Peace, and terror

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We got the best summer ever, for the last couple of weeks. Nice and sunny, holiday time. Suddenly, a couple of days ago the country got the most terrible message: The Norwegian government has received information about a possible terror threat against Norway. Norwegian officials told that Islamist terrorists could strike the country within a few days. The Police Security Service had received information that individuals affiliated with an extreme Islamist group in Syria may have the intention of carrying out a terrorist action in Norway.

We used to see our country as the quiet corner of this world. We are also the host for The Nobel Peace Prize, and we are suposed to be “the best country” to live in, according to the UN development ranking. In short, this place is supposed to be safe, and peaceful, and you usually see no armed police, and no arms at all (except for the occasional hunter). This is a country where you still don’t have to lock your door some places, or your car, and no fence around you garden is needed. Suddenly there is armed police everywhere, the army is prepared to step in if necessary, you need a passport to pop across the border to Denmark or Sweden, and our 600 ports with international traffic is suddenly of major concern. What is this?

Terrorism like this is no news to so many countries today, sadly enough. It is almost unbelievable in Norway. But actually we had a big terror attack three years ago. 77 people were killed 22 July 2011 by a Norwegian who wanted to attack our Labor Party because he didn’t like their immigration policy. Most of the victims were young people on a summer camp.  This is a different story. This time the authorities was alarmed, and they chose to inform the public. Tonight they say the threat is reduced. We don’t know what will be happining. Hopefully nothing at all. But it is a situation some have been warning about, and few have taken seriously.

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The most interesting warning is comming from former Islamists, that is European militants that for years belived in the Islamist doctrines of jihad and sharia. Like Maajid Nawaz from England, a former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), imprisoned in Egypt from 2001 until 2006 since he belonged to a group banned in Egypt. He resigned from HT in 2007, and co-founded Quilliam a counter-extremism think tank. “That involved a recalibration of one’s identity, to start defining yourself as Muslim against the rest of the world,” he writes in his book Radical (2013) about how he was radicalized at a young age.

A few days ago The Islamic State announced the death of Abu Ayub al-Nurwiji (the Norwegian) in northern Baghdad. He died on June 2. The suicide bomber from Oslo (born in Tunisia) is supposed to have died when he performed an attack in Baghdad, and if so he is the first confirmed suicide bomber from Norway. But he is cetrainly not the first jihadist from Norway. As I have mentioned in a former post we are exporting them, that is at least 40-50 have been fighting jihad in Syria, and one of the terrorists killing about 70 people at the West Gate shopping Center in Kenya last October was supposed to be a 23 year old man from the small Norwegian town of Larvik (originally from Somalia). And last week we got the news about an etnic Norwegian (35) who is regarded as a global threat by US authorities. He converted in 2008 and is trained by al-Qaida in Jemen.

So how can people from this small democracy from the far North end up as suicide bombers and other terrorists? Ahmed Akkari from Denmark have some of the answers, like Nawaz mentioned before. They have both been radicalized at a young age. They know the processes of radicalization. They have even been recruiters for these organizations, and they have met people who later became terrorists.

Gullible municipalities threw millions of dollars directly into the mosques. The money went to Islamist indoctrination, and to spread hatred against Denmark and values ​​such as democracy, tolerance of freedom.” Writes Akkari in his biography My leave of Islamism (2014) (my translations, the book is in Danish).

 Ahmed Akkari is born in Lebanon and came to Denmark as a child with his family seeking asylum. Akkari is known for his involvement in the Muhammad cartoons controversy, bringing the issue to the attention of influential decision-makers in the Middle East. That is a past he has now firmly rejected.

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Another author who has written an interesting book about these dark forces is Zeyno Baran from Turkey. She is an expert on extremism that believes that American and European policymakers have partnered with the wrong Muslims, freezing out their friends and empowering those who wish them ill: “For the past several decades, Islamists have misrepresented their extremist ideology in the West as mainstream Islamic thinking. Their efforts have been boosted by billions of dollars from the governments and private sitizens of Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf states. This support has allowed Islamists to fund a wide range of institutions aimed at establishing their political interpretation of Islam as the dominant Muslim discourse in the United States and Europe. These include imam training centers, elementary and secondary schools, youth clubs, and civic action groups. Islamist movements seek to use such institutions to advance their utupian social engineering project: to “Islamize the world.” Citizen Islam (2011)

The ultimate step is for Islamists to gain political control of governments around the world, and unify all countries into the caliphate, writes Baran. If somebody should utter something like that in Norway, that person would be laughed at, and silenced. And Baran admits it sounds alamist, but she says: look at Afghanistan. Today she could also say: look at ISIS, the first terror group to build an “Islamic state“, or to Northern Nigeria and Boko Haram, just to mention a few.

