The Hatred in Our Own Eyes: A Norwegian Anthropologist Writes

A hard-hitting an honest article from Sindre Bangstad, an anthropologist from the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo. The full article (in Danish) appears in Politiken.

It opens with:

Norway has produced Europe’s first anti-Muslim terrorist. It seems, however, that the public narrative about him and his actions will not accurately emphasise what is said concerning the direction Norway as a society has taken in the Islamophobic era.

32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik’s intense hatred against multicultural Norway in itself would not have been an obstacle to significant parts of the Norwegian population defining him as ‘one of us’.

Norwegian opinion polls show, after all, that an overwhelming majority of respondents from a representative sample of the population do not want more immigration to Norway at all, and that nearly half of those surveyed have no hesitation in banning Muslims from wearing the hijab in public places – all in the name of state-sponsored feminism.

However, through his acts of terrorism, Anders Behring Breivik has become ‘one of them’ – a human being we are free to hate. It is easier that way. For peaceful Norway and the peace-loving Norwegians represent themselves as the embodiment of universal goodness. So it will always be.

No matter how many bombing raids Norwegian pilots conduct in Muslim countries, no matter how many innocent civilians are killed by Norwegian soldiers in the same countries, and regardless of how much the public debate about Muslims and Islam in Norway has been wallowing in the gutter, one thing is clear: We will not face the hatred in our own eyes.

(ht cp)


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