Professor Unni Wikan,
Norwegian Professor of Social Anthropology
University of Oslo
I am sorry for writing to you in a public forum but I think it is important now that you come forward to explain this horrible incident. You are a celebrated anthropologist who so kindly gave me an interview for my magazine sometime back. In the interview you spoke about the rapes in Norway that were committed by immigrants and the reasons thereof. Perhaps now is the best time to help your country to come to terms with this tragedy by presenting the factors that contributed to this tragedy. I am sure it will help in creating a more transparent view of the problem of immigrants and the clash of cultures.
I trust you are in good health. My regards to your mother who lives in the Tundra.
A reference from our interview :
MU – “I will not blame the rapes on Norwegian women. But Norwegian women must understand that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.” “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes.”
You stated this in reference to high profile incidents in Norway involving immigrant men and the local (Norwegian) women. Do you think the reverse will happen in Bali, like attacks on ‘visitor women scantily clad’ by ‘locals’ because the ‘visitors’ have shown ignorance of the social norms and/or not understood the prevalent culture?
UW – I have never said that women must take their share of responsibility for rapes. This is sheer misrepresentation of my statement. The rapist bears full responsibility for rape, which is a crime. What I did say was that many immigrants come from societies where the way many Norwegian women dress and behave is misunderstood to mean that they are immoral. In a multicultural society, it is an advantage if people learn something about one another´s codes of communication. The same applies if you are a tourist. It is a sad fact of life that women are exposed much more than men to sexual violence. So women need to be careful, and knowledge is power. But full responsibility for rape resides with the rapist.