• Norway's news in English
 

Oslo Muslims pained by Breivik's testimony

AFP · 23 Apr 2012, 09:17

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."

Story continues below…

"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
Norwegian who raped Irish woman in sleep faces appeal
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, Ireland. Photo: Criminal Courts of Justice

Norwegian who raped Irish woman in sleep faces appeal
12 hours ago

Irish prosecutors are hoping to overturn the suspended jail sentence of a Norwegian man who admitted to raping his Irish girlfriend up to ten times while she slept.

Elderly Norwegians arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
Photo: Colourbox

Elderly Norwegians arrested in Thailand for playing bridge
15 hours ago

A game of bridge had an unexpected ending for 32 club members in Pattaya, including three Norwegian pensioners.

Norway's massive wealth fund drops 73 companies
Demonstrators in Trondheim protest against "an unethical oil fund" in 2015. Photo: Ned Alley / NTB scanpix

Norway's massive wealth fund drops 73 companies
18 hours ago

Norway's huge sovereign wealth fund has sold out of 73 companies last year because their social or environmental policies could hurt profitability.

Norway's windmills smash previous records

Norway's windmills smash previous records
1 day ago

Norwegian windmills produced power like never before in 2015.

Norway top donor at Syria conference
Solberg meets British PM David Cameron at 10 Downing Street prior to the conference. Photo: Anne Marte Vestbakke / NTB scanpix

Norway top donor at Syria conference
1 day ago

Norway on Thursday pledged 10 billion kroner in aid response to the Syrian conflict – one seventh of the entire amount pledged at an international donor's conference.

Statoil cuts investments after heavy 2015 losses
Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

Statoil cuts investments after heavy 2015 losses
1 day ago

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has slashed investments and stepped up a cost-cutting programme after recording a huge annual loss for 2015 in the wake of tumbling oil prices.

Russia to Norway: We’ll only take 200 of 5,000 migrants
An estimated 5,500 migrants used the Storskog border crossing in 2015. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Russia to Norway: We’ll only take 200 of 5,000 migrants
2 days ago

... and we'll only take them if you fly them to Moscow.

Norway wants to return minors to Afghanistan
A man walks on a hilltop overlooking Kabul. Photo: Ahmad Masood/Reuters/Scanpix

Norway wants to return minors to Afghanistan
2 days ago

Backing a centre in Kabul would allow Norway to send back underage asylum seekers.

Video
Norway gives new inside look at world’s biggest seed vault
Screenshot: Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food

Norway gives new inside look at world’s biggest seed vault
2 days ago

New video from the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture tells the story of what has been called Norway’s “gift to the world”.

Norway daycare drops carnival over gender clichés
The daycare said that too many girls came as princesses, while boys opted for superhero costumes. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Norway daycare drops carnival over gender clichés
3 days ago

When girls dress up like princesses and boys don superhero costumes it reinforces gender stereotypes that can harm children, a Trondheim nursery has decided.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Norway police to go back to being unarmed
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
Health
Norway doctors push plan for 'tobacco-free generation'
National
Norway's call to remove crosses causes backlash
Politics
Norway tightens asylum policy to cut numbers
Society
The end of the expat? European cities fight for innovative 'inpats'
Education
Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway
National
Oslo eyes ban on private cars from city centre in green push
Culture
Family shocked as The Scream appears in a freshly sawn plank
National
AS-IT-HAPPENED: Nobel Peace Prize announcement 2015
National
Norway armed forces to get organic underwear
International
Syrians cross Norway's Arctic border on bicycles
Society
Norwegians reveal the (hilariously inaccurate) origins of the Danish language
National
Norway man built secret child's room in cellar
Education
Norway starts school for Vikings
Sport
Sepp Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
2,209
jobs available