• Norway edition
 

Oslo Muslims pained by Breivik's testimony

Published: 23 Apr 2012 09:17 GMT+02:00

"Just hearing his name makes me stressed," says the 42-year-old Algerian, straightening her grey headscarf and gripping the hand of her six-year-old daughter Fatima.
Breivik's testimony last week about how and why he slaughtered 77 people in Oslo and on the nearby island of Utøya last July has left few unaffected.

For Norway's Muslims, though, his horrifying account has an added dimension: he says he carried out his barbaric killing spree to help clear them out of the Scandinavian country, which he wants reserved for "pure" ethnic Norwegians.

"I think and hope he is alone. Most Norwegians are nothing like him," says Naidja, shopping with her daughter at a large outdoor flea market in one of Oslo's most immigrant-dense neighbourhoods -- one of several described by Breivik this week as "ghettos" and "no-go zones" for anyone but Muslims.

"The Muslim enclaves in Europe will grow as aggressively as cancer until they one day make up a dominant power," the 33-year-old right-wing extremist told the court on Tuesday.

"We are so sad to hear him. Muslims are not aggressive," insists Mohammed Naji, 50, from behind a table overflowing with electronic gadgets he is offering for sale at the bustling Grønland flea market.

Originally from Ethiopia, Naji wears several thick jackets and a scarf against the damp cold, his hands thrust deep into his pockets.

Breivik "is alone," he insists, stressing that "Norway is a country of very kind people. It is so strange that this happened here."

But after the confessed killer spent days spelling out his Islamophobic ideology, Naji acknowledges: "Now I am worried. There might be somebody who wants to follow his lead."

Basim Gozlan, who runs the Norwegian website www.Islam.no, meanwhile insists that it is a good thing that Breivik has been given so much time to explain his worldview.

"I think it is good and healthy that this comes out," he told AFP in a telephone interview, arguing that Breivik built his ideology largely on the basis of Islam-critical writings in the media and online and rumours he has heard about violent Muslims.

"This should help show people that this kind of rhetoric can be very, verydangerous. It is a wake-up call, and I think many people will moderate the way they talk about these things," Gozlan said.

Back at the Grønland flea market, Hassana Mazzouj, 36, pushes a stroller with three children in tow.

Her brow creases with worry under her brown headscarf when asked aboutBreivik's testimony.

"It's really frightening the way he talks about Muslims," says Mazzouj, who is originally from Morocco but who has lived in Norway since 1995.

She says she has been following the confessed killer's testimony through live reports on the Internet, but that she had to stop Friday when he began describing in detail how he hunted and shot mainly teens attending a summer camp on Utøya island, killing 69.

"It is very painful following his testimony, and it is very, very frightening," she said.

Saber Bessid, a 31-year-old accountant originally from Tunisia, meanwhile flatly rejected Breivik's claim that he was forced to carry out his bloody attacks because he and those who share his opinions are "systematically censored" in Norway, which he insisted was not a democracy but a "dictatorship."

"It is okay to be against Muslims," Bessid said. "But you don't kill people."

He added: "I won't agree with you, but there is freedom of expression inNorway. You can carry a sign saying you hate Muslims all over Oslo if you like. This is a democracy, so that is all right."

Then Bessid noted: "The people (Breivik) killed were not Muslims, they were simply human beings. Innocent human beings. There is just no excuse for what he has done. It is so gruesome."

Bessid meanwhile had warm praise for the Norwegian reaction to the attacks.

"All of Norway really came together after the attacks. Muslims, Christians, atheists, everybody stood together and said 'No!' to his actions and everything he stands for," he said, adding: "I hope God will forgive him."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
US Congress members move to block Norwegian
Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Airlines, is fighting to get a permanent licence to operate flights out of the US. Photo: NTB scanpix

US Congress members move to block Norwegian

Growing numbers of US Congress members are moving to block Norwegian Airlines' pursuit of a permanent licence to run flights between Europe and America. READ  

Falling oil prices may cause new recession
Norway's consumers face an uncertain future. Photo: Sara Johannessen / scanpix

Falling oil prices may cause new recession

The worldwide fall in oil prices could mean Norway will move towards a new economic downturn, predict experts on Wednesday. READ  

False prophets: Fortune tellers jailed in Norway
Owners of a Norway firm which dealt in Tarot card readings were charged for fraud. Shutterstock

False prophets: Fortune tellers jailed in Norway

A company which provided customers with Tarot card readings and clairvoyant services has seen its owners charged with embezzlement and jailed, a court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Putin praises Carlsen's 'genius' in Sochi
Vladimir Putin congratulates Magnus Carlsen in Sochi. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Putin praises Carlsen's 'genius' in Sochi

Vladimir Putin arrived fashionably late in Sochi to congratulate Norway's Magnus Carlsen after the Norwegian collected his title and prize money at the Chess World Championship closing ceremony, on Tuesday. READ  

Deadly Enterovirus D68 found in Norway
Norwegian medical authorities have issued health advice against the virus. Photo: Shutterstock

Deadly Enterovirus D68 found in Norway

Cases of the potentially deadly enterovirus D68 has been found in Norway, it was revealed on Tuesday. READ  

Norwegian seals get their own fat app
Photo: Shutterstock

Norwegian seals get their own fat app

Scientists in Norway are set to implant a technology, much like a smartphone app, into Arctic seals in an effort to study the animals' energy use and body weight, it was reported on Tuesday. READ  

Norway tops study of web-savvy countries
Photo: Shutterstock

Norway tops study of web-savvy countries

Norway has ranked as the sixth most connected country in the world and the fifth in Europe, said a recent study. READ  

Norway's risk of terror never greater: PST
Norway is set for a nervous festive period after latest terror warning. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Norway's risk of terror never greater: PST

It is more likely than ever a terror attack will strike Norway and police have responded by instructing its officers to carry weapons throughout the Christmas season, said PST on Tuesday. READ  

Brann v Mjøndalen: Police triple security
Brann and Mjøndalen play for a place in Norway's premier league. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Brann v Mjøndalen: Police triple security

Wednesday's crunch soccer match between Brann and Mjøndalen has been deemed a 'high risk' clash by the Norwegian Football Association and police, media reports said on Monday. READ  

Carlsen celebrates with cake, yoga and poker
Magnus Carlsen won the World Chess Championship in Sochi on Sunday. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Carlsen celebrates with cake, yoga and poker

Norway's Magnus Carlsen savoured his World Chess Championship victory in Russia on Sunday by eating cake, practicing yoga and playing poker with friends and family. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Health
Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
Society
Norwegian 'child bride' to marry in Oslo
Society
The fickle five: Meet the Nobel commitee
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
Society
Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed
National
Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
Society
Norway's Princess of the Paranormal under fire
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
National
Photo: Baby cliff edge shocker in Norway
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
Culture
Britney to visit Norway for lingerie launch
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
Features
Meet Norway's raining kings of fashion
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

286
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply