• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

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
Video
Fake Norway ‘apology’ video angers Israel
The video is a fake apology from the National Theatre of Norway. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

See the video that the Israeli Foreign Ministry wants "removed from every site" on the internet.

Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Norway
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen interviewed by Fredrik Skavlan. Photo: SVT/Youtube

Rock legend Bruce Springsteen has described Donald Trump as an embarrassment to the United States.

Oslo to hit drivers’ wallets to combat air pollution
The cancel wants to raise toll rates fivefold by this winter. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

The city council will quintuple road tolls on days with high levels of air pollution.

Freed hostage back in Norway after 'year in terror'
Sekkingstad addressed the Norwegian media in Oslo on Friday. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Kjartan Sekkingstad returned to Norway on Friday after a year of captivity in the Philippines.

New hijab discrimination case hits Norway
Model photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Officials in Oslo offered a young woman a job, but only if she would remove her headscarf.

Tesla sued in Norway over sluggish cars
A Telsa Model S being charged in Østfold. Photo: Tore Meek/NTB Scanpix

"When you notice that you didn't get what you paid for you feel cheated."

VIDEO: See Norway’s PM ride around on a rubbish truck
That's not something you see every day. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has posted a video to Facebook showing her performing some rather unusual work in the name of green energy.

Why Americans pay more to fly Norwegian
It pays off to know the local language when booking with Norwegian. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Americans looking to fly to Norway on Norwegian or take a cruise on Hurtigruten are being charged much higher prices than customers in Norway.

Norway man posed as girl on Facebook to exploit 60 boys
Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX .

Police believe a Tromsø man used the internet to sexually exploit around 60 children and abused some of them in real life.

Norway files terror recruitment charges for first time
Ubaydullah Hussain has been in and out of the Norwegian court system several times. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Ubaydullah Hussain, an Islamist who has had numerous run-ins with the law, is the first person in Norway to be officially charged with recruiting terrorists.

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
International
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
Society
Hijab discrimination: Praise, Nazi comparisons and conspiracy theories
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Society
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Expats say it's not just Norway's weather that's cold
Society
Expats say Norway is a cold place (and they don't mean the weather)
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
National
323 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Travel
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
National
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Lifestyle
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
2,036
jobs available