Photo: Bjorn Larsson Roswell / TT
Photo: Bjorn Larsson Roswell / TT
2 min read

Sadness and anger and a feeling that this will not destroy either Norway or Oslo Pride have characterized the reactions after the terrorist attack on a gay Pub in Oslo.

Two men in their 50s and 60s were killed and around 20 people were injured before the shooter, through heroic efforts by the public, could be overpowered.

The 42-year-old terrorist went to the London Pub, Norway’s most famous gay establishment, and where Oslo Pride was being celebrated before Saturday’s big pride parade.


In a bag, he had with him automatic weapons which he took out and began to shoot indiscriminately at the guests.

The terrorist was known to police before the events of Saturday night as he was convicted of drug offences and a knife attack in 1999. In that verdict, it was stated that he suffered from “obvious mental problems”, according to NRK.

Since 2015, he has been brought to the attention of the security police PST for his contacts with Islamist networks. In May this year, they had contact with the terrorist but then made the assessment that he lacked potential for violence.

Only in April this year the shooter was in a car that was stopped by the police. In the car was also the famous leader of the Norwegian Islamist milieu, Arfan Bhatti. This is now highlighted in the after-debate as a sign that the shooter had contacts that the security police should have taken more seriously.

According to NRK on 14 June this year, before Oslo Pride, Arfan Bhatti posted a post on his Facebook page with a burning rainbow flag and a quote from the Koran where the story of Lot in Sodom with the message that men who have sexual contact with men should killed.


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A post shared by Oslo Pride (@oslopride)

At Sunday’s mourning service in Oslo Cathedral, the Speaker of the Storting Masud Gharahkhani spoke and said that “The dark times in our nation show that it is not about skin colour or religion. Evil is evil ”.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) also pointed out that the whole of Norway stands together regardless of faith. He turned directly to the country’s Muslims, where many have now expressed concern about increased Islamophobia, declaring that “We stand united, we are a community.”

The Prime Minister and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were among those who came on Saturday to comfort mourners and, with many thousands of others, lay flowers outside the London Pub.

Reactions have come from all over the world. Among those who offered condolences is French President Emmanuel Macron: “Oslo was hit last night by the barbarism of an Islamist terrorist. My sincere thoughts go to the victims and their families, to the injured, to the Norwegian people. In the face of hatred, we will always be stronger united.

In a comment on Instagram, the Swedish artist Lisa Nilsson quotes a quote from Dirty Dancing that summarizes many of the emotions in Oslo now: “Nobody puts the gay movement in the corner.”

Last Updated on Jun 27, 2022

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