The Norwegian imam fears a new terrorist attack in Norway. But he has suggestions on how to avoid it.
Senaid Kobilica (47) leads Norway’s largest mosque. He has personal experience with ethnic hat and murder. After two terrorist attacks in Norway, he fears the next.
In front of all the black-clad and mourning people who flow out of the church, the then parish priest Anne Marit Tronvik and Imam Senaid Kobilica walked. Shoulder by shoulder. It had been a few days since July 22, 2011. Bano Rashid was buried from Nesodden church.
Ten years later, newspaper cartoonist Inge Grødum’s illustration of the historic moment still hangs at Senaid Kobilica’s office in Oslo. It reminds him that in 2021 there have been three markings of terrorist attacks.
The three dates have burned into him. 11/9, 22/7 and 10/8:
- The terror that hit the United States on September 11, 2001, became a paradigm shift for Muslims: everything got worse, Muslims were suspected, condemned, threatened and feared, Kobilica believes.
- The events of July 22 ten years ago were horrific. For Kobilica, it was a relief that the terrorist was not a Muslim.
- The last terrorist attack took place against the Al-Noor mosque in Bærum on August 10 until a year ago.
Senaid Kobilica believes the latter happened because hate speech and prejudice against Muslims were not taken strongly enough. This is what he now wants to deal with.
– We said “never again” – after the Holocaust, after Srebrenica, after September 11, after July 22, after August 10. But I fear the next attack, he says.
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