LONDON: A 16-year-old survivor of Norway's shooting rampage told his attacker that good would prevail over evil, in a heartfelt open letter published yesterday.
'We are not responding to evil with evil as you wanted. We are fighting evil with good. And we are winning,' Ivar Benjamin Oesteboe, who lost five friends in the attack, said in the letter addressed: 'Dear Anders Behring Breivik'.
'Maybe you think you've won. Maybe you think you've destroyed the Labour Party and people around the world who stand for a multicultural society by killing my friends and fellow party members,' the teenager wrote.
'Know that you failed,' said the letter, posted on Facebook and published yesterday in the Dagbladet newspaper.
'You describe yourself as a hero, as a knight. You are no hero. But one thing is certain, you have created heroes. On Utoeya on that warm July day, you created some of the greatest heroes the world has seen, you united the people of the world,' the teenager wrote.
On the day of the attacks on July22 , Ivar hid with others on Utoeya island's shore when he heard the first gunshots. They thought Breivik, who was dressed in a police uniform, was there to help them.
'We called out to him, waving our arms. He was there, trying to reassure those around him. All of a sudden, without batting an eye, he turned around and started shooting at people in the water,' he said.
The young man survived by running towards police who later arrived on the island.
'You have killed my friends, but you have not killed our cause, our opinion, our right to express ourselves. Muslim women have been hugged by Norwegian women in the street in sympathy. Your act has worked against its purpose,' he told his attacker who killed 77 mostly young people.
'You are Norway's most hated man. I am not mad. I am not afraid of you. You can't get to us, we are bigger than you,' the teenager wrote.
Norway's prime minister Jens Stoltenberg yesterday called on political leaders to show restraint in what they say, apparently referring to sometimes harsh discussions on immigration.
'We all have something to learn from the tragedy,' he told lawmakers at a ceremony honouring the victims. 'We can all have a need to say 'I was wrong,' and be respected for it.'
Mr Stoltenberg said Aug21 would be a national memorial day to commemorate the victims.
Confessed killer Breivik says his attacks were aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians who have embraced multiculturalism.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
[I have to archived any other reports on the Norway killer, in part because it is depressing and anger-inducing. Better to archive the sane, brave, responses. This is one. There is no point documenting the madness of the killer. There is enough madness. There is no point recording his demented anger and raving lunacy. There will be other examples.]