Breivik survivors continue to fight for Norwegian vision

Stavanger, Norway (AP) —To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Norway’s worst peacetime slaughter, the survivors of the Anders Behring Breivik raid are racist, raising anti-Islamic mass slaughterers I am worried that it will reappear in a country known for politics.

Most of the 77 victims of Breivik on July 22, 2011 were teenage members of the Labor Party. Idealists enjoy camping trips every year on the quiet, wooded island of Utoya on a lake northwest of the capital Oslo. Today, many survivors are fighting to maintain their vision for their country.

“I thought Norway would change forever and positively after the attack. Ten years later, it didn’t happen. And in many ways, the hatred and threats we see online to the people of the labor movement. “It’s growing,” said Aasmund Aukrust, then deputy leader of the Labor Youth Group, who helped organize the camp.

Today he is a member of parliament campaigning for a national investigation into the right-wing idealism that affected the murderers.

The ocrust escaped from a bullet flying through the woods, hiding for a terrifying three hours when he saw a friend killed nearby. Aukrust, an advocate of Norwegian racism and alien exclusion, received a message online, “I wish Breivik did his job.” It is the target of abuse.

Victims of the Utoya massacre came from towns and villages throughout Norway, turning personal tragedy into a collective trauma for many of the country’s 5.3 million inhabitants. Survivors joined the upset population, who decided to show that Norway became more tolerant and rejected the worldview that motivated the murderers.

Ten years later, some survivors believe that their collective determination has diminished.

“What was very positive after the terrorist attack was that people saw it as an attack on Norway as a whole. It was a way of showing solidarity,” Aukrust said. “But it has disappeared. It was an attack on a multicultural society. And although it was an act of one person, I find that his view is shared by more people today than it was ten years ago. We know. “

Breivik attacked a Labor agency that he believed was supporting what he called “Islamization” in Norway. Dressed as a police officer, he landed on Utoya, shooting and killing 69 of the youth troupe and causing more injuries. He had previously killed eight people in a bomb attack on a government building in Oslo.

“It wasn’t random that it was our summer camp that was attacked. Because of our values ​​of openness and inclusiveness, hatred opposed us,” said the Labor Party now. Said Sindre Risoe, a survivor from Utoya, the general secretary of the youth camp.

“It was too difficult for many to return to politics after Utoya. It is very important for me and society to stand up again and fight back through more good work that we knew we could do. It was, “he said. “Before July 22, politics was important, but after that life and death became important.”

After hearing that Oslo was bombed on “the darkest day of our lives,” he remembers talking to each other that his friends were in the safest place on earth. Within minutes, shootings and screams began on the island. Today, Riso spends a lot of time warning young people about the dangers of right-wing extremism.

In the years following the attack, Norwegian security police PST continued to rank Muslims more likely to carry out domestic terrorism than right-wing extremists.

However, after 51 people were killed in a New Zealand mosque attack in 2019 and a mimicry attempt was made later that year by Norwegian gunner Philip Manshaus to the murderer’s sister in the suburbs of Oslo, Norway. Security police have changed their annual rating. Currently, two forms of extremism are ranked at the same risk level.

“As we progressed in 2013 and 2014, migration to Europe and IS became a prism we were scared of. Norway returned to the story that extremism was primarily foreigners.” Said Bjorn Eyler, who swam safely in the frigid waters around the island and escaped the bullets.

“There is a failure in introspection. We overlook the fact that Anders Behring and Manshaus were Norwegians, but so are many of the militants who should have been captured by our social system over the last decade. “He said.

Since the attack on July 22, Ihler has become an expert in counter-terrorism, establishing the Khalifa-Ihler Institute for Peacebuilding and Counter-Terrorism, advising the European Union and the Global Internet Forum for Counter-Terrorism. Chairs the panel.

Breivik, who was planning an attack from his mother’s house in Oslo, used an online ecosystem to demonize Islam and question the future of Christianity in Europe. Talking to dozens of Reformed radicals, Ihler says these Internet echo chambers need to be exposed to a variety of voices.

“Regardless of ideology, the reasons they entered a radical environment are all somewhat similar. It’s about finding an identity and space where you find attribution. Whether it’s an Islamist or a far-right extremist. Regardless, the fundamental problem they have is living in a diverse environment, “he said. “The tricky part is to help them build comfort with their versatility.”

Ihler still believes in the power of traditional Norwegian values ​​such as democracy and rehabilitation in solving social problems.

Breivik hit all of this and tested the country’s commitment to nonviolence and benevolent justice, as well as tolerance and inclusiveness. Still, he benefits from a judicial system that favors rehabilitation over revenge.

If he is still considered dangerous, his decision may be extended, but Breivik has been serving for 21 years in a three-room cell with access to a gym and computer games.

“It’s right for him to be treated humanely,” Ihler said. “We don’t want to follow the same path of violence. We need to keep showing people that there is a better way to deal with the problems we have.”

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