Kinsman: Should we view the Oslo attack as an arbitrary act or as a reflection of wider political and religious extremism?

By: /
August 1, 2011
Jeremy Kinsman
Former ambassador to the European Union and high commissioner to Britain

He wrote he would “kill to avoid the islamicization of Europe.” His act was that of an insane person, but we would be deluded not to conflate his atrocity with the xenophobia of extremist political parties and right-wing hate groups in Europe that radiate anti-immigrant and anti-government messages in increasingly inflammatory language. Their words may now be toned down for a time. Insecure and weak leaders of mainstream parties will pull back on the temptation to drift to the populist right in their own messaging. But Europe has to get its asylum/identity/integration act together. It will require leadership able to rise above the EU’s now chronic economic crisis. PM Stoltenberg emerges as the strong and compassionate leader so depressingly absent elsewhere, with the exception of Poland’s Donald Tusk.