Europe

Norwegian politics after Breivik

Rose rally, Oslo
Image caption A time for contemplation in Oslo

The tragic events in Norway have raised political questions about multiculturalism, society and crime and punishment.

BBC News website readers in Norway share their opinions on whether or not politics in Norway might or should change in the wake of these events.

Paul Austad, Oslo

I hope that the people of Norway will become more conscious of how important it is to accept that our culture is in fact changing as a result of increased immigration. The irony is that the ruling party has become more and more sceptical to immigration over the last 10 years, partly owing to losing votes to Fremskrittspartiet, a party strongly opposed to immigration.

This party has become the second largest party in Norway which indicates that Norwegians are not united in questions of multiculturalism. Anders Behring Breivik might have come to believe that he could increase this division among the Norwegian people, but I believe he has accomplished quite the opposite.

Anders Rekve, Oslo

Image caption "You're either a member of society or not," says Anders Rekve of Oslo

I cringe at the use of the word "multiculturalism". I've never heard it before this weekend and I don't want to hear about it again. I understand the concept and the general meaning of the word, but I disagree on the premise that society needs to be explained in terms of which culture you belong to.

You're either a member of society or not. Multiculturalism is a term used to section society into smaller pieces that illustrate belonging and identity. I don't find it a fruitful method of distinction. If you live in Norway, you are a part of that society it is that simple. And as a part of society, you need to obey the laws. Anders Behring Breivik did not obey these laws.

Per Jonas Xia Mehus, Baerum

Image caption "We are prepared to fight terrorism with democracy." Per Jonas Xia Mehus

Norway has had a remarkable political consistency, even through changing governments. I do not think a person representing a marginalised fraction will change this. We are prepared to fight terrorism with democracy.

Regarding Anders Behring Breivik, he will be dealt with according to Norwegian law, and except from his own marginalised political fraction, I do not think anyone would like to see capital punishment introduced in Norway, not even among those closest to his victims.

Jarle R Carlsen, Norway

I have always rejected the arguments of the extreme right on immigration, most immigrants to Western Europe are just searching for a better life. Because immigrants tend to stick together in their new countries you will, to some extent, get high concentrations of foreigners in some areas. This makes the uninformed and bigoted very scared. The terror attack in my country last Friday has made me even more determined to explain to the uninformed how important immigration is to our small country.

Frederik Wendel, Norway

Norway is not the "happy valley" that the prime minister would like it to be, and we are not as united.

The fact is, the majority of people are opposed to the multiculturalism the government is promoting. We have seen clearly the problems that immigration creates, and the worst thing is we are not allowed to express that opinion. So, I'm not surprised about what happened.

Cora in Skien, Telemark, Norway

These attacks have, if anything made me realise that I have been born and raised in one of the most open democracies in the world, and looking back I have enjoyed the benefits of this without really reflecting on them.

Things that I have always taken for granted, from being able to be a member of a political youth organization, to freedom of speech and democracy have suddenly become things that I am willing to fight for. Anders Behring Breivik has made me realise that there are people around me who have beliefs and ideas of what a healthy society is, ideas which are so distinctly different from my own.

In my opinion these attacks have highlighted how it is not multiculturalism that poses a threat to our country, but rather how extremist groups of any belief are a threat to open democracy.

Terje Skretting, Stavanger

Image caption "Norwegians in general are very naive people. They think too good about others." Terje Skretting

These events have not changed my thinking about Norwegian politics. I am not surprised at what happened, but it seems that most people in Norway are. I think because Norwegians in general are very naive, they always want to think good things about other people. They see themselves as living on an island isolated from the terrible world outside.

We know that a lot of people in Norway, as in many other countries, are concerned about immigration. Norway has a very good social programme and can inspire many people to come to Norway - not to work, but to live on social welfare. This upsets a lot of Norwegians.

Some immigrants want to bring their own culture to Norway and some Norwegians see this as a reason against multicultural development.

With all this in mind, I am not surprised that ultraconservative elements in Norway exist, but I am surprised that one man could murder children and youngsters like he did.

Ole Kristian Ulvesaeter, Bergen

In my opinion Norway has always been a largely tolerant society. What has been good to see, is that even the far-right movement in Norwegian politics are condemning the attacks. Now many people, me included, think that the killer is being treated much too leniently. But at the same time, the majority of people are against the death penalty.

Bjørnar Steine, Hedmark

I agree to a certain extent that this attack will mean more focus on the possibility that attacks of this nature can occur in Norway. On the other hand people need to realise that these kinds of attacks can be done by any extremist, regardless of political group.

There has been a rise in the number of right wing parties in Norway recently, I think this is a result of reforms and reorganisation of pensions, hospitals, taxes, fuel prices and so on. The left wing parties and their politics have resulted in more people living in poverty and social care.

Right wing parties wish to stop prices and taxes going up. They also wish to decrease immigration of non-western immigrants and asylum seekers. Any party arguing for more restrictive immigration policies will be affected by what has happened here.