Denmark Looks On In Horror

Some reactions from the Danish press to the Oslo bombing/Utøya massacre:

  • Here’s your connection between the two episodes: As Jyllands-Posten reports, the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who barely escaped injury in the capital, was scheduled today to be on Utøya to address the young people there at what was after all a summer camp run by the Labor Party, of which Stoltenberg is the head. (That article also has at the top a brief video giving a helicopter-view of the island itself – and of some swimmers desperately trying to get away from it.)
  • Another Danish mainstream paper, Berlingske, wields the obvious parallel: A Norwegian Timothy McVeigh. It quotes a few experts who maintain that the likelihood for violent incidents of this kind should have been apparent from extreme-right literature, imagining future race-wars and the like, that has been circulating in Scandinavia for a while. And it examines the alleged shooter’s social media trail and unearths his self-description as a conservative Christian fed up with the Norwegian Church’s hyper-modernism, wanting it to get “back to basics.” Right, back to Jesus and his disciples, presumably – a notorious gang of killers . . .
  • As for a Christian Danish paper, namely the Kristeligt Dagblad . . . well, they get it wrong. Very wrong. Their on-line article Here is why Norway became a target for terror, datelined today (Saturday, 23 June 2011), goes on and on about why Norway is logically a target for Muslim extremists, even as the caption to the picture up top mentions the arrest of “a 32-year-old strongly nationalistic man.” It’s hardly the only media outlet to fall into this trap – frankly, I was hearing a lot about “Muslim terror” on the BBC World Service during its initial coverage – but that’s no excuse. Don’t be surprised if the article is gone, or at least heavily modified, should you decide to click through to see it.

Finally, back on a somewhat lighter note, Prince was actually supposed to play Oslo today and tomorrow, in concerts that had long been sold out, reports Berlingske. Obviously, those can’t go ahead just now, but these performances are merely postponed, not canceled, and also not by much: just two weeks to 2 & 3 August. The Purple One might well be advised to avoid Controversy and bring along no Chaos & Disorder.

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