The Oslo Massacre And Viking Justice – OpEd


By Abdulateef Al-Mulhim

On Friday, July 22, 2011, there were two massacres in two different places but in the same country. One was an explosion in a government building and the other an attack on an island.

The news would have been a normal-day event on the face of our planet, but the attacks were not in Baghdad, Kabul or Mogadishu. The attacks were not carried out by Al-Qaeda outfits. The attacks were not in a poor country. And they didn’t take place in a country where there is no form of government in control. The ugly massacres didn’t happen where freedom is curtailed. The attacks didn’t take place where the head of the government is a dictator. The attacker didn’t come from a refugee camp or poverty-stricken country. So, why did they happen?

The attacks took place in the richest, most homogenized, most stable, most tolerant country on earth. It happened in a country that has the best education, highest standard of living and the most respected people. It happened in Norway, a country with 5 million people and considered one of the most influential in the world. Norway is so transparent to the point where the king announced that he bought a Lexus for official use, so the people of Norway wouldn’t ask why he had a Lexus. The Norwegian prime minister and foreign minister are seen in the news more than any European politicians. Norway is the most unlikely place where a bomb blast and a massacre would take place? So, who did it?

Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik

The attacker. Yes, the Western media called him an attacker, not a terrorist. And one hour after the attack, the Norwegian got a top-gun lawyer. He was not transferred to a secret prison in a dictatorship, so they can use any form of torture to get even a false lead. Norway will not simply allow it. It is a country that has a very excellent human rights record.

Norway has the best form of foreign aid approach. They help the poor and sick no matter what religion or color of skin they have. Norway doesn’t deserve to be a place where a terrorist attack would take place.

Now, is the Norwegian citizen Anders Behring Breivik a terrorist? If he is not a terrorist, then who is? And what would Norway do to implement justice? We all know that Norway has no capital punishment. The old days of Viking justice are gone forever, or are they?

Now that Breivik is caught, what is the next step to douse the anger and grief of the families of the victims and their friends? Even though I am a Saudi and not a Norwegian, I already know what would happen to him. I have two scenarios.

First scenario: He will be put on trial for months and the Norwegian tax payers will spend tens of millions of dollars for this trial. They will hire the most expensive lawyers, the most experienced mental analysts and the top police investigators. And, no matter what the verdict is, he will not be put to death. The Norwegian government will provide Breivik with around-the-clock protection and he will be under suicide watch. In addition, he will get the best medical treatment and will be in the news every day of the year.

But there is another scenario for any country that has no capital punishment.

Second scenario: The death penalty will be implemented in an Oslo prison using the Viking justice. On a cold Norwegian night, the top police official will be on a two-day vacation, the prison warden will have a family gathering and the prison guard who is responsible to look after the VIP prisoners will be having his midnight snack. All of a sudden a couple of Norwegian hard-core criminals happen to be in the bathroom area where Breivik is taking a late-night shower.

And in less than two seconds, the most famous Norwegian prisoner is dead due to an injury to the head caused by a sharp object, which only the Vikings know how to use swiftly. And the Norwegian couple will go back to their cells the same way the Vikings used to disappear in the woods after a quick battle.

Now, the readers of the article who happened to be from the state of Wisconsin, US, would remember what happened to the inmate Jeffery Lionel Dahmer on the cold night of Nov. 28, 1984, when another inmate had beaten him to death. Just like Norway, Wisconsin had no death penalty, so it was the law of the Old West that implemented justice.

Now, is the Viking justice gone forever? I don’t think so. Don’t get a Norwegian Viking angry. Who is going to cry if Anders Breivik is accidentally killed.

— Abdulateef Al-Mulhim is a commodore (retired), Royal Saudi Navy. ([email protected])

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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