Ten years have passed since 22/7, and some Norwegians are still asking, “why?”
I remember that day as if it were yesterday. First, a bomb exploded in downtown Oslo, and what followed then were the cold-blooded murders of young people on Utøya island. A total of 77 people lost their lives on that day. Countless remained scarred by what happened for the rest of their lives.
22/7 happened as well about three months after the far-right Islamophobic Perussuomalaiset (PS)* scored their historic election victory. In a matter of four years, their numbers in parliament had swollen from five in the previous election to 39 MPs.
Few were asking – if not playing down – the political significance of the PS’ election victory ten years ago. They will implode in time just like the Rural Party did in the 1970s.
The PS was built from the ashes of the Rural Party.
After a decade, we can say with certainty the following: The PS has made Finland a more hostile place for migrants and minorities, polarized society, and fueled anti-EU sentiment.
Below are the organizations that the mass murderer likes in Finland:
On this somber day, forced to return to the events that marred 22/7, the day is crueler because we have few answers to understand why.
“We have discussed the unpreparedness of the rescue services, the number of police officers we should have on the street, the number of helicopters, the memorials, Breivik’s mental health…” said Astrid Eide Hoem, a leader of the Social Democratic Party [AUF]. “But there was no discussion of the political ideology behind it.”
Just like the post 22/7 era, the far right is as strong as ever. Even mainstream parties like the Social Democrats of Denmark, one of the most Islamophobic countries of Europe, have adopted the policies and rhetoric of anti-Muslim racist parties like the Danish People’s Party.
In Finland, the PS has openly vowed to end Muslim asylum seekers from coming here and declared war on cultural and ethnic diversity.
It is not a fringe or minor party pursuing such aims in Finland, but the biggest opposition party threatening to win the next elections.
The mass murderer of Norway and his hateful ideology inspired many.