Norway: Norway’s prime minister has urged political leaders to show restraint in their public speech as the country emerges from mourning the 77 victims of a bombing and youth camp massacre by an anti-Muslim extremist.
Jens Stoltenberg didn’t single out anyone but seemed to be referring to sometimes harsh discussions on immigration when he told Parliament that the July 22 attacks gave reason to reflect on “what we have thought, said and written.””We all have something to learn from the tragedy,” he told lawmakers at a ceremony on Monday honoring the victims. “We can all have a need to say ‘I was wrong,’ and be respected for it.”
That goes for politicians and newsroom editors, in everyday conversations and on the Internet, the prime minister said.”Our promise is that we take with us the spirit of July 22 when political work resumes. We will behave with the same wisdom and respect as the Norwegian people,” Stoltenberg said.Norway’s political parties have agreed to postpone campaigning for local elections in September until mid-August, as the nation mourns the eight people killed in the Oslo bombing and the 69 victims of the shooting spree at an annual summer retreat held by the youth wing of the prime minister’s Labor Party.
Confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik says his attacks were an attempt at cultural revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians that have embraced multiculturalism.Though investigators believe the 32-year-old Norwegian acted alone, they are searching his computer and cell phone records for any signs of contact with other right-wing extremists who may have helped or influenced him, police attorney Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said.Law enforcement agencies in other countries are assisting Norway, including in the United States, where authorities have interviewed Breivik’s sister in Los Angeles, Kraby told The Associated Press.
Norwegian investigators have also spoken to Breivik’s mother, who is in shock and has not requested to see him, Kraby said.If tried and convicted of terrorism, Breivik will face up to 21 years in prison or an alternative custody arrangement that could keep him behind bars indefinitely.Most Norwegians believe criminals get off too easy, according to a poll published Monday in the Norwegian newspaper VG. More than 65 percent said sentences for the most serious crimes are too soft, while 24 percent said they are sufficient and only 2 percent said they were too harsh.The rest were undecided in the July 28 telephone survey of 1,283 people by InFact. The margin of error was 2.8 percentage points.
The scope of the tragedy continues to haunt Norway, more than a week later, as victims from the youth camp massacre are being buried across the country.Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended a funeral Monday for Gizem Dogan, a 17-year-old girl of Turkish origin, who was among the shooting victims on Utoya island. Hundreds of people gathered for the ceremony in Trondheim, on Norway’s west coast, which was held on a soccer field because the local mosque was too small.
Dogan, who came to Norway from Turkey at the age of 7, was an example of how Norway has succeeded in fostering a multicultural society, Davutoglu told reporters later Monday in Oslo.”We need cultural tolerance. We need a multicultural society everywhere in the world,” Davutoglu said.
The attacks were unprecedented in peaceful Norway. But Breivik’s anti-Muslim rants on political blogs didn’t attract much attention before the attacks, showing how common such views have become.Norway’s Progress Party, the country’s biggest mainstream voice against immigration, has confirmed that Breivik used to be a member of the party. It strongly condemned his actions and voiced its sympathies for the Labor Party in the aftermath of the attacks.
In his manifesto, Breivik said he left the Progress Party because they were too moderate and he no longer believed in stopping immigration of Muslims by democratic means.At the ceremony Monday, Parliament speaker Dag Terje Andersen read the names of the victims as lawmakers, Cabinet ministers, King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon stood in silence. – Yahoonews