Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway Mourns Its Dead as Harsh Rhetoric Spreads

At Wall Street Journal:

OSLO — A Norwegian man confessed to killing nearly 100 people in a pair of attacks on Friday, calling his rampage "atrocious" but "necessary."

The confession by Anders Behring Breivik, made via his lawyer and preceded by a 1,500-page, xenophobic screed he published online before the massacre, has shocked this small Scandinavian country and unnerved governments across Europe, where far-right parties espousing anti-Muslim views, if not violence, have recently been on the rise ...

Norway, a relatively wealthy, sparsely populated country, has little recent history of political extremism, much less terrorism. That it was the site of such an attack, even if by an isolated gunman, has unleashed concern across Europe that the anti-immigrant underswell that has swept much of the Continent in recent years could metastasize suddenly and unexpectedly into violence.

As flags across the city hung at half-staff, hundreds of people flocked in the rain Sunday to Oslo Cathedral, where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, King Harald of Norway and other leaders attended a memorial service. Outside, many onlookers openly wept and milled about for hours as they contributed to a growing carpet of flowers and candles.
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