Since the bombing of government buildings and massacre at Utøya in 2011, self censorship has been the guildine o public debate. There has been no room for anger, no root and branch inquiry into the dark underworld of ideological racism by society. Can the lid final be lifted?
On this day three years ago the vision of Norway as a peaceful and inclusive paradise was shattered forever. The political aspects of Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks has been played down, leaving the police and emergency services in the spotlight of public scrutiny.
The secret police (PST) still insists extreme islamism is the bigger threat against us, despite the growing list of right-wing extremist attacks and the islamists current lack of such history.
Raymond Johansen, party secretary of the Norwegian Labour party recently broke cover, saying his party have gone to far in toning down Breivik’s politics. His facism, his rascism, his hatred of Social-Democrats, socialists and other people on the left he accused of intentionally letting Muslims into the country to break down “Norwegian culture”.
The Labour party played a decisive role in shaping the post-terror debate in Norway, but so did also the parties of the political right. Fremskritspartiet (Frp), now in coalition government with the conservatives, has been whitewashed by the other parties. Breivik was a member of the party’s youth wing before leaving because their immigration scepticism was not radical enough. The party’s anti-immigration and anti-muslim rhetoric has been airbrushed from history, as it would be “rude” to score political points on it.
A full confrontation and washing of dirty laundry in public will be painful and controversial, but it is absolutely necessary. On comment threads on news sites, forums and in social media, a strong current of racisms is still flowing, the same current from which Breivik emerged with his bombs and guns, on this day, three years ago.