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    Sincere Condolences to Humanity

    Utoya island in Norway, scene of the criminal shooting on the Labour Party Youth summer camp

    What happened in Norway is just plain cruelty. It makes me want to send my condolences to humanity when a man comes in, dressed as a police officer (a most respected institution in these types of countries) and starts shooting with the sole objective of killing. Result : 90+ dead. 100+ wounded. And several disappeared because they jumped in the water to save their lives and probably drowned of panick. This is… not understandable. What is worse is that the victims are the Norwegian youth. The youth… This (relatively) ‘untainted’ group of society. The future of a nation. The hope that things, as bad as they can be, could get better in a few years (and remember, we are talking about Norway ; not Lebanon, not Columbia, not Somalia. Not any conflict – or inequality -prone country. Norway.)

    But, will things get better ? Can things get better after such an event ? Considering it happened in Norway, land of the Nobel Peace Prize, first in line in funding all types of peace and development operations and initiatives. Irony of it all. The Norwegians have never been so violently shaken since World War II (Note that the perpetrator himself knew he was going to be considered as the most violent man since WWII).

    Dealing with this horror to soften its consequences on society will need work. A generation of both politicized and non politicized youth is now somehow traumatized by this event. Miscomprehension, suspicion, and possibly anger – amidst the dignity they are showing – might now become the main social dynamics between the right and the left in Norway. What is more, the central issues seem to be, as in so many European countries today, immigration and/or Islam. With regards to this, what will happen to these debates? Will society become more divided around them or will July 22nd rather unite the Norwegian nation and, at last, open the floor for a real long-awaited debate on Islam, immigration, and the (constructed) fear of the other?

    Let’s keep our eyes open for the next steps that Norway will undertake to avoid the recurrence of such acts. Will it resemble the US reactions to 9/11? Going to “War” on “Right-wing terror”? Tightening the grip on society and politics with regards to extreme opinion? A post-caricature Denmark, vowing to reach out to Islamic peoples ? The Prime Minister has already made the calls for more democracy and dialogue between the parties in (potential) conflict.  Let’s also keep our eyes open for the Norwegian youth. Let’s hope they will still believe in the ideas they were defending when they got hit.

    Nothing excuses such a criminal act. It cannot be born from economic or political grievances, because the youth simply cannot be held accountable for that! And were it born, as portrayed in the media, from a genuine hatred towards immigrants and/or Muslims, how is a group of youth from the Labour Party youth camp guilty of this? This act is born from a crazy-minded conservative man and stops at this individual. Proof is, no party or political group, as far right as they may stand, has reclaimed or even supported this act. The man has acted alone. And alone he will stay in his madness.

    Lyna COMATY

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