“To a Muslim like myself, raised in a democratic country, it is self-evident that Islamism threatens to undermine the fundamental liberties Muslims enjoy in modern societies… I was raised to believe, like most of Turkey’s 70 million Muslims, that Islam and democracy can and must coexist,” writes  Zeyno Baran, who wants people and governments to see the difference between Islam and Islamism. I hope many people will read her book, and also the others mentioned. We even have one book about the Norwegian jihadists. I recommend that one too: Norsk Jihad, Jan Akerhaug (2013), it is in Norwegian.

Boka Norsk Jihad

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50 thoughts on “Peace, and terror

  1. It is hard to believe that terrorists are threatening Norway. Why? What do they hope to gain, what do they hope to prove, why? That whole world of terrorism is so foreign to me, while we have a TON of this stuff in the USA, I still don’t get why? What the hell. Sometimes hate is taught at such an early age, sometimes this hate acts as an infection, sometimes this infection spreads, but it doesn’t make sense. They call is ‘religious’, I call it bullshit, too much hatred with this lot.

    Be safe, enjoy that gorgeous lake and deck and beach chair. Nancy

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    1. The threat didn’t materialize into something concrete this time. But we are told to be prepared for anything, anytime. And not to worry. Infection, that is the word, Nancy, because these deadly attitude didn’t exist 50-80 years ago, and it is only a couple of decades since it started spreading seriously. If we want to stop this, we have to start with the recruiters, because we don’t want war, do we?

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  2. Trouble is, there are so many those people in England and around even myself.
    To utter the words in either way it may get attention of them if not here MI 6.
    —– what a world. 😦

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    1. I know, England is a center for this dark ideology, because it was and probably still is a free heaven. Somebody digging their own grave? Sorry, don’t want to be too pessimistic. Most people still have got their senses, Yoshizen, but will they use them?

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      1. Kill 10, 50 of “Most” need to have just one fanatic.
        As it become to rare belief, the person believe it is
        purer = the more value to be reborn in the heaven surrounded by 100 virgins. —– the trouble is, there
        is no use to talk, discus, let alone argue with them
        because that IS what belief is.
        It is beyond the rational sense and we human can be an utterly irrational person.

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  3. These are indeed very frightening times. So much evil in this world…I don’t understand it. The whole situation is really depressing me lately.

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  4. there are times here in quiet peaceful ecuador, when a lone ‘airforce’ jet careens over the landscape on what is surely a training run. i always wonder what it would be like to live where those sounds represent real threats, and one’s first instinct would be to hit the ground/floor in case of attack.

    i am so very sorry that this is happening to your country, a country that i associate with kind gentle people. it saddens me that there’s so much hatred in the world and how the innocents get caught in the middle.

    may this crisis soon pass, and you and your beautiful country stay clear of danger.

    lisa/z

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  5. What’s even sadder is we become racists and bigots when we try to speak out against it. This coming from terrorists who use that same racism and bigotry to fight their own causes. Hope everyone stays safe and the threat is soon cleared.

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  6. I know how it feel like to live under threat or fear, because India is one of the top target of terrorism and we had deadly bomb blasts in many a cities.

    The world has changed beyond recognition over the last couple of decades I feel.

    Only thing that we can do is to spread the message of good will and mutual respect here.

    I think people across cultures are sharing this already in this forum, I could feel it.

    Have a peaceful summer vacation, Bente 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also have a hard time understanding what is happening. Why both Christian and Islamist terrorists seem to be taking over and making this world such a dangerous place. Why can’t folks just chill and be kinder to each other?

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  8. Thank you for all your information – quite enlightening. I believe that like Empires rise and fall so does the domination of different religious societies – hope I am right. Since everything is global no country is ‘safe’ – infiltration of extremists upsets the balance in many parts of the world.
    What a wonderful peaceful photograph – so inviting.

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  9. I am so sorry and I feel for you Bente, these are such threatening times. The fact that so many European countries let so many muslims immigrate freely has lead to an alarming situation. These past weeks I have been doing some research and meditating about this and found something very unsettling i.e. that the jihad would never had come that far if, on the other hand, the wide spread anti-Semitism had not been very much alive even today. Feeding anti-Semitism is feeding the jihad movement. Sometimes things can be that simple.

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  10. It’s a difficult issue that crosses boundaries and nationalities. In our news we hear:

    Australia has raised the alarm about the number of its citizens believed to be fighting alongside insurgents overseas, including an Australian suicide bomber who killed three people in Baghdad this month. That has added to concern about radicalised fighters committing terrorist acts when they return home.
    Last week, the government announced sweeping national security reforms that would make it easier to track Australian citizens believed to have fought overseas both while they were abroad and after they returned home.

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  11. Mijn kinderen zijn op reis in Noorwegen en dat bericht maakte me toch een beetje ongerust.Wij geven alle mensen een kans op een beter leven bij ons en dan gaan ze ons bedreigen..Het wordt hoogtijd dat diegene die zich misdragen in hun land moeten blijven en hier niet meer welkom zijn.

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  12. Wishing you and the world peace. Given the magnitude of brutality the jewish army have inflicted on a small muslim population in Gaza on the pretext of terrorist Hamas has exceeded all levels of tolerance for any peace loving citizen in the world. Plus its Ramadaan time, a symbolic attack to suggest there is no god, allah. The politics of arms and ammunition trade is the real threat and those countries supplying such weapons for economic wellbeing must think what a warring world will gain with all of us annihilated. Seeing all the goriness of little children and families in such grotesque telecasts is making peace loving folk either numb, paranoid or helpless. How do we expect no retaliation from survivors who have been through this episode in a strip called Gaza and the west Bank. Whose war is this? Someone will fight on their behalf perhaps the various jihadis watching this carnage….

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  13. Have a good summer Bente.
    There are always those that will bite the hand that feeds them – the secret is ‘Look them in eye’ that’s how you tell.
    Unfortunately our governments looked the other way ! and we are all now paying the price.

    David.

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  14. Hello Bente! It is very sad….There is always a war or terrorattacks somewhere in this world…..
    it seems more complicated than during the Cold War….Perhaps there is no truly safe place in the world.

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  15. A beautiful peaceful image to balance against the writing that documents so well what is happening (we think) elsewhere but actually has been home-grown where young men have been radicalized in their local mosques and then travelled to join Jihad. I am appalled by what I hear of ISIS – the demands the Christians to leave, or convert or be killed. A statement I read that all women and young girls must undergo FGM. This is barbaric.

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  16. This is a very interesting post. One that makes us all think…
    I’m sending peaceful and safety vibes to Norway and its people.
    Take care and be well.

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  17. Beautiful photo at the top of your post – it looks so idyllic.

    And yes, it’s a sad world we live in today, where even the most peaceful nations like your own Norway are being infiltrated by threats and violence. I I remember when the 77 were killed (on our world news in Australia).

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  18. We like to dream that certain places are assured havens from these things–when I was in Finland, I thought so often of your mid-Norway, too, and what a haven it seems to be (as your placid, lovely photograph by the water so appealingly suggests). It somehow makes the terror all the more terrible when it intrudes on such a peaceful land. May things change for the better soon.

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  19. Through the ages people have done terrible things in the name of religion. Will it ever end? I’m afraid there will always be those who, out of fear, out of poverty, out of lust for power, will use religion as an excuse to commit all kinds of atrocities.

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  20. I say this with sadness, but welcome to the real world Bente. I cry myself hoarse amidst my closet fanatic Hindu friends not to tar all Muslims with the same brush. Until we start learning to differentiate Islam from Islamists, and make attempts to bridge the alienation, there will be no peace. That idyllic shot is depressing in this context.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sinceramente, toda suerte; la agresividad y el terrorismo-de la índole que sea- es mal asunto de la naturaleza humana: hace sufrir en exceso, es criminal. Un buen abrazo.

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  22. hello bente, I am surprised to see that your country is also affected by these insane furious. To believe that aujourd today rnobody is at the shelter an attack. The world is insane!! this is why i likes to find me in mountain, with the calm. Good day to you. Val

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  23. I’ve been following the threats closely and find it sad and scary. Yet another great post, Bente. I always liked to think to think of Norway as a safe and peaceful country.

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  24. Dear Bente. Unfortunately this is a highly topical post. The fact that Norway of all countries should be subject to this kind of threat is almost beyond belief.
    With all the things going on in the world right now, I often think about hidden agendas.
    Thanks for sharing this post,
    Hanna

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  25. This is truly scary. We followed the news from Sweden too. Heavy heart when thinking of it. But you have good peace makers in Norway and are always trying to help in conflicts. Stay safe.

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  26. nice article, Bente. For a country such as I live in terrorism is not new news. Perhaps it has become part and parcel of daily life. And maybe sad parts is that there is no solution to it as of yet.

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