Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of murdering 77 people in a bomb and gun attack in Norway last summer has taken the stand to speak to the world. Rightly the judge in the case decided that the event should not be broadcast, but the trial is already in the media spotlight, so his words flow through social media and on news websites.
Breivik has admitted to carrying out one of the deadliest and sophisticated attack in Europe's in modern history, and as such he should pay dearly for his actions. Breivik has shown no remorse for his actions and claims that he would certainly do it all again if given the chance to do so.
So we should have an open and closed case. A man admits to the crimes, yet the trial will now turn on whether Breivik is still found guilty or insane. Breivik has said that being labeled insane would be a "fate worse than death."
If the case is called differently on grounds of insanity, then Europe will need to take a serious look at itself to decide what kind of continent it wants to be.
Breivik’s actions were calculated with an anti-Islamist agenda, and with a specific purpose in mind. He welcomed and embraced the moral responsibility of his deed. He did not shoot those people on the island because he failed to appreciate that their death mattered, but because he wanted to kill in pursuit of a precise goal. It seems like the majority of the mainstream media are forgetting that Breivik actually wrote his manifesto for the purposes of explaining exactly what he thought.
Breivik and his manifesto would never have gained public attention by normal political means, and hee must not get it by the expedient of mass murder. It would be an affront to the victims and a public danger in encouraging extremists with grievances to pursue them by similar means. There will be much soul-searching in Norway during this trial. The values of a distinctively tolerant society are vindicated in extending them to Breivik. But that is where obligations to him end.
Norway, along with the rest of Europe, should reconsider the most serious question of them all: how do we deal with a future where people of different religions and cultures live side by side? And how do we deal with the ideology that tells us this is impossible?
Breivik grew up in a country where from the outside, everything looks clean, orderly, well presented, safe, wealthy, and prosperous. Anyone who has been to Norway knows how expensive the place is. However there is a undercurrent running through most European countries that has not be acknowledged properly. Some people champion multiculturalism for others who want nothing to do with it.
My fear, as a person who lives, works, and travels around Europe, is that this continent is sliding towards a destructive end both financially, socially and politically.