Norway’s asylum policy claimed another victim today. This time it was somebody I knew. Stein Sjaastad (58) was a good friend of, and the primary-care physician for, several of my best friends in Oslo. I met him several times. He was always gentle and soft-spoken, and always had a warm, slightly wry smile and a genial twinkle in his eye. He was by all accounts a wonderful, caring doctor, and when one of my best friends in Oslo was going through the worst crisis of his life, Stein was extraordinarily understanding, considerate, and helpful, going out of his way to help him through it. He was what every doctor should be.
Today an Algerian national who has been living in Norway for about a year, and whose asylum application was apparently denied (but who, as is the usual practice, simply remained here anyway), walked into Stein’s office and stabbed him several times in the chest and neck with a knife that he had brought along. Apparently he had been a patient of Stein’s. This afternoon, when his name surfaced in connection with the murder, several Oslo doctors told police that they had experienced this man’s aggressiveness firsthand. But of course nothing had been done. Nothing is ever done. After all, lots of asylum seekers are aggressive.
One was reminded at once of August 3, 2004, when another aggressive asylum seeker — this one from Somalia — murdered 23-year-old Terje MjÃ¥land on a downtown Oslo tram, the same tram my partner takes to work every day. That murderer, as it happens, was released by the authorities only two weeks ago, on March 15, on his own recognizance. He can’t be held responsible for the crime, they say, because he was insane at the time. Now, apparently, he’s OK.
This evening, on Tabloid, Norway’s premier news-discussion program, Mullah Krekar was interviewed. He offered his views on Islam and the West, the main point being that the former will eventually conquer the latter. No mention of Stein’s murder.
Stein leaves two sons and a partner, Egil.