Breivik's far-right terror attack enters Norwegian school curriculum

Published 23.07.2019 00:21

The 2011 far-right terror attacks in Oslo and the nearby island of Utoya that killed 77 people are set to become part of the curriculum in Norway's schools to highlight the mark left on Norwegian society. It was emphasized during a "remember and learn" event held under the auspices of the July 22 center and the National Support Group on Sunday evening.

Children and teenagers should learn about the acts of terrorism, Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang reported following an anniversary event of the terrorist attacks on Sunday. It is not only important to understand the attacks but to put the attacks into a bigger context, said Education Minister Jan Tore Sanner, according to the newspaper. "We never thought it could happen, but it did. And since it did, it means it can happen again. That is precisely why it is important that we become aware of the attitudes and movements, and deal with them accordingly," Sanner said. Therefore, the material needs to be introduced into schools, the newspaper reported him as saying, without saying when the new material would be added.

On July 22, 2011, Norway was shaken by the deadliest violence since World War II after Anders Behring Breivik, an anti-Muslim neo-Nazi, massacred 77 people. He killed eight with a bomb in Oslo and then gunned down 69, many of them teenagers, at an international youth meeting of the then-ruling Labor Party. Breivik is serving Norway's longest sentence, 21 years, which can be extended if he is still considered a threat to society. However, since then, he has become a reference point for many people who are obsessed with violent far-right ideologies.

Far-right terrorism becomes major global threat

The Australian-born white supremacist terrorist who killed 50 Muslim worshipers in two mosques in New Zealand in April drew from the example of Norwegian ultranationalist Anders Breivik, a journalist who studied the mass murderer said. In an interview with the U.S. National Public Radio (NPR), Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad, who wrote a book about Breivik titled "One of Us," cited a significant number of similarities between Breivik and Brenton Harrison Tarrant. Seierstad pointed out that both men are "failures," lacking education and "real community," who share the values of white supremacy and the same targets: Muslims and immigrants. While Breivik targeted the Labor Party, or "liberal elite" as he called them, for allowing immigrants to enter Europe, Tarrant went "straight to the target," directly attacking the Muslim community.

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