Sunday, July 24, 2011

More on Norway

This picture from the NY Times pretty much sums up the result of terrorism, regardless of venue. And make no mistake, Oslo was terrorism, not some one-off Virginia Tech or other snap-nut shooting. It was planned meticulously and the guy was doing it for a cause with hopes for changing outcomes to his way of thinking--just like Jihad.

No surprise he was a single guy living at home with mom who thought of himself as a Templar Knight as he played out his sick real-world video game. All these guys seem to have issues with women, including many jihadies. And most think themselves noble. The anthrax killer--assuming it was really Dr. Bruce Ivins--probably thought of himself as such--noble, patriotic, trying to halt an enemy or save the culture, etc. Same with bin Laden. But when their cause involves slaughtering innocent civilians they're nothing more than common "madmen". Every one of them.

Unfortunately Breivik's heinous act could set Europe on its ear, and perhaps the rest of the western world.

For instance, the jihadi group who took initial credit for the Oslo bomb backed out when they began to see the carnage unfolding on the island. Imagine the Elks, Kiwanas or Masons jumping in to take credit. Radical Islam once again showed itself and some will remember, others will not. Meanwhile:
Mohammed Shafiq, the leader of Ramadhan Foundation, one of Britain's largest Muslim groups, says mosques are being extra vigilant as it emerges that the suspect blamed for the Norway attacks opposed Muslim immigration to Europe.

"People are afraid that we will be the next target," Safiq said. "As a result, we've told people to be extra vigilant and there will be added security placed at mosques."
Not that they shouldn't be reasonably concerned as the attack might shake loose a few other unhinged crazies, but it feels more like they are playing a victim card. There's no evidence the Norway McVeigh even has a network, and even if he does it can't be anything approaching an AQ-like network. Leaders in Europe should take care not to overreact and give Islamic terrorists a reason to claim self defense for the next bombing, or give them new leverage to go after those who condemn cultural differences such as Sha'ria, burkas, subjugation of women, ie,--mostly conservatives. It will be easy for some to now compare them to a mass murderer.

Meanwhile, the international press seems to be enjoying pressing the "Christian fundamentalist" moniker (where did he attend church?) and the "multikulti" angle (click the pic above and read it yourself in the Times story). It's a circulation play but also helps score points for their team. CNN International already has a feature up about the reemergence of Europe's far right and their aversion to multiculturalism/immigration, yet the story failed to mention recent comments from Nicholas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and David Cameron about the assimilation issue, preferring to focus on more radical figures like Gert Wilders and the like. Here's MSNBC; CBS; and the LA Times with similar themes.

Secondarily, the coverage may set up a moral equivalence paradigm that acts to place fundamental Christianity on the same plane as fundamentalist Islam despite the obvious differences. Painting Islam as too much a victim could also fuel negative attitudes regarding European/NATO war efforts in Afghanistan (and Libya) and any other action against Muslim terrorists around the world. The Imams need to resist the temptation to use this horrible act as a club and instead use it to illustrate just how much sorrow and carnage can be caused by madmen with causes.

But perhaps the most intriguing article of the day comes from ABC News:
The man suspected of killing more than 90 people in a bombing and separate shooting spree in Norway had considered a plan to obtain a weapon of mass destruction through a truce with extreme Islamists, despite his online anti-Muslim rants.

"We both share one common goal. They want control over their own countries in the Middle East and we want control of our own countries in Western Europe," reads part of a 1,500-page manifesto reportedly posted online by Anders Behring Breivik, apparently identifying himself with other right wing extremists. "An Islamic Caliphate is a useful enemy to all Europeans as it will ensure European unity under Christian cultural conservative leadership."
The same potential nexus was largely ignored with Oklahoma City, and Breivik eventually dropped it. But in the end his wild idea should serve as a reminder of the danger still faced.


Debbie said...

He did not attend church, he had a "hatred" of the modern institutional church.

Also, the words "Christian" and "Conservative" seem to have been added to his FaceBook site AFTER the attacks took place. who did this?

Right Truth

A.C. McCloud said...

The NY Times, CNN, WaPo and others rode with the description of 'fundