A woman pastor and an imam celebrated together Friday the funeral of 18-year-old Bano Rashid, the first victim of Anders Behring Breivik's killing spree to be buried. The double heritage of the young woman, of Kurdish origin, and her commitment to politics were celebrated during the ceremony at an overflowing tiny church near the Oslo fjord. "An imam and a pastor side by side for this funeral is a very powerful message," Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said after the service.Similar to dozens of other Norwegian churches, the one in Nesodden, a small municipality south of Oslo, cannot fit more than a hundred or so people.
But many more gathered on Friday to pay tribute to Bano Rashid, who was gunned down while taking part in a retreat organised by the Norwegian Labour Party's youth wing on Utoeya island, near the capital.
The shooting left 69 dead and a car bomb in central Oslo killed eight other people, bringing the last official death toll of last Friday's twin attacks to 77.
Behring Breivik, a far-right extremist, confessed to carrying out the attacks when questioned last Saturday.
Bano Rashid was on the island with her younger sister, who survived the massacre.
"The answer must not be hatred, but even more love," their mother Beyan Rachid told Norwegian media.
Many young people were at Friday's service, carrying roses and praising Bano's political involvement and strength.
"It feels good to be here, all together, to say a last goodbye," said Siri Hov Eggen, also a member of the Labour Party's youth wing.
"She did tremendous work, she would have become an extraordinary political leader," she said, describing her slain party colleague as a "solid" young woman with a "strong personality".
Around her, other young people stifled their sobs.
Friends described Bano as a good student comfortable around people. She had an objective -- to become a lawyer -- and a dream to get elected to parliament.
The young activist had also written frequently about the evils of racism and discrimination.
Inside the wood and stone church, Stoere drew both smiles and tears from the assembly.
"As refugees who came from Iraqi Kurdistan in 1996, you arrived in Norway as a family, looking for protection and safety. And now you have been hit by what is most absurd, most outrageous and most brutal here in our home, in safe Norway," he said, addressing Bano's family.
"Bano is not here today. It is not understandable," he said, standing next to the young woman's coffin, topped with flowers and a picture of a happy-looking teen with long brown hair.
Stoere also recounted how on that fatal rainy day in Utoeya last week, Bano had lent her rubber boots to her role model, former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, a hugely respected figure within Norwegian Labour, who spoke to the young activists only hours before the shooting.
Bano, he said, had already been following in the politician's footsteps, and "this girl, who came came to Norway as a refugee, had it in her to fill Gro's shoes."
Once the ceremony was over, the crowd gathered outside the church and parted to let the coffin, also draped in a Kurdish flag and a ribbon in the colours of Norway, go through.
The mourners followed it until it was lowered in the ground. A few young women broke down in tears, while young men tried to hide their bloodshot eyes behind sunglasses.