Norway

It’s been a week since the tragedy in Norway – and finally, I think I’m able to think somewhere in the area of clear about it, let alone have an overview of it. During the weekend I was quickly filled with the constant breaking news of bombing, shooting, shock, death numbers, the list goes on, and soon I was unable to contain much more. I’m not sure whether or not I would have been able to attend any of the events supporting Norway and those affected by the tragedy, but rest assured that I was there in spirit (and even watched the live transmission of the memorial service from the Cathedral of Copenhagen, Our Lady’s Church, on Wednesday) and that I do include all of this in my prayers.

I have to admit that one of my first thoughts when I heard that someone was doing a massacre was whether he was Muslim or not. If that would have been the case, I wouldn’t have been surprised, only ever so disappointed that there would be yet another reason for people to point fingers at Muslims – so granted, I was initially relieved when I heard that he was described as an ethnic Norwegian Christian (as I would if he was more generally described as Scandinavian or Caucasian Christian, for that matter).

But my relief didn’t last long. Bombings and massacres are nothing to be relieved about, nor is the identity of a bomber/murderer, no matter his/her background. Bombing and murdering is wrong, no matter the magnitude of it. What has been shocking me the most is that this has been planned for so long, so many people died, and that so many of the people who died were so young. And it only enhances it that their political orientation is so close to mine (I’m not a Social Democrat; I’m further on the left on the political scale – but the party I’m currently a member of is the “neighbor” to Arbeiterpartiet’s Danish sister party).

As I have previously pondered with other terrorist attacks, I can’t help but wonder what the people behind it was/were thinking; if they truly are of an Abramic faith (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and, as many do, speak of having to follow the rules of their faith, then why is it that they insist on breaking one of the Ten Commandments so thoroughly: “Thou shalt not kill” (the sixth commandment, Ex. 20:13)? That, to me, is one of the commandments that hurts people the most when broken. As a Christian one should also remember the Greatest Commandment (Matt. 22:34-40), which I have heard interpreted as having respect for your fellow human beings. Killing other people, their friends, their family members isn’t very respectful now, is it? I’m no angel and I do understand how it feels to thoroughly disagree with your government (doi, understanding since 2001!), but I know democracy and to wait my turn until the next election. I’m not saying that I would sit on my butt while waiting my turn or stay quiet if I see injustice from a governmental entity, but I do do democracy.

What I do enjoy in this entire mess is that I finally agree with people like PM Løkke and PM Cameron on something: the necessesity of staying together, uniting, through this and never to seize exercising our rights and freedoms as citizens of a democratic society (and I’m sure I could go on – I do remember hearing them both speak after the tragedy, and I generally agreed).

I’m not sure of how to end this. We’re lucky here in Denmark; although we had attempts of terrorism around here, but those have predominantly been averted (the worst case coming to mind is a bomb going off in a toilet at a hotel in Copenhagen). Hopefully we will stay as safe as that in the future.