The impact of the terrorist attack on Norwegian society
Associate Professor Katrine Fangen was interviewed for an article in the Dutch weekly magazine ‘De Groene Amsterdammer’ on the emotional and social impact of the terrorist attack on Norwegian society.
Fangen explains that “when measured by participation in the labour market and in the education system, the situation for immigrants in Norway is good in comparison to other European countries. But there are also problems for immigrants related to xenophobia". She states that during the 1990s, the extreme right movement was larger than it is today. However, after the killing of the Norwegian-Ghanian boy, Benjamin Hermansen, who was beaten to death by two members of the Neo-Nazi group BootBoys in 2001, there were many who left this movement. There is a difference between how the extreme right was organised during the 1990s and today. Then they were more visible on the streets, whereas now it is more common that they act anonymously on the Internet, evident by the actions of Fjordman, an internet source with extensive communication with Anders Behring Breivik. She also notes that right wing extremism used to be associated with anti-Semitism and regular racism, whereas now it is focused more on anti-Islamic attitudes.
Fangen explains that after the terrorist attack many used the expression that “Norway lost its innocence". The first week after the terrorist attack, the focus was on tolerance and unity. After a while the discussion has focused more and more on security and safety measures.