Tragedy In Norway: A Wake-Up Call For Europe?

Change brings opportunity and risk, and while the attacks in Norway sadden us all it is not surprising that the simmering tension of Europe’s failed multiculturalism has erupted in violence.

STRATFOR offers an excellent analysis (subscription required) of just what this attack could mean for all of Europe.

  • If the attacks are from a grassroots Islamist group based in Norway, far right parties in and around Norway could see a significant increase in popularity, potentially sufficient to land them in office.
  • If an individual or domestic neo-Nazi or far-right group is responsible, there is likely to be no significant impact.
  • If the attacks were the work of an individual seeking to strike out at the labour Party there is likely to be no significant impact.
  • If the attack was the work of an international Islamist group that infiltrated Norway it could force all European governments to drastically reassess their focus on and commitment to defence.

Governments across Europe must work to include Muslim populations by winning hearts and minds rather than demonizing this fast-growing minority population.  After all, the Muslim population of Europe is exploding:

  • Muslims are expected to account for 8% of Europe’s population by 2030.
  • Norway’s Muslim population is forecast to increase from 3% to 6.5% of the population by 2030.
  • Sweden’s Muslim population is forecast to increase from 4.9% to 9.9% of the population by 2030.
  • The United Kingdom’s Muslim population is forecast to increase from 4.6% to 8.2% of the population by 2030.

Rapid growth of minority populations can and has energized countries in the past, and there is no reason to believe that may not be the case with Muslim populations in Europe.  The challenge for government leaders will be to respond coolly and strategically if and when acts of violence lend public support to ill-thought reactionary policies.

About the author:

David Johnson is a partner with ACM Partners, a boutique financial advisory firm providing due diligence, performance improvement, restructuring and turnaround services to companies and municipalities. He can be reached at 312-505-7238 or at [email protected].

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