“During the day, the city was full of people who wanted to speak out, about sorrow and anger, but also about support and solidarity and the will to continue fighting, for the right of every individual to live a free life, a safe life,” Støre said.
“Bullets cannot kill love,” added the head of the Norwegian Protestant Church, Olav Fykse Tveit.
The church was once a steadfast critic of LGBTQ+ rights, such as marriage equality. But not anymore, Tveit said – and the world needs to do the same.
“We see that we can learn, sometimes in spite of ourselves, that diversity is a present, a richness, and that many homosexuals have a capacity for love that we are incapable of,” he said.
Norway’s crown princess Mette-Marit and Masud Gharahkhani, president of Norway’s parliament the Storting, also attended the service.
Matapour, a former plumber from Iranian Kurdistan, arrived in Norway as a refugee at 12 years old, police officials have said.
Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) are considering the incident an “extreme Islamist terror act” given fears the suspect had been radicalised by an Islamist network.
Addressing Norway’s Muslim community Støre said: “I know how many of you felt when it turned out that the perpetrator belonged to the Islamic community. Many of you experienced fear and unrest.
“You should know this: We stand together, we are one community and we are responsible for the community together.”
Though his motivation remains unclear, the timing and location – being only around 350 metres from where Oslo Pride was scheduled to be held – raised concerns the LGBTQ+ community may have been the target.
The London Pub, in the bustling southeast borough of Sentrum, has been a mainstay of Oslo’s queer nightlife scene since it opened in the 1970s. Oslo Pride was set to take place in the Pride Park at Spikersuppa before the highlight of the 10-day festival was cancelled.
“These misdeeds remind us of this. This fight is not over. It is not safe from dangers,” added Støre.
“But we are going to win it, together.”