ISSN 2330-717X

Hard Year For Norway – OpEd

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By Anastasiya Pershkina

Today is exactly a year since the twin attacks committed by a self-proclaimed extremist sent Norway and the entire world into a deep shock. On this day a year ago, Anders Breivik detonated a bomb in a government district in Oslo. Two hours later, he went on a bloody shooting spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya.

Breivik is now awaiting a verdict. If found insane, he faces life-long forced treatment in a mental hospital. But the man who killed 77 people in cold blood insists that he has no mental or psychological disorders. In case he is proclaimed sane, Breivik will be sent to jail for 21 years, the maximum prison sentence allowed under the Norwegian law.

The most shocking thing is that it all happened in a country known for its exceptional tolerance to immigrants, says Tatyana Parkhalina, an expert at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

“Immigrants from Arab or Muslim nations are unwilling to assimilate into the cultural and civilization context of the countries they immigrated to, while the main population of those countries, seeing changes in the demographic structure, is reacting in the most aggressive way.”

Of course, Breivik`s attacks have most of all affected Norway, placing the national security forces on a heightened regime of alert. Before carrying out his attacks, Breivik had twice expressed his radical views on the Internet. Now the police are watching bloggers and other web sources more closely. The tragedy has also affected the balance of political forces, with right-wing pro-nationalist parties losing public support, while ratings of the ruling Labour Party has been on the rise.

“There is no sign, however, that Norway has become entirely aware of the tragedy’s causes, says Konstantin Voronov, expert for the department of Northern Europe at the Institute of Global Economy and International Relations. – It seems that Norwegians have united in the face of the shocking tragedy. Many people took part in rallies protesting against violation of freedoms, etc. In fact, no major conclusions have been made. Meanwhile, it is clear that Breivik`s crime was not an act of a loner. Some deeper reasons surrounding the deadly attacks should be discovered.”

It`s been long since the European countries have adopted a policy of multiculturalism, opening borders for immigrants. It was seemed logical following the establishment of the European Union. But the plan has failed. Breivik`s attack, clashes over anti-Muslim laws in France – this all proves that co-existence of different cultures is impossible. Unfortunately, Europe is too busy handling its economic issues, while no breakthrough has been made on the national minority policy.

VOR

VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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