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The long aftermath of the Breivik case

18.04.2012  |  15:44

Muslims ought to know that they cannot fully live by the customs of their ancestors: Norway is a different country. Right-wing radicals have to understand that a person with a different skin colour and different traditions is not necessarily an enemy. And those who have come to Norway from a different country are not necessarily occupiers

In Norway, the most well-documented process in the history of this upright northern nation has begun. In the dock - the ultra right wing radical Andreas Breivik, who stands accused of last summer's murder of 77 people. News of the trial has gone beyond Norway's borders. The Breivik trial has forced people to start discussing the fact that the problem between natives of Europe and its immigrants (particularly Muslims) has gone too far. What took place in Oslo on the 22nd July 2011 was difficult to believe.

The slaughter happened in one of the quietest and most innocuous countries in the world, where doors are by no means locked up at night and where farmers leave a bucket of potatoes at the roadside for passing travellers. What is Norway's true identity? Fjords, the Northern Lights, the cleanest air around, sea products. The great travellers, Fritoff Nansen, Raoul Ammundsen, Tur Heerdal. Its cultural figures; Edward Grieg, Knut Gamsun. And now we can add yet another name to the list, the dreadful name of Andreas Breivik. It all began with the defendant preparing and detonating an explosive device next to the government quarter of Oslo, which killed 8 people.

Next, Breivik changed into a policeman's uniform and went off to the island of Utoya where he turned his attention to a camp for the ruling Worker's Party of Norway. He coolly shot 69 people. It seemed at first as though the tragedy was the work of some kind of Islamist, but it later became clear; 32 year old Andreas Breivik, a native Norwegian, was behind it all. In the course of the whole process it became clear that the criminal stuck to his ultra right-wing views and came out in favour of the purification of Norway from its immigrants.

The targets should have been Jens Stoltenberg and his supporters from the Worker's Party. Why? Because they display too much loyalty towards people from African and Asian countries. Moreover,

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the leftists have traditionally harshly criticised the nationalists. Therefore (according to Breivik's logic) they needed to be shot.

. Preparations for Breivik's trial have been underway for some months now. Such a crime has never been committed by anybody in the history of Norway. They have forbidden Breivik from having any correspondence or contact with relatives. Breivik has been found guilty under Article 147 of the Norwegian Criminal Act ("Terrorism and Terrorist Activity") which carries a punishment of up to 21 years in prison.

It is also possible that he could be found guilty of crimes against humanity, in which case Breivik will be sentenced to 30 years. Interest in the case has been colossal. It's understandable; there are plenty of people who hold such views, not only Breivik, in other countries of Europe. Levels of tension between native Europeans and immigrants has gone off the scale. This is why 16th April is an anticipated day for all continents. There were so many journalists trying to get into the court in Oslo that they had to form a queue. Finally, the hearing has begun.

Whilst material from the case was read out by the prosecutor, those sitting in the hall wept and sobbed. Breivik's face showed no emotion. He did not admit to his guilt.

The defendant behaved in exactly the same way when they showed shots of Breivik in the centre of Oslo, carrying out the first explosion. He showed not a shadow of repentance. But nevertheless, the "monster" started to cry. it occurred just as they began to show last year's video, in which Breivik justified his future crime. In it he discussed the dangers of Islam and Marxism, admiring the Crusaders of the Middle Ages. "Before we start our crusade we need to wipe our cultural Marxism," goes a line at the end of the shot. The viewing is not for the faint-hearted.

There are bound to be many such like it in the next session. Breivik is expected to be sentenced on 22nd July, on the anniversary of the terrorist-attacks in Oslo. However, there remains the crucial question as to whether or not Breivik's trial will be conducted as a criminal who has been driven to such a life. It would be interesting to hear, and would provoke witnesses from the Norwegian government. Ministers would be bound to have something to say about it. The issue is that for years the Norwegian government has done nothing to alleviate relations between native Norwegians and immigrants, particularly Muslims.

By the end of the 1960s, the kingdom was practically mono-ethnic, but the government subsequently invited immigrants from African and Asian countries, who were presented as cheap labour. But along with cheap labour, problems appeared. The government preferred not to notice that the immigrants' customs and traditions (particularly those from Muslim countries) differed widely from those accepted in Norway. Single sex marriages, low levels of religious adherence, and even the consumption of pork irritated the newcomers.

They preferred to settle separately, live according to their own traditions and not to integrate into Norwegian society. But at the same time they wanted to live comfortably, since unemployment benefits in Norway are very high and you can live for years on end without doing anything. As a result 80 000 Muslims now live in Norway, along with many tens of thousands of Christian immigrants and followers of other religions. Today every third citizen of Oslo is not Norwegian.

One out of two immigrants does not speak Norwegian. What is the reason for this? After all, everybody can speak English. The government would have to apply 'soft power', but it has not done so. With the full knowledge of the government the region of Groruddalen in Oslo has become an example of the incompatibility of the two cultures. In recent years it has been abandoned by three thousand Norwegians.

And this is all because the immigrant Muslims did not allow them to live the life they were used to - for example, they would prevent schoolchildren from eating pork sandwiches. So a person such as Breivik with an unstable psyche could easily come to feel that his homeland was undergoing an insidious occupation. Moreover, the radical preacher who goes by the name of mullah Krekar has been living trouble free in Norway for twenty years. In his words, "Osama bin Laden is a respectable man." And he has threatened Europe with an Islamic invasion; "We have come to change you. Look at how the population of Europe is expanding.

The number of Muslims is growing like swarms of mosquitoes. In 2050 thirty percent of the population of Europe will be Muslims." He has been to Iraq several times, where he fought among radical Islamists. But it was only in March 2012 that he was put on trial. And they only did that after a group of internet home-grown Islamists threatened to kill Prince Haakon and the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Surprisingly, the head of the Norwegian government is hated equally by both Islamists and by Breivik.

This dreadful act of his showed that if they were to pussy-foot around the issue of relationships with immigrants any further, it might end in tragedy. But it is not enough to put one radical on trial. There must be the type of cleansing which would result in an unfavourable environment for the appearance of other radicals.

Natives of Muslim countries ought to know that they cannot fully live by the customs of their ancestors: Norway is a different country with its own customs. And right-wing radicals have to understand that a person with a different skin colour and different traditions is not necessarily an enemy. And those who have come to Norway from a different country are not necessarily occupiers. Only the example of the mullah Krekar shows completely the opposite.

When these people speak on behalf of the Islamic community, the number of Breiviks will only increase. Many moderate Muslims asked the government to introduce measures against the radical preacher. And in order that they be accepted, the tragedy had to happen in Oslo. The trial of Breivik poses an array questions.

It is unlikely that all these questions will be answered satisfactorily. And not only for Norway, but for the whole of Europe. Pavel Chernyshev Pravda.Ru  Read the original in Russian  .



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