Today, Norway held a nationwide moment of silence. At 12.00 CET (14.00 MSK 11.00 UTC 06.00 EDT 03.00 PDT), Norwegians stopped what they were doing to commemorate the 93 people who died on 22 July in a dual terrorist attack. The [Russian] Foreign Ministry expressed its profound condolences to the bereaved families. In the early morning hours, hundreds of Muscovites laid flowers and candles at the entrance to the Norwegian Embassy on Povarsky Street. Knut Hauge, the Norwegian Ambassador to Russia, said, “Here at the Embassy, we feel the solidarity of the Russian people. Of course, for us it’s very important. Your president, your prime minister, and ordinary citizens expressed their condolences. This’ll be a very difficult day. At 12.00 MSK (10.00 CET 09.00 UTC 04.00 EDT 01.00 PDT), we’ll open a book of condolences at the embassy”.
According to recent information, the death toll from the terrorist act in Norway rose to 97 people. Previous reports stated that there were 92 dead. Several people are still missing. Some fear that they drowned when they tried to swim from Utøya Island to escape the bullets. The lawyer representing Breivik said that his client believed that his attack was “cruel, but necessary”, Interfax reported.
On Monday, Reuters reported, citing eyewitnesses, that a waiting crowd attacked the police car that was bringing Oslo terrorism suspect Anders Behring Breivik to court. People were waiting near the courthouse where the hearings in the case are occurring today; they punched the windows of the car. The crowd yelled, “Bloody traitor!” They tried to block the car’s passage, which stopped it for a moment. However, the police intervened, pushed the protesters back, and the car went on its way. “Everyone here would love to see him dead”, said one of the members of the flash-mob, who refused to give his name. On Saturday, the authorities formally charged Breivik under Article 147 of the Norwegian Penal Code, “On Terrorism, and Terrorist Activities”. He faces charges for the shooting at the youth camp on Utøya Island and for planning the bomb blast in Oslo. According to RIA-Novosti, the maximum sentence in Norway for terrorism and terrorist activities is 21 years in prison.
The nightmarish massacre that took place on Utøya Island wasn’t the first terrorist act in Norway. In the early ’90s, fired- up Satanists, pagans, and hard rockers (black metalists) were part of a violent nationalist movement in Norway. Then, Satanists and their hangers-on burned dozens of churches and killed people, including immigrants and homosexuals. However, the authorities suppressed the movement in short order, its leaders received long prison sentences, and the movement died out.
As Norwegian police are on the lookout for the alleged accomplices of Anders Breivik in a bloody massacre on Utøya Island and a bomb blast in Oslo, European rightwing organisations were quick to deny that Breivik had any links to them. Breivik told the district court in Oslo that he wanted to save Europe from Marxism and from being overrun by Muslims. He didn’t deny that he’d committed mass murder, but he pleaded “not guilty”. The court upheld his further detention for eight more weeks.
Victor Kuvaldin, the head of the Moscow School of Economics at Lomonosov Moscow State University, said, “We can’t rule out that Breivik’s crime is a consequence of the botched policy of multiculturalism, even major European leaders attest to its failure. Why were his victims Norwegians? Moreover, why did he target young people, supporters of the ruling party? He did it in order to make the whole world listen to exactly what he wanted to say. He wanted to warn people of the dangers that, in his view, threaten Europe… he believes that the influx of foreigners, people of different nationalities, with different skin colour, and with different religion is a mortal danger”.
On Monday, British newspapers reported that Breivik allegedly planned an action entitled “Crusader” in England. The far-right in Britain and other European countries rushed to say that they didn’t have anything to do with him. The League for the Defence of England has placed two statements on its website, which categorically denied any connection with “that beastly creature”. The organisation “Stop the Islamisation of Europe” wouldn’t let Breivik on its forum on Facebook because of his neo-Nazi contacts. The German National Democratic Party said, as regards the crime in Norway, it believes that the use of force is a monopoly of the state. The ultra-right Norwegian Progress Party (FrP) expressed its deep regret at the fact that the killer was once in its ranks.
Pavel Prokhorov, the editor of the news site Российская Норвегия (Rossiskaya Norvegiya: Russian Norway), said, “It was all predictable. Earlier, in general, most thought that radical right would always, by default, support the FrP, and be in favour of its growth, which is true in terms of right-wing radicals. Now, I think, in order to survive, so that they don’t lose what support they have, they’ll have to dissociate themselves from such scum. The Norwegian media often write about crimes that involve foreigners. Therefore, it’s not surprising that people suspected, at first, that Muslims were behind the explosion in Oslo”.
Fuad Abu Hadzhla, Editor-in-chief of the Jordanian newspaper Al-Gad, said, “Breivik’s massacre proves, once again, that terrorism has many faces. The official reaction of the Arab world was an absolute condemnation of this terrorist act. Arab leaders, including Jordan’s King, expressed their condolences to the government of Norway and the bereaved families. However, ordinary Arabs were extremely agitated when they heard the news of the explosion at the government compound in central Oslo and the massacre on Utøya Island. Everyone was afraid that Islamic groups would get the blame for the act. They feared that it would intensify the assumption amongst Europeans that terrorism has only one face… an Arabic one. What happened in Norway shows that terrorism has no nationality; it has no skin colour or faith”.
Pál Tamás, the director of the Institute of Sociology Budapest holds this view, “Despite the fact that the far-right sentiments are gaining momentum, it doesn’t mean a quick end to multiculturalism. I think the far right’s gaining influence. However, in this case, we’re talking of a madman. Of course, the New Right is picking up speed and expanding, and that creates a certain tacit background to it all. Nevertheless, in addition to this, in Europe, there’s a very large number of ‘multiculturalisms’. Of course, the integration of some European societies has yet to take place, but it will be on some sort of multicultural basis. There won’t be an early end to multiculturalism, especially not as a reaction to the act of a lunatic”.
Meanwhile, the cops are on the lookout for any possible accomplices that “Crusader” Breivik may have had. At his hearing, he said that he has links to two other cells, which’re ready to strike again.
The police halted the memorial “Procession of Roses”, which started in Oslo, because it had grown too large to be controllable. According to various estimates, there were 100,000 to 150,000 people on the town square. The cops asked the marchers to stick around for a rally. Many people congregated on the city’s quays, which are off from the central district by water. They were trying to get on ferries to get to Town Hall Square, according to ITAR-TASS. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang, as well as former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, are scheduled to lead the rally. Anders Breivik, who committed a double attack on Friday, called them his main enemies.
25 July 2011
Voice of Russia World Service