The Executive of the Conservative Muslim Forum was horrified by the loss of life and devastation caused by the car bomb in central Oslo, and then shocked to learn that Anders Behring Breivik had set out to murder as many young members as he could of the Norwegian Labour Party during their summer youth camp at Utoya Island.
It is for the Norwegian legal system to determine whether Mr Breivik is clinically insane, or whether he is competent to stand trial for the killings which he has admitted. Meanwhile we can only mourn alongside those who lost friends and relatives in Oslo, and for the many parents who sent their children to a safe summer camp to learn about democracy and are now bereaved. The children who died were amongst the finest of their generation, devoting a week of their time to learn about the democratic government of their country. Who knows how much they might have achieved had they lived.
The killer’s loathsome 1,500 page manifesto has reminded us, if we needed reminding, that hatred has no religion. In their shared grief, Norwegians of all races and religions have come together to reaffirm their belief in democracy, freedom and an open society, utterly rejecting the hatred that Mr Breivik sought to spread.
Each year, the people of Norway send a Christmas tree to London to thank our country for the support we gave Norway during World War 2. Today Britons of all races and religions grieve alongside the people of Norway; their loss is our loss. Our prayers, thoughts and condolences are with the people of Norway.