As the police helicopters are flying over my office right now, the mass murderer mr. Breivik is in court to be officially charged and imprisoned until his trial. Many have strong reactions and call for death sentence, court-marshalling or even torture. And while one can agree with the sentiment we must not turn to barbarism, to fascism, and let ourselves be drawn down to mr. Breivik’s uncivilized level. In fact it is right now that we must fight for mr. Breivik’s rights, we must recognize the humanity in him that he himself has violated, and make sure that everything is done right according to the very values he attacked last Friday and in his so-called manifesto!
Speaking of which; it is important that we discuss openly and honestly the deranged ideas of the so-called manifesto, most of which was plagiarized from the Unabomber’s manifesto, in the time to come. These ideas represent a fear that’s easily exploited by evildoers. We must shine up the murky waters of fear with the light of truth, and not let the mysticism of conspiracy theories or the lure of paranoia confuse our hearts to allow credence to a flawed world-order and a false ideology. Fascism is wrong. Not only ethically but also logically. Mr. Breivik is wrong. And it is philosophically possible to prove him wrong at a level of ethics not involving arbitrary religions or domestic laws. Only this way can we democratically and openly demonstrate to him the true nature of his gruesome deeds, and in this way allow his punishment to dawn on him; not the mere physical imprisonment of being covered by law but the full heartfelt realization of the blood on his hands by human conscience. He is not a monster, though his quote unquote ideology is a monstrosity. He is just completely, completely ignorant and led astray by convictions based on fear, uncertainty and doubt.
And lastly, this event is not about mr. Breivik at all. It’s about the children on the island, the people in and around the government buildings that were bombed, their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers that are left to grieve them. In this small nation we’re all only one step removed from someone affected. My half-brother was supposed to be at Utøya that day, but thankfully he wasn’t.
We gathered at work in the cafeteria at noon today, when all of Scandinavia gathered in one minute’s silence. Later today at six o’clock Amnesty is arranging a non-political march of carrying roses at the Rådhuset, to remember and mourn the dead, and pray for the many wounded.
Please come and show your support and pay your respects if you need to. And if you can’t or don’t want to, just be with the people you love for a while.