Right-wing terrorism and racial profiling

Alphia Abdikeeva, CIDH Pro Igual

For quite some time now, the European police resort to techniques known as “racial profiling”: singling out and targeting for stops and searches non-Caucasian-looking men. Arrests and detentions, often without an objective need, of people of Mediterranean appearance have risen dramatically, even leading to a number of lawsuits and protests from the human rights community.

In the wake of the terrorist attack in Norway carried out by a native Christian extremist violently opposed to immigration, Norway’s Prime Minister has warned his compatriots to exercise tolerance and restraint and avoid a “witch hunt.” However, the right-wing Progress Party – whose views are closest to the perpetrator of the Norway massacre – indicated that it would press for tougher judicial measures. That party´s MP was quick to promise a parliamentary discussion “about sentences, searches by the police and everything else” adding: “My party has always wanted that.” He forgot to mention his party always wanted tougher justice for foreigners par excellence.

It is interesting how some forces are ever-ready to use even the national tragedy as an opportunity to pursue their goals – the goals that may be responsible for that tragedy in the first place. It will be also interesting to see how this would play out and what kind of a criminal profile the Norwegian police would use in the wake of the right-wing, extremist Christian, anti-Muslim terrorist attack.