In the aftermath of attacks last July that killed 77 and were carried out by a self-described "cultural Christian," Norwegian Christians and Muslims on Nov. 22 jointly condemned religious extremism as "contrary to the teachings of our religions."
"Religious extremists put themselves in the place of God and believe that they are fighting on behalf of God against the enemies of God," said a statement released from the Islamic Council of Norway and the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations.
"Religious extremism is therefore contrary to the teachings of our religions, especially with respect to the basic dignity and rights of all human beings," the two groups said, according to a news release.
The statement said that religious extremism is part of the global reality, but notes it threatens the life, welfare, and rights of human beings in many local situations.
"The Islamic Council of Norway and the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations are especially concerned that possible tendencies to religious extremism in our own ranks should come to light," they said. "We therefore urge Muslims and Christians to prevent and oppose all forms of religious extremism both in their respective communities and in their fellowship with one another."
On July 22, bombing and shooting attacks killed eight people in Oslo and 69 on the island of Utoya. The man arrested in connection with the attacks, Anders Behring Breivik, wrote a manifesto in which he described his contempt for the Muslim population of Oslo and the policies of Norway's Labor Party that support multiculturalism.
--Nov. 22, 2011