Almost as a matter of course, we demand that Norwegian experts travel to other countries to ensure that everything is done as we believe it should be done. The reason is the simple fact that we do not trust that other countries – especially those that are far away – can have a functioning society.
Almost as a matter of course, leading police officers stand on the stairs outside the police station in Oslo and suggest a possible murder in Pakistan – without detailed knowledge of what has happened. But the Norwegian police are doing what they can to get information. And the audience consists of a bloodthirsty herd of tabloid journalists, who see nothing strange in the fact that the Oslo police set aside resources for a case in another country. And in the fog of blood, the tabloid press does not heed the police officer's words that in Pakistan it is Pakistani law that applies and that we must comply with it.
For those of us who were far away when Rahila Iqbal died in Pakistan, it is impossible to say what really happened. It may have been an honor killing or it might have been an accident. Accidents also happen in Pakistan. And accidents can also hit people who should have been threatened.
And what should we believe when those who are experts on conviction say that we cannot trust that the Pakistani justice system is not working or is corrupt?
They say this about the same justice system that cuts down much harder on, among other things, drug crimes than what the Norwegian does.
We did not know what happened to Rahila Iqbal, but we cannot have a top-down attitude to the authorities in Pakistan. If they need Norwegian experts, they should get it if they ask for it. To require Norwegian experts to see Rahila, to confirm our distrust, is not the way to go.
In this patronizing attitude of the Pakistani authorities we see a forefinger which is a moral hollow.
Because if we turn around and look beyond our Scandinavian pattern democracy then we may see some black spot that should make us pull our index finger back.
A couple of weeks ago, a Jordanian-Palestinian man, Ammar Hasan, was killed outside Café Rust on Nørrebro in central Copenhagen. Probably in a settlement between rival criminals. In Norway, we have also killed people who have passports from countries such as Pakistan and Israel. But do we see it as natural that other countries' experts come to Norway to check whether we do the job the way they want it to be done?
Both in Denmark and in Norway, we experience that there are many rootless young people who do not find themselves at ease in our societies. These rootless young people are not just children of immigrants. Here we also find Danish and Norwegian young people who do not manage to adapt to the adult world as we would like them to do.
If our authorities had shown the ability to think long-term and carefully considered the word prevention, we would have had fewer outspoken young people, and in the long run we would have had the opportunity to enter into dialogue with the rising generations. Whether they have a grandfather in Tana or in Pakistani Randheer.
With attitudes that say that the criminals are either Pakistanis, Jordanians, Kosovo Albanians or members of a motorcycle club, we emphasize that foreigners are criminals because they belong to a nation, while Norwegian criminals are criminals because they belong to a motorcycle club.
Both Ammar Hasan and Rahila Iqbal are examples of the fact that we are closing our societies to immigrants. The result is that immigrant groups apply together – instead of integration. When the Norwegian and Danish societal norms do not manage to lock immigrants into society in a good way, then we get a backlash. The immigrant groups introduce their own rules and a separate justice system in their groups. Rules they draw from their own background.
The reason is not aversion to our society, but a counter-reaction to the Scandinavian laxity and indifference. The debate has started in Denmark, it will soon come to Norway.
Every child has the right to a good upbringing. The most important role of society is to facilitate that it is possible to achieve.