Transition of Thoughts

Weaving thoughts into words

Anders Behring Breivik – Is this how trials of terrorists are done?

For the uninitiated, Anders Behring Breivik is the confessed perpetrator of the July 22nd attacks in Norway. These attacks (A bomb blast outside a government building in Oslo which killed 8 along with the 69 he killed indiscriminately on the island of Utoya plus the 151 injured) were the worst in Norway’s history since World War II. Initially he was labelled as another Muslim terrorist who is a part of the Al Qaeda network intent on taking terror to new places in Europe. But with time it was realized that he was one of their own – White, Christian and Norwegian.

The initial reactions from countries to such acts includes increasing safety measures, having regular police presence, increasing screening of people in big gatherings and functions etc. But the Prime Minister of Norway made a statement which said – “We are going to tackle these attacks with more openness, democracy and participation.” And so Breivik went on trial like a regular defendant in the court of law.

So what actually is Norway all about? Norway has been a peace loving country since one can remember. They have had a steady flow of tourists because of its majestic fjords, greenery, the midnight sun etc. It is also regarded as one of the least corrupt and most developed countries on the planet. And so this reaction of theirs is due to many reasons:-

– By increasing excessive security, policing etc, the government doesn’t want to make people feel there is a constant threat. They want to believe that this
was just a one – off incident.

– According to the Norwegian law, every guilty person can be given a fair trial in court as a defendant. And that’s why Breivik has got his 5 days to give his
side of the story as the trial goes on.

– There’s no death penalty in Norway. According to the Norwegian rules, one can be sentenced to a maximum of 21 years in prison. Though if its proved that the
guilty is a danger to society, he / she can remain in custody for as long as deemed fit. And Norway is not willing to change this.

Though the live telecast for the proceedings is banned across the world, live reports are going around the planet through Twitter and other news media. A large contingent of journalists have arrived in Norway to cover this landmark case. But therein lies the main problem.

Bin Laden, Tim Mcveigh and many other dreaded terrorists have never got their share of 5 days of glory to give a testimony. They have never been able to share their ideology with the world other than through some audio recordings in Laden’s case. But Breivik got this platform and he seems to be using it to the best possible way. A lot many people are coming out openly in support for his views against multiculturalism and Muslims. Though they don’t support his actions, they agree to quite an extent with his views on how multiculturalist societies are destroying the core of Europe and the rest of the world.

Secondly, seeing Breivik being given such a free trial, others with similar views and thoughts could also be emboldened to conduct such high intensity spectacular attacks. At the moment, I have a feeling that many people see Breivik as a rebel who had a right cause but wrong actions.

On the other hand, not putting them to trial at all or being all secretive from the world like US does in case of the terrorists it captures is not the right thing to do as well. US has used increasing security, force, attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq etc. to keep itself safe. And despite the fact that I don’t agree to their policies one bit, they have managed to avoid any terrorist attack on their soil since September 2001.

Norway’s views on treating terrorists are at one end of the spectrum while US / UK views are totally on the other end. They say that they won’t change their policies. But wasn’t this an unheard of event? Wasn’t this event something never seen before? Considering this they ought to have treated Breivik differently. Yes they shouldn’t have conducted a trial secretively or killed him straightaway by hanging him. But instead, giving him a platform to voice his views is sure to lead to disaster. Every day judges are shaking hands with him, he’s smiling off and on, giving a long and detailed speech about the Knights Templar or the 2083 Europe manifesto – is he criminal or some famous personality?

A terrorist needs to be treated as one! Otherwise, the day isn’t far when many more Breivik’s will be born!!

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6 Comments

  1. Well, we really can’t do much about how countries enforce law and order, especially when our own country is holding onto Kasab as if he is some greek God! its just a way of life that has been accepted, especially in a country like Norway where terrorism is really a one-off incident, they don’t really want to publicize it considering its one of the most developed nations of the world.

    Breivik’s ideology is just 1/10th of what Bin laden treated, the only difference being the latter was more violent and the former’s violence has been shed because he is the citizen of the country wherein he traded violence for a more irrational behavior.

    Giving terrorists a right to speak, well yes, but then in a country like India where Human rights only support violent people, this shouldn’t really be a high priority.

    • aseemrastogi2

      Oh yeah it seriously reminded me of India where Kasab is being given the royal treatment so much so that now people even don’t bother at all. What a sad truth that is. As far as terrorism being a one – off incident in that part of the world, I really hope it is because this was actually really terrible. But the fact is now a lot of people are coming out in support of his ideology against multiculturalists. I mean if that starts happening then no country in the world can be spared particularly places like Middle East which are based on multiculturalism running their entire economy.

      Haha yeah in India when terrorists kill its not human rights. But instead only when they are hanged or tried in a court of law or shot, its human rights :P.

      • His ideology of multiculturalism is something that has been breeding in the minds of all those who have evolved as terrorists over the years. The only difference is he was allowed to speak and make a point whereas others were not. as far as Middle East is concerned, I do agree with you; however the rulers out there already have a lot of discipline embedded wherein people would actually think 100 times before committing a crime , unlike some countries like ours, wherein we get used to situations.

        • aseemrastogi2

          Yeah in a way this ideology has evolved among terrorists across the planet. But then the fact that he was allowed a platform is making him some sort of a rebel which according to me could be a disturbing trend if its accepted worldwide.

          Interestingly you know in the Middle East, one of the things in the Arab Spring was lack of jobs for the ethnic population of the country. They complained that most were going to the expatriates. So I guess its something which is slowly but surely coming out in spurts across the world.

  2. Oh yes; i did observe that in Dubai.. Most of the good jobs lie with expats. Multicultarism was always an issue; just that it’s been raised in a violent way now.. Hope this fire that has got fueled in Norway doesn’t spread anywhere else..!

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