Witness hails diversity Breivik hates

A leading member of Norway's ruling Labour Party, main target of Anders Behring Breivik's attacks that killed 77 people, took the stand Wednesday at his trial to praise the multiculturalism he condemns.

Witness hails diversity Breivik hates
Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix

Party secretary Raymond Johansen insisted in his testimony to the Oslo district court that "diversity is fundamentally positive and enriches us both economically and culturally."

"From my point of view, the Labour Party has decided to deconstruct the Norwegian culture and to declare war on it," Breivik countered.

Coming after testimony on Tuesday from right-wing extremists who did not back Breivik's attacks but supported many of his views, including the alleged "Islamization" of Norway, Johansen had been called by the defence to testify about his party's immigration policies.

"Countries that are attractive to foreigners are the countries that win in global competition," he told the court on the 32nd day of the trial, acknowledging though that "there are large challenges linked to integration and we and the other parties have not always been good enough" at facing them.

Breivik, 33, blames the Labour Party for paving the way for the multiculturalism he claims is disintegrating Norwegian society and culture and leading to a "Muslim invasion" of the Scandinavian country and Europe.

Last July 22nd, the right-wing extremist first bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby Utøya island where the Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp.

He killed 69 people in his island massacre, most of them teens, with the youngest having just celebrated her 14th birthday.

"What does the Labour Party plan to do about the gradual deconstruction of the Norwegian ethnic group," Breivik asked in response to Johansen's comments, maintaining that people with blond hair and blue eyes, like himself, will have completely disappeared within the next 200 years.

Johansen however stressed that the Labour Party, like other democratically-minded political parties, had seen its membership numbers rise since the attacks.

Some 10,000 new members joined the Labour Party in 2011, 7,000 of them after the July 22nd attacks, he said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Norway mosque shooter ‘has admitted the facts’: Police

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his step sister and opening fire in a mosque near Oslo last weekend, has admitted to the crimes though he has not officially entered a plea, police said on Friday.

Norway mosque shooter 'has admitted the facts': Police
Philip Manshaus appears in court on August 12. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Philip Manshaus, 21, was remanded in custody Monday, suspected of murder and a “terrorist act” that police say he filmed himself committing.
Answering police questions on Friday, “the suspect admits the facts but has not taken a formal position as to the charges,” Oslo police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said in a statement.
Manshaus is suspected of murdering his 17-year-old step sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, before entering the Al-Noor mosque in an affluent Oslo suburb and opening fire before he was overpowered by a 65-year-old man.
Just three worshippers were in the mosque at the time, and there were no serious injuries.
Manshaus appeared in court this week with two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to his face, neck and hands.
Police have said he has “extreme right views” and “xenophobic positions” and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a camera mounted on a helmet. He had initially denied the accusations.
The incident came amid a rise in white supremacy attacks around the world, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States.
Norway witnessed one of the worst-ever attacks by a rightwing extremist in July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik, who said he feared a “Muslim invasion”, killed 77 people in a truck bomb blast near government offices in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya.