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Norway Tragedy

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836551.  Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:50 pm Reply with quote

About 85% of Egyptians are Muslim (mostly Sunni), and about 14% Christian (mostly Coptic Orthodox, but perhaps quarter of a million Protestants and a similar number of RCs). There are a few thousand Bahá'í, and a few hundred Jews.

Open atheism is very rare because it's illegal; it is compulsory to be affiliated to one of the Abrahamic religions. Consequently, those who will speak about atheism at all tend to be bloggers using pseudonyms. Any figures that those people give are necessarily very tentative, but they do not dispute that the proportion of Egyptians who do not believe in God is very small - the best estimate seems to be about one quarter of one per cent.

Spud McLaren
836650.  Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:33 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
... it is compulsory to be affiliated to one of the Abrahamic religions.
Ooh-er. So if I go there, I'll be a criminal, as would every visiting Buddhist, Taoist, Confucianist, Hindu, Jain,etc.?

836671.  Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:11 pm Reply with quote

As a mere visitor, you'd be fine. But if you actually wanted to live in Egypt, you'd need to obtain an Egyptian identity card. And to do that, for a long time you needed to declare to which of the Abrahamic religions you belonged. "None of them" was not an option.

Between 2009 and this year's revolution, a small number of people succeeded in registering their religion as "-"; all were Bahá'í. No one has been allowed to register a religion other than the three which are recognized.

How this year's revolution will change all this is not yet clear.

836681.  Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:40 pm Reply with quote

sjb wrote:
I think for both me and others here, we're more accustomed to hearing about shootings (but not so much bombs) in Nordic countries being the result of native, non-Muslim folks. Finland in particular comes to mind, which isn't really right of me to conflate Finland and Norway but it is what came to my mind first when the news first broke.

For instance:

It's of course a bit late in the day to come back to this remark from Page 3 of the thread, but I've been otherwise engaged.

I think it probably is a bit unwise to throw Finland into the mix in this context, as the first and third examples given were school spree-shootings of the Columbine variety performed by disaffected youths with an IRC-fuelled nihilist philosophy (Auvinen's a BIT more complicated, and one theory suggests online bullying and a failed cyber-romance were additional factors, but...), and the one in the middle was a common-or-garden jealous-lover-takes-it-out-on-woman-and-then-executes-her-colleagues-at-work incident involving a Kosovar Albanian immigrant who had a restraining order out against him.

Hence #2 does not fit in here AT ALL (it wasn't "terrorism" in any shape or form, and this was known to all within an hour of the Sello shootings), and additionally the very precise nature of Breivik's targets - the existing Labour Party apparatus and the brightest stars of the next political generation (and he allegedly had it in mind to take out former PM Gro Harlem Brundtland as well) very much ups the ante from schoolboys working out their angst and their fantasies about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Breivik's ties with counterjihad groups (or at least his enthusiastic reading of what they had to say - places like Pam Geller's Atlas Shrugs, the Gates of Vienna blog, and Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch are naturally back-pedalling furiously and denying that their often rather strident Islamophobic - and simultaneously pro-Zionist - rhetoric had anything to do with this...) put him into a very different category and cast this all much more in the light of ANOTHER Nordic country, namely Sweden, where the Palme and Lindh assasinations were overtly political acts against the SDP.

I cannot agree with bobwilson's claims about television, but it is interesting that many (mostly on the right) have commented on the cotton-woolly consensus nature of Norwegian politics and have "blamed" the lack of opportunity for "dissenting voices" to be heard.

There is some truth in this, insofar as a reluctance by the mainstream parties in Sweden, Finland, and Norway alike to recognise some legitimate concerns about immigration and integration has allowed the debating chamber to be seized by the small but shrill corps of extremists.

The advance of populist "anti-this and that" parties (not strictly "of the right" - the True Finns, for instance, are as statist as they come on many issues, welfare for instance, and have stolen blue-collar votes from out-of-work Social Democrats) in all three countries, and in Denmark, too, is a reflection of general public ennui with the typical "they all think and look the same" politics.

836712.  Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:28 pm Reply with quote

otyikondo wrote:
Hence #2 does not fit in here AT ALL (it wasn't "terrorism" in any shape or form, and this was known to all within an hour of the Sello shootings)

I think that was the point I was making--I didn't immediately think the Norway tragedy was "terrorism" since I assumed it to be more along the lines of the shootings I had heard of in Finland. And, of course, my assumption was before the facts were fully realized (particularly by me, but also by the press).

I really should visit Norway and Finland so as to stop conflating them. For whatever reason, Sweden being mostly in the middle of them doesn't buffer the conflation at all. And I do reasonably well keeping the other Nordic countries separate in my mind. Hmm.

902155.  Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:22 pm Reply with quote

I know there has been talk elsewhere on the boards about the start of this trial, but it does seem to me to be an event worthy of bringing back this specific thread for the subject, rather than it being thrown away in one of the prunable threads - if nothing else, it's probably going to be the lead story on the news every night this week.

So, I was particularly pleased to see that he opened with the standard despot-in-the-dock move, by refusing to recognise the validity of the court.

And his reasoning ties in with what constitutes his defence - he does not recognise the court because it was brought about by parties that, according to him anyway, have policies with which he disagrees. Which is like a criminal here trying that in the Old Bailey because he disagrees with Andrew Lansley's Health Bill.

Oh, he also tried to suggest that the judge may have a conflict of interest, so I would imagine that he's spent some time this year watching tapes of Saddam Hussein's trial.

Of course, the most breath-taking thing that has come out (so far) is that he has managed to convince himself that he was acting in self-defence - a pre-emptive strike against the potential politicans of tomorrow who may bring in even more policies with which he disagrees.

I'm trying to work out if this is the world of the Terminator, or Minority Report. Actually, that second one is probably two jokes for the price of one.

QI Moderator
902193.  Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:55 pm Reply with quote

Reproduced below are the posts from a discussion of this matter which took place on another thread, but which is better placed here. QIM.

no1 school swot wrote:
I saw on the tv this morning that Mr Breivic is looking depressingly cheerful in court today.

sally carr wrote:
I am so glad they will not be showing his testimony. Creatures like him should not be allowed a soap box.

djgordy wrote:
I'm all for giving people like him a soap box. Once they start to spout they shew what evil and stupid people they are.

filofax wrote:
I think he's pretty much shown that now, don't you? What he wants now it to lecture the world on his distorted philosophy, and I really don't think he should be allowed the satisfaction. The worst punishment someone like that can have is to be left to rot away in obscurity (although I will admit to a morbid curiosity to hear what he has to say)

'yorz wrote:
No - by all means give him a platform.

Starfish13 wrote:
I am extremely impressed at the compassion of the Norwegian people, including the survivors of the attack and the families of the dead, that this is not the prevailing view. Most people appear to be of the opinion that he should be treated no differently from any other Norwegian standing trial accused of a crime, and should be offered rehabilitation in prison if found guilty and treatment in hospital if found to be insane.

Spike wrote:
Please can someone find a way to wipe that smirk off his face!

Neotenic wrote:
I agree that it is right that his trial is given proper publicity.

The problem with denying people platforms is that it allows those who may be superficially sympathetic to the cause (even if they don't condone his ultimate actions) to romanticise his beliefs and motives.

Indeed, on a somewhat different scale, we saw much the same thing with the BNP here - at least two decades of people doing everything they could to keep their representatives away from the national stage led to them having two MEPs and a seat at the GLA.

However, the resulting platform (not least the seat at the Newsnight table for Dick Griffin) proved to be utterly catastrophic for the party, and it has pretty much collapsed under the weight of debt, in-fighting and external scrutiny.

PErsonally, I think if Brevik were to be tried in absolute secrecy, the possibility of a copycat incident is likely to be much higher than it would be with the full extent of his delusion shown under cross-examination by a skilled prosecutor.

He may be smiling now, but that's because he's obviously a narcissist and he is currently living his fantasy. Personally, I think his tune will change as the trial goes on.

filofax wrote:
I agree that it shouldn't be held in total secrecy, that he should be shown to the world for what he is. However, allowing him to pontificate and preach and achieve perhaps a secondary wave of pleasure from his self righteousness rankles. I think they have struck the right balance in allowing him the chance to speak, but not giving him the worldwide media coverage he probably wants.

I don't believe his tune will change - he believes he did the right thing, and he will enjoy boasting about it, and will probably enjoy being incarcerated for it. What gratification there is in knowing that you are a martyr for your cause, that you are the only one who knows the true path, and the only one who has the courage to do what needs to be done, regardless of the personal cost.

suze wrote:
The trial could be a rather odd one, because of a quirk of Norwegian law.

The maximum sentence upon conviction for murder in Norway is twenty one years imprisonment; Norway is one of two dozen countries in the world which do not have life imprisonment.

There is an alternative sentence called forvaring, which literally translates as "containment"; that means much the same as "At Her Majesty's Pleasure". But Norwegian legal experts are not convinced that a forvaring sentence is compatible with the constitution, and it's never actually been passed. Which means that if it is passed in this instance, there are sure to be appeals which could go on for years.

So the prosecution would much rather have him declared insane - if that happens then he will be sent to a secure hospital, and that can be for life. He's been declared sane enough to stand trial, but arguments about his sanity seem likely to form a major part of the proceedings.

Mind you, there's another issue - Norway doesn't have a secure hospital which is considered secure enough to hold Breivik. The government is well aware of this and is considering building a one-prisoner unit especially - but Norwegian taxpayers don't especially want to pay for it.

Neotenic wrote:
I've brought back the WFHIT thread about the events in Norway, for continuity purposes, and to avoid the discussion getting swamped by whatever other fabulous things may be watched on the telly.

djgordy wrote:
He could wipe stuff off his own face if only someone would let him have a box to keep his soap in.

Efros wrote:
Sometimes state imposed immolation doesn't seem such a bad idea.

902235.  Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:35 am Reply with quote

So Breivik thinks he has carried out 'the most spectacular and sophisticated attack on Europe since World War II'.

I suppose it depends on whether shooting fish in a barrel blows your frock up, really.

902440.  Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:57 pm Reply with quote

What about Las Ketchup's asault?

902457.  Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:43 pm Reply with quote


902598.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:39 am Reply with quote

I still have flashbacks of the horrors o Las Ketchup's invasion of Europe...

The nightmares!!!

902620.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:45 am Reply with quote

Just in case anyone is interested, the Grauniad are doing what are actually rather good Live updates from the court.

902634.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:10 am Reply with quote

What or who is Las Ketchup?! And how did it/they attack Europe?!

Ed: ok - they are apprently a band. But still...?

902663.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:29 am Reply with quote

Don't mind me Yorz, just being silly.

902695.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:41 pm Reply with quote

If I minded everybody who was playing sillybuggers on this forum, I'd buggered off myselvers. :)


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