He is Norwegian, and he is an expert on counter-extremism. With Asma, he works to help others overcome hatred and the violence that often accompanies it. He comes by his expertise, or his interest, the hard way, unfortunately.
You will recall that massacre that took place in Norway eight years ago. The killer killed 77 people, most of them students, or at least many of them. Bjorn survived that massacre. His life was deeply affected, as you can imagine. In our podcast, I don’t ask him to retell the story of that day in Norway. You can find it elsewhere: here, for example. I have linked to a page at the Oslo Freedom Forum, where Bjorn gave a talk.
Today, he and I talk about what happened in New Zealand yesterday: that massacre in which 49 people, at least, were killed. He does not want to be Massacre Boy — the massacre-’splainer to the world whenever one of these atrocious events occurs. But he has a lot to impart, and he is willing to do it.
There are parallels between the New Zealand massacre and the Norwegian one. Bjorn Ihler discusses these and related issues. An uncommonly thoughtful guy he is, who is making excellent uses of his unusual life.
Again, our podcast is here.