It’s not as if there hasn’t been all kind of Islamic mischief in the center of Oslo. On January 8 and 10, 2009, hundreds of Muslims wreaked havoc on the city’s main drag, Karl Johan, requiring police to use tear gas and leading to 194 arrests. For years, the quiet downtown streets and the charming little park in which the Royal Palace is located have been the settings of late-night Muslim gang rapes. And so on.
But residents of the Norwegian capital have grown used to the relative comfort of knowing that the overwhelming majority of the assaults, car-burnings, robberies, acts of vandalism, and the like carried out by the city’s Islamic youth gangs tend to occur miles away from the center of town, in the immigrant-heavy Grorud Valley to the east, where most well-heeled Oslo residents have little reason to venture.
So it does come as something more of a surprise when some Koran-inspired bit of unpleasantness occurs closer to the heart of the metropolis. Hence the more than ordinary amount of attention being accorded to a stabbing that occurred at around one in the afternoon last Thursday in a Kiwi grocery store on Møllergata, a rather trendy street that isn’t in the very best part of town but is close enough to make locals sit up and take notice.
The victim was a 25-year-old woman who was waiting in line at the cashier’s to pay for her purchases. A young man, it was reported, walked right up to her, pulled a knife out of a bag, and, holding its handle with both hands, plunged it into her back. He appeared to be preparing to stab her again, but instead assaulted a Kiwi employee (who had perhaps tried to intervene, and who fortunately emerged unharmed). He then took it on the lam, only to be stopped and arrested by police a few hundred yards from the scene of the crime.
The first news reports stated that the perpetrator was a twenty-year-old Russian who had entered Norway that very same day, having entered it through Sweden. My first guess was that “Russian” in this case meant “Chechen.” Later reports explained that he’s from Bashkortostan, a state located in southwestern Russia near its border with Kazakhstan.
Bashkortostan? No, I never heard of it either. But it turns out to have a population of four million, making it almost as big as Norway. And its principal religion is — guess what? — Islam.
By way of removing all doubt about the motive for his barbaric act, the perpetrator was quick to inform the police who captured him that his assault on the innocent grocery-store shopper was an act of Islamic terror, plain and simple, and that he had planned to kill several more infidels but had simply not managed to pull it off. On Saturday it was reported that he had said that “all Christians must die.”
That’s as unambiguous as it gets. He’s a jihadist, and admitting to it. Good to know. Or so one would think. Alas, many members of the Norwegian cultural and political elite will go to great lengths to avoid taking such a confession seriously. They refuse flat-out to face up to the reality of jihad. If you accept the reality of jihad, they’ll accuse you of buying into what they call the “Eurabia conspiracy theory.” They fervently reject the idea that Islam poses an existential threat to the West.
To be sure, the PST — the national-security arm of the Norwegian police — announced that it was indeed treating the Kiwi stabbing as a terrorist act. But then there was Ole Lunde, the veteran lawyer who, on the day after the attack, was assigned to represent the defendant. Speaking to a reporter from Dagbladet, Lunde said that he had not yet met his client or read his statement to police. But he dismissed the man’s claim that he had been guilty of an act of terror.
“My gut feeling,” Lunde asserted, “tells me that he’s sick.” Sure it does. In fact, this is standard operating procedure for attorneys in these situations. Lunde said that he would request a doctor’s appointment for his client (whom he referred to, cozily enough, as “the boy”). Of course, if Lunde is able to convince a judge that his client is mentally ill, then he’ll avoid a prison sentence, receive medical care, and eventually be let out — and perhaps even granted asylum in Norway, so that he can become yet another burden on the Norwegian taxpayers, including the woman he stabbed (if, that is, she survives).
Over the weekend, the news website Nettavisen reported that the defendant had also told his PST interlocutors that, in addition to stabbing strangers, he had also intended to drive a truck into a crowd of pedestrians.
Then there’s this. “In other countries,” maintained Dagbladet on Friday, “knife attacks against random individuals, carried out by Islamists, have occurred with relative frequency, but [such attacks] have so far not happened in Norway.” Nettavisen kind of agreed, running a story under the headline “Kiwi attack may be the first stabbing carried out by an Islamist extremist in Norway.” This assertion can only be considered true if you make it a requirement that every jihadist explicitly identify his atrocity as an act of jihad.
Which raises a few questions. A few years back, in broad midday in the center of Oslo, my own partner had a knife pulled on him by a Muslim. His assailant didn’t shout “Allahu akbar” or manage to carry out the knifing. Does that mean it doesn’t count as an act of terror?
What about the case of Stein Sjaastad, a doctor I knew who was working in his downtown Oslo office one day in 2006 when a rejected Muslim asylum seeker from Algeria walked in, stabbed him a total of nineteen times, several times driving the knife at least six inches into Stein’s body? Stein died from his wounds. It later emerged that the murderer, Kamel Mellah, had previously made certain “threats” (apparently not to Stein), been locked up for that reason in a mental hospital — for a week — and then let back out on the street. After the murder, Mellah was sent to a cockamamie-sounding psychiatric rehabilitation farm (yes, farm) where he told other patients about his plans to pull off more murders and threatened one employee with murder. Nothing was done about any of this. Norwegian authorities refused to send him back to Algeria, because they decided his native land doesn’t offer the kind of treatment he supposedly needs.
And what about the Somali guy who went on a rampage on August 3, 2004, stabbing six people on a morning rush-hour tram, one of whom, a 23-year-old man on his way to work, perished? The murderer was later arrested outside his mosque. He didn’t shout “Allahu akbar” either. Like Stein’s killer, he was treated as a psychiatric case. Seven years after his stabbing spree, TV2 reported, as if it were happy tidings, that this creep was now living a “free and normal” life in Oslo. For all I know, the same is true of Stein’s murderer: the media have provided no updates about his whereabouts for years.
These incidents are only a sampling, included here because I happen to remember them vividly. There have been others. But in the eyes of Dagbladet and much of the rest of the Norwegian establishment, none of these offenses have anything to do with Islam. They’re caused by PTSD, or by frustration over the failure of Norwegian authorities to provide lavish enough handouts, or, needless to say, by exposure to evil Western bigotry.
So it is that even shouting “Allahu akbar” at the top of your lungs or signing a piece of paper in which you readily declare yourself a bloodthirsty, freedom-hating, Koran-loving jihadist isn’t necessarily enough these days to convince a soft-headed Scandinavian judge that you’re a deeply committed warrior and not just another wacko who should be committed. The Western establishment’s chronic denial of the reality of jihad is just that powerful. Just as the man from Bashkortostan stabbed that woman in the back, people like his court-appointed lawyer are sticking a shiv deep into the guts of Western liberty.