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Introduction

by Arnold “Skip” Isaacs

Two days after an anti-Islamic, anti-immigrant fanatic named Anders Behring Breivik murdered 77 people in Oslo and on Utøya Island in an act of xenophobic terror, Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg gave his country’s answer. “We are still shaken by what hit us,” Stoltenberg declared in a six-minute address to a packed Sunday service in the Oslo Cathedral, “but we will never give up on our values. Our answer is more democracy, more openness and more humanity.”

The message to Norwegians and the world, as Police Superintendent Asbjørn Rachlew expresses it, was that “Norway tomorrow will be recognizable” — that is, that the same country and society that existed before the attacks would continue to exist afterward, with the same beliefs in democratic political institutions, the rule of law, human rights, and principles of justice and fairness.