Today it is the 22nd of July 2016. Five years ago today, my country witnessed a horrifying terrorism attack. An attack on the values we stand for, an attack on my generation and political stands many of us share.
Some memories from this day is inked into my brain and I’ll share it with you. This is not a personal post, just an angle to give some insight into the actions of the day.
First, there was a bomb going off by the government blocks in Oslo. Fortunately not many people were around that moment, yet the bare shock of the action and the fear and lack of control following was terrifying. I remember hearing about it on the radio, and following the situation as it unfolded through the TV news.
“It was probably an extreme Islamism group.” “We shouldn’t let people like that in.” The fright lead to assumptions. Assumptions based on fear.
A little later the real shock came: there was a man shooting kids at a political summer camp. This is the first we heard. I remember my phone going off constantly. I remember the shocking pictures. It felt unreal. Stuff like this did not happen. Not here, not in peaceful Norway.
Yet – it did happen. In addition, the headlines the next day could tell – this was no Islamism extremist. This was no foreigner. This was a Norwegian white guy. I think this realisation shattered many of people’s views on terrorism. Many would also immediately write it off as “oh well he must be insane”.
And this is what’s frustrating. We are willing to believe the worst about others just because of their religion, the colour of their skin, yet when the worst happens – not because someone is different in the slightest, but because someone have extreme attitudes, it is suddenly insanity – not terrorism.
I think we should take a moment today and really think about our premonitions. What is our fear really rooted in?
We have seen that terrorism is not exclusively something ISIS or other Islamism extremists do. It is something that can, if we let it, bloom anywhere. So be a bit more human and think before you judge.
Take care of each others, today and every day.