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

By: /
1 August, 2011
By: 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.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter