Police in Bergen received reports during the weekend that two young Norwegian women were verbally and physically attacking people with non-Nordic features. “She said she was a racist and didn’t like foreigners,” one young Palestinian victim told state broadcaster NRK on Sunday.
“I’ve never experienced anything like it before,” Sharif Nidal, who has lived in Norway for seven years, told NRK. “I was shocked, and outraged.”
Nidal said he and a friend were walking through downtown Bergen Friday night when one of the women confronted them just outside the Kløverhuset shopping center.
“She asked what his name was,” said Nidal’s friend, Birand Adnan, who has lived in Norway for 13 years. “He answered and she screamed back, ‘no, that’s not your name.’ Then she said she was a racist and didn’t like foreigners like us.”
The young woman then started calling them “goddamned foreigners” and began hitting Nidal, while another woman joined her and tried to grab Nidal around the neck. “She said, ‘shut up, you goddamned foreigner,’ and ‘don’t talk to me, you goddamned foreigner.'” Nidal told NRK. “I hadn’t said a word and have never seen her before.”
Adnan took out his mobile phone and started recording the attack. “I told her she could repeat what she’d just said and stand behind her opinions,” Adnan told NRK. “She reacted by trying to grab my phone and chasing me.” Then he called the police.
“When I got hold of the police and reported what was going on, the women began confronting other people in the area with dark skin,” Adnan said. “They attacked one man with no provocation at all.” Nidal said others were verbally assaulted as well. “I defended myself, but didn’t want to hit a woman,” Nidal said.
Police confirmed responding to a call regarding a racist attack in downtown Bergen but no charges were immediately filed against the women. Nidal and Adnan said they would file a formal police complaint.
“We don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but I need to show that I can’t accept being treated like that,” Adnan told NRK, which is aware of the women’s identity. Neither would respond to NRK’s questions.