Monday, July 25, 2011


voanews - Norway’s prime minister has led a memorial service in Oslo for the 93 people so far confirmed killed on Friday by a Norwegian gunman and bomber who had expressed anti-government and anti-Muslim rants on the internet.  Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg addressed hundreds of mourners gathered at Oslo Cathedral Sunday, telling them that Norway has suffered a “national tragedy” in which the victims were known to many people, including himself.  Norwegian King Harald and Queen Sonja also attended the service.  Outside, tearful Norwegians laid flowers and candles in tribute to those killed in a mass shooting on the southern island of Utoeya and an earlier car bombing in Oslo’s government district. Norway’s NRK television said a person wounded in the shooting died Sunday, raising the death toll on Utoeya to 86. The car bomb killed seven people.

Police say 32-year old Anders Behring Breivik surrendered as soon as they reached the island and later confessed to both attacks, but his lawyer says the suspect denies committing any crime.  Breivik is suspected of setting off the fertilizer bomb that heavily damaged the prime minister’s office building, before traveling to Utoeya and firing at participants in a youth camp organized by the ruling Labor Party.  Police say Breivik claims to have acted alone, despite some witnesses on the island saying there was a second gunman. Breivik published a 1,500-page manifesto on the Internet just before the first attack. In it, he rants against what he calls the Islamisation of Europe through Muslim immigration. He also vows to take revenge against European liberal elites whom he accuses of betraying their Christian heritage by promoting multiculturalism.

Norway mourned a pair of horrific terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of at least 93 people who were killed Friday in a Downtown Oslo bomb attack and a shooting rampage at a youth summer camp.  Anders Behring Breivik, 32 years old, who confessed to killing nearly 100 people, believes his actions were “atrocious” but necessary to bring about a “revolution” in Norwegian society.   He regarded himself as a successor to the medieval Knights Templar, trying to overthrow governments tolerant of Islam.  Analysts say that the anti-immigrant reaction that has swept across Europe in recent years, could generate unexpectedly violence.  

Few institutions wear the mask of interfaith fraternity to cover their unpleasant faces before the society. These shows and hidden agenda have fogged up the zeal, diligence and sacrifice of real members. ... Proclamation of beliefs and installation of centres have multiplied and constructed religious consciousness and also divided and destructed the society.  Unfortunately peace mechanisms have lesser analytical approach and action, when compared with their foes. ... In spite of reinterpretation of passages and new trend of concord, inter faith pursuit is slow, for it needs a high level transformation in the whole society and no doubt our present activities will nourish that goal.  More than the scriptures, ideals and prophets, we have to focus the need of dialogue directly with the concerned institutions, society and people. We should realize that showing rules before somebody who deliberately differs in deeds is lunacy.

Śrīla S.A.R. Prasanna Venkatachariar Chaturvedi Swamy :
Acarya de la Ramanuja Sampradaya
“International Conference on Interfaith” - “Issues in Interfaith”
“Culture, Philosophy, Literature and Religion” 2009, Mumbai, India.

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