A Norwegian response to terror

By Camilla Peace Sundvoll  of Norwegian People’s Aid and Trygve Augestad of Show Racism the Red Card Norwayhttp://www.npaid.org/en/Norway is mourning the victims of the terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya 14days ago. Friday 22 July 201 1, approximately 15.25 a terrible bomb attack took place in Oslo center at the government building. The second attack occurred less than two hours later at a youth camp organized by the youth organization (AUF) of the ruling Norwegian Labour Party (AP) on the island of Utøya in Tyrifjorden, Buskerud. A gunman disguised as a policeman opened fire and killed 69 people. In total 77 innocent people died as the result of both attacks. The two incidents were closely connected and initiated by one man.The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, 32 year-old Norwegian right-wing extremist said he acted because he wanted to send out a warning against the “increasing influx of Muslim immigrants” in Norway. According to police official Breivik didn’t belong to any known fractions in Norway’s small and splintered extreme right movement, and had no criminal record except for some minor offenses. The extreme right movement in Norway is regarded as marginal and accordingly not considered as a threat.Breivik accounted for his political views in a 1,500-page manifesto, detailing his right-wing extremist beliefs and indicating a desire for martyrdom. He has emerged as an avowed racist who also hated Muslims and wanted to free Europe of non-white, non-Christian residents. While he maintained a relatively low profile, he systematically had spent years planning the atrocities that took place 22 July. Breivik was a former member of the youth group of Norway’s most conservative party, the Progress Party ( Frp), but was said to be too extreme for Frp. Breivik earlier had noted on a social media site that he was also a member of a frimurerloge (Free Masons lodge).He legally owned several firearms and was a member of a gun club. He ran agricultural firm growing vegetables, an enterprise that could have helped him secure large amounts of fertilizer, a potential ingredient in bombs.Unfortunately as in many other countries in the world, some Norwegians also jumped to conclusions that the perpetrator had to be to a muslim extremist. It turned out that our biggest fear did not come from the outside world, but from the inside of the Norwegian society.  Breivik has put a new face on terror in Norway.This acknowledgement alone has created a new debate in the public sphere, such as applying WE instead of us and them.After the atrocities people started covering the city centers with flowers .Everyone asked: how could it be that a young man could carry such a great amount of hate inside? A young girl said that if one man can have such hate, imagine how much love we all can show. The response to her comment was a city full of flowers.  The flowers and greetings are symbols of sorrow, equality and unity. Norway is a small country; everyone is in some way affected by the reality.Show racism the red card in Norway The Norwegian professional footballers’ association NISO, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and the Norwegian club Vålerenga organised a special anti-racism event as Liverpool FC visited Vålerenga for a friendly match Monday. Both teams agreed to join the campaign of Show Racism the Red Card. Before kickoff, all players stood together holding up Red Cards, demonstrating a commitment to the anti-racism messageLiverpools’ Managing Director, Ian Ayre visited Domkirke Church in Olso earlier the same morning. He paid tribute to the victims of these attacks on behalf of the club and the people of Liverpool.NISO and NPA have worked together with the red card campaign for more than 10 years. In all this years all the Norwegian football clubs have joined the campaign both in doing red card action on the pitch, but also visiting local schools, showing the video and arranging school competitions. In 2011 the focus is on starting football teams in reception centers for asylum seekers. We have so far started weekly training on 6 centers, launched three special tournaments for asylum seekers playing football and we do activities for integrating the teams with local sport clubs. In addition to that we have launched a new version of the Red card video and translated the UK education pack to Norwegian.

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