The end of innocence

It has been some time since I wrote my last blog, time therefore to write a few lines. But after the bombing in Oslo and the terrible events on Utøya I can hardly find words to express what I would like to say or write. I constantly think of all those who have lost their sons, daughters, parent, friends and partners …

It is almost not possible to believe that all this happened just a few days ago; that one single person planned and committed the insane bombing and killing; and that this person is ‘normal’ and proud of what he has done. It is really scaring to read that his actions find support among some extreme right-wing politicians in Sweden and among the increasing number of Islamophobics who think Europe has already been taken over by radical Muslims. The threat is however no longer only coming from the outside world in the form of bearded, dark-haired, radical Muslim suicide bombers. Now we are also being threatened from inside by light-skinned and blond extremist killers who massacre young innocent people.

Islamophobic feelings have been brewing for a long time in Europe, but have they been taken as serious as the threat from radical Islamists? Will they be taken more serious in the future?

Much has been written about the terrible events in Norway and about the extreme right in newspapers during the last days, but I found two articles in The New York Times especially interesting, because they try to understand the larger context: Norway Attacks Put Spotlight on Rise of Right-Wing Sentiment in Europe which portrays Europe’s new landscape with its extreme right-wing parties and the statements of major European politicians regarding the end of multiculturalism. In his column New York Times columnist Roger Cohen argues that Breivik’s violence has been brewed in a specific European environment …… characterized by relative economic decline, a jobless recovery, middle-class anxiety and high levels of immigration serving as the backdrop for racists Islamophobia and use of the spurious specter of a “Muslim takeover” as a wedge political issue to channel frustrations rightward”.

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