Absolutely no reason for people on the right wing in politics to feel guilty by association.
I hope you don’t mean to say that while left wing extremism exists, right wing extremis doesn’t?
Wow, this n00b is full of dazzling insights
Just curious, do you live in Norway?
Oh pleez, either you know nothing about Norwegian politics or your just stupid. This is a country who doesn’t have the political will to even deport a self-avowed Islamic terrorist who has threatened Norwegian politicians with death....oh wait he only threatened ‘right-wingers’
I wrote; “Right wing means on the right like left wing means on the left.”
You wrote; “Wow, this n00b is full of dazzling insights”
Interesting that you find it dazzling:-)
To me it’s obvious, but it doesn’t seem to be that clear to everyone posting here:-)
I may be a noob here, but I’m 57 and have had some years to form my opinions.
“Just curious, do you live in Norway?”
“Oh pleez, either you know nothing about Norwegian politics or your just stupid. This is a country who doesnt have the political will to even deport a self-avowed Islamic terrorist who has threatened Norwegian politicians with death....oh wait he only threatened right-wingers”
I suppose I know just as much about Norwegian politics as you do.
I don’t like Mullah Krekar staying here either. But, Norway is a civilized country that does not use death penalty. As a consequence of this, people is not returned to areas where they may get death penalty.
I prefer to think the civilization level of a country is shown by the way you treat those you don’t agree with.
And your point about the reason for letting him stay being that he just threatened ‘right-wingers’ is just silly.
“But, Norway is a civilized country that does not use death penalty.”
Connecting those two clauses is highly debatable, at best.
So instead of deporting the mullah you prefer to keep the cancer inside allowing it to grow & continue to harm your country & its people. This is not being civilized ,this is being suicidal.
Agreed. In the same way, it was an egregious error to accord the opposition in Iraq POW status when they were violating every tenant of the Geneva conventions when they fell into our hands. Not saying that they should necessarily have been summarily executed - but that in principle they legally could have been. The principle is that once Saddam no longer had an address, our forces were enforcing martial law until the new Iraqi government could be constituted. And any attempt on the life of a coalition soldier was a case of murder, but one under conditions of military rather than civil proceedings.
Absolutely no reason for people on the right wing in politics to feel guilty by association.
I hope you dont mean to say that while left wing extremism exists, right wing extremis doesnt?
Your position would make perfect sense in a world in which journalism was neutral, and was calling us "right wing" while calling our opponents "left wing." I don't know what color the sky would be in such a world, for although I'm no longer young I have never seen it in this one.
In this world, journalism affects to be objective but is readily shown to be simpatico with "liberal" politicians. In this world, journalists liberally apply such labels as "conservative," "right wing" or even "right wing extremist" to Republicans, and applies positive labels such as "liberal," "moderate," "centrist," etc. to Democrats. In this world journalists affect that although they identify "right wingers" by name at the drop of a hat, they absolutely never apply the term "left wing" to anyone.
So yes, "right wing" - and even, don't doubt me, "conservative" are smear labels for people whose proper label would have been "liberal" anytime before 1920. In the 1920s, the meaning of the term in America was inverted - and so by the time FDR took office he quite unselfconsciously applied the "liberal" label to himself. In America "conservative" is a negative label - and will remain so as long as hucksters positively lust after an excuse to term whatever product they are hyping "NEW!"