Today marked a dark day in Norway’s political history. A well known parliamentarian from the Progress Party has received death threats, and the police take them seriously.
He and his family are advised not to use public transport, not to go shopping in malls, not to be where large crowds gather. The family leads a beleaguered existence.
Christian Tybring-Gjedde has suffered memory loss, and is on sick leave from the parliament till January.
His wife Ingvil made a passionate plea to viewers of the daily news to leave her husband alone.
It transpired during the conversation that the couple has tried to do the right thing, to show civic engagement. They volunteered for service as night ravens – that is people who patrol the streets to prevent crime, but when they showed up they were met with remarks like «what on earth are these people doing here».
The fact of the matter is that the media themselves have contributed to a campaign of harassment towards people with a dissenting view on multiculturalism. The Progress Party is the only one who has consistently tried to criticize the policy that in the span of two decades have changed the demographic face of the country, to the extent that 42 percent of the children in primary school in Oslo are of foreign descent.
In later years even the Progress Party have taken a more conciliatory approach, but a few prominent politicians, like Tybring-Gjedde, have spoken out.
An article he wrote in May 2010 together with a fellow party member has been quoted endlessly since 22/7 as proof of his malevolent intentions. In the article «A tale from Disneyland», Tybring-Gjedde who gave the Labour party the mandate to change Norway beyond recognition. He wonders if the multicultural dream might rip Norwegian society apart.
These are opinions that are heard in every Western country with a large non-European immigration. The article garnered attention and outrage on publication, but since 22/7 it has been referred to as unforgivable. Tybring-Gjedde has given an apology and promised to soften his speech and brush up his language and pay more consideration. But apparently not enough. The threats kept coming.
On top of it all the state broadcasting, NRK, asked a prominent politician from the conservative party, Per Kristian Foss, for his opinion. He of course referred such threats to the police, but then added that the situation has been extraordinary since 22/7, some extremist views might have provoked a similar response. In other words, Tybring-Gjedde is not without blame.
One should recollect that Foss himself a couple of years ago said that Siv Jensen’s utterances about stealth islamization reminded him about the Thirties, and gave off a brown stench.
What once used to be the provenance of the left, – to call political adversaries nazis, has been taken over by the political parties in the center and the conservatives – thus the consensus is all embracing. The Progress Party has desperately tried to rid itself of its harmful ways and seek reconciliation. But alas, the drama requires culprits, and Tybring-Gjedde has been found to be the right person to play the part.
Official Norway failed Denmark and Kurt Westergaard in their hour of need, and it looks like they will fail Tybring-Gjedde. In this case it is not foreign jihadis or islamists who are to blame, but themselves. The threats were entirely predictable from the way the accusations were repeated day after day, week after week.
This time it treat hens not Danish democracy, but our own.