Norway is a country respected by all. It is known for its beautiful fjords and the Nobel Peace Prize, a tradition of liberal democracy and the Vigeland Sculpture Park. It is a country where for decades now immigrants have gone and settled down with ease, from Sri Lanka and Somalia, from Morocco and India.
Who would have thought that such an atrocious crime would be committed there? Who could have imagined there was such deep rage and hate brewing in the heart of a Norwegian citizen, directed towards the growing number of non-white settlers in what he believes to be a county only for white Christians?
Perhaps some could have. It is no secret that the rising tide of Islamic immigration is rankling many Europeans. How many, no one can tell. In Holland and France, in Germany and England more than a few have expressed their concerns in different, but not so abominably violent, ways.
When 9/11 happened, the vast majority of Muslims all over the world were outraged by the act. But a significant number also rejoiced in it, secretly or in street dancing. I suspect that while the vast majority of Europeans are stunned and angered by what that fanatical Norwegian did, a good many Europeans, deep in their hearts, are in sympathy with his concerns. After all, Momar Kaddafi asked Europeans Muslims not to worry for in fifty years they would be the majority in Europe. True or not, such talk hasn’t really helped Muslims in Europe.
There is no telling how the course of history will turn when people feel – rightly or wrongly -that forces are afoot that will bring to an end their economic security, religious beliefs, or cultural identity. Europe seems to be on this verge now, as is India.
We may pray and hope in the interest of peace and humanity that the enlightened values that most Europeans and Indians uphold will prevent the spread of xenophobic catastrophes.
July 27, 2011