This past week has been surreal. I’ve been in a constant haze of shock and sadness. I can honestly say there are no more tears in my eyes. It’s been hard to go to work and cover the aftermath. The footage, the victims, the gunman, the comments… Very emotional.
I strongly recommend you watch this video.
I’m proud that all Norwegians have come together after the attacks. Imams and priests walk hand in hand – it shows that no matter one’s cultural or religious backgrounds, in this country we are all Norwegians. The accused terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, wants to declare war against what he calls “the Islamization of Europe”. American news outlets were quick to analyse the situation as a right vs. left issue in their own context of republicans vs. democrats, Americans vs. terrorists. I must say in Norway, patriotism is very much separated from religion – hardly any political parties and politicians wave the Bible in order to sway voters. Breivik is a coldblooded psycopath, and though he declares himseld as a Christian, this is not a Christian vs. Muslim debate. And it’s not correct to use the term “Norway’s 9/11”. This was a domestic terror attack carried out by one single man. He shot and killed his own people. There is no justification of that. I don’t care that the rest of the world want to implement their of fear of muslims into this context – we as a Norwegian people are standing together stronger after this. The Norwegian muslims held their own memorial at the Central Jamaat Ahle Sunnat mosque on Friday, were our PM Jens Stoltenberg and Oslo bishop Ole Christian Kvarme also attended.
I want to be clear that this blogpost is about honoring a nation coming together for peace, and not about bashing those who do not understand. I’ve seen discussions on US newssites that are in favor of more people carrying guns, the death penalty and close our borders. I disagree on all accounts. If everybody were to carry guns, at what point can you justify one person to draw its weapon? Seeing a “suspicious” person? Anxiety attack? If one person starts shooting, it would turn into an inferno. I would personally NOT feel safe if I knew the person next to me on the bus had a gun.
Instead, let’s take a moment and remember those who were taken away from us way too soon. Here’s to a democratic nation with justice and liberty for all. Not just the white and the rich.