News / Updates / Events — 26 July 2011

Norwegians respond to terror attack with awareness and consciousness

People worldwide have been stunned by the news that two terror attacks were carried out in Norway, a small and peaceful country of less than 5 million people. The first attack in Oslo killed several people with a massive explosion in the government quarters, while during the second, later attack on the island of Utøya, several dozen of young people participating at a labour party youth camp were shot dead and many wounded.

Rose march

Rose march

The 32 year-old attacker Anders Behring Breivik has been arrested, a man who is a member of the Freemasons, harbors radical right-wing views, fighting against what he saw as a Marxist Islamic takeover of Europe and took it upon himself to kill his fellow citizens in protest.

The attacks bewildered a nation better known for its active diplomacy and peacekeeping missions than as a target for extremists.

Struggling to accept this atrocity, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said during an address in the Oslo Cathedral on July 24:

“Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. But never naivety. No one has said it better than the Labour Youth League girl who was interviewed by CNN: ‘If one man can create that much hate, you can only imagine how much love we as a togetherness can create.’”

The next day, more than 150,000  people gathered in central Oslo for a ‘Rose March’ around the centre of Oslo to show defiance and protest the attacks. Crowds held roses in the air and walked from the town hall to the cathedral.

Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang said the turnout showed that Norwegians do not accept violence. Commenting to CNN on Breivik’s statement of being prepared to spend the rest of his life in jail Stang said, “We’re going to punish him with democracy and love.”

These statements show consciousness and compassion. May the people of Norway continue in their peaceful ways and not harbor hate but rather forgive with awareness and understanding.

“Hate will disappear not by your doing anything, but by being more aware, more conscious, more alert. Become a conscious being and you will be at your center, and no one will be able to take you away from your center.”

Osho, The Great Challenge, Ch 12, Q 3