Lately I have not posted as much here as I normally would. I have periods where activity goes up and down and frankly I must say that after the terror attacks on Oslo and Utøya almost 1 month ago, my mind has been elsewhere than with parties and fun.
It has been a time of reflections and processing.
Although I am lucky enough that none of my friends nor family has lost their lives or was hurt in the events, I still know a lot of people who knew someone that lost their lives or were injured in the attacks. Even if my closest were not hurt – some of theirs were and it brings it all closer to me as well.
Norway has reacted in a very special – and heartwarming way.
Media all over the world are impressed with how Norwegians have reacted to the Terror Attacks – uniting all citizens against terrorism – including any rase, color, group and religion.
I am also impressed by this heartwarming reaction. I have also become thoroughly affected and reacted just like most of the others. Feeling a huge need to know as much as possible, and care and be cared about during this period.
However our situation has not been the same as the terror attacks on f.ex. 9/11 in USA. A Norwegian was to blame for these sick actions. Hence we could not turn outwards for someone to blame. We could not direct our rage against someone else… In a way we were forced to react with Love and Unity. Because any other reaction would probably shatter the society as we knew it. We would have probably torn ourselves apart by directing hate and frustration on eachother.
Compassion is a word that has been used often. We show compassion for all those that lost someone, for the victims that were hurt in the attacks. Even towards tragedies abroad Norwegians have shown greater will to give after these terrible.
What I ask myself now, and I know others have asked this question as well, is: What would have happened if the responsible was not a native norwegian, but a foreign Terrorist Group? How would we have reacted then?
Other countries have been attacked by Terrorists throughout the times, some react with hatred – we will get the resposible and punish them hard !! We will start a war to venge these actions! Hard words and hard counter actions has been set into effect.
Would we have reacted to these incidents with the same heartwarming ways of including everyone living in our country? Would we still have been able to show the world that we would not react with hatered and exclusion like others have demonstrated so many times when attacked from the outside?
I am very thankful that Norway has reacted the way we did, but I am not certain that we would have been any better than any other nation that would have been under attack from the outside – condemning the responsible and declaring vengance. I am not certain we would have been able to see past rase, color and religion.
If the threat was still out there, not behind bars, every man / or woman, would be a suspect. In case of threat still being out there maybe we too would let hatred and thoughts of vengance grow.
However with the responsible behind bars we feel that the threat has been shattered and the fear will die in our hearts. This allows us to react differently from other nations and we all show eachother that we care about eachother as humans, we show eachother compassion in the streets. We grieve others lost ones with them.
But we should not forget, and we should be careful to declare ourselves morally above nations due to the way we have reacted. If we were in their shoes we may as well have reacted as them.
We can allow ourselves to react the way we did because there are noone out there to seek vengance against, noone we need to protect ourselves against, noone running loose that the hatred can build a wall to protect us against. We are so infinately caring and giving becasue the threat is locked up behind bars.
That is really not so much to love ourselves for.
(from Gunnars blog)
Directly after the attacks – people were quick on drawing conclusions – this had to be Al-Quaeda, a terrorist group related to Al-Quaeda even claimed they were behind the attack, days after we started hearing stories about muslims in the street being chased away by angry natives. Once we learned that the responsible man was arrested, we also learned that he was a native norwegian. One of “our own”.
We learned that he had written a book (a so called manifest, but I refuse to recognize it as such as the word manifest is more positively charged) to defend his actions, to describe his belifs and why he saw it as necessary to perform such horrible acts. We learned that he had written a diary where he has described all his preparations, details of the planning and thoughts he has had in justifying what he had just done. We also learned that the first ideas about these Terror Attacks were born in his head more than 9 years ago. He has spent the 2 last years documenting his thoughts.
We learned that he has a twisted vision of how to live life in modern Europe.
We learned that he thinks he is a Knights Templar. We learned that he thinks he is a strictly religious and conservative man.
We learned that he thinks he is leading a holy war against Islam and that he wants Europe to be islam free.
We learned that he wants our Europe to be a state of conservative religious views – where people that lived according to a demoralizing life style (mentioned here the TV Show: Sex in the city) should be placed in different zones so that they would not demoralize those living in harmony with his religious and national views.
We learned through time about him that he can grieve a mouse that he killed by accident, but he shows no sympathy for the 77 persons he killed brutally..
He wanted to save the world from moral and religious decay – but who is he to think he is above law and religion?
What strikes me as surprising is that he was so good at hiding what he did – that none of his friends or family had even the tiniest suspicion to the cruelty of his plans …
Norway does not have death sentences. Nor do we have life sentences. Our maximum punishment is 21 years in prison. He can be charged for crime against humanity – which may give him 30 years.
However in his biography he has described that he will be planning to escape from prison if cought and that he will spend time to plan new attacks at any time later.
What we do have in Norway is the punishment of Involuntary commitment. If he gets a sentence of 21 or 30 years, he will also very likely be sentenced with a punishment of Involuntary commitment. This means that he will probably spend the rest of his life in prison after all. If the chance of a possible repetition is present – he will not be released.
The Terrorists greatest fear is the multicultural society. No matter HOW short or long his emprisonment will be – our leaders said these words in reaction to the Terrorism:
We will punish him. Each and one of us. We will punish him with more freedom of speech, a more open society, humanity, more democracy and more love.
It sounds great and for now, marketing analysis shows that we manage to live up to this ideal. Maybe something good comes out of all this horror after all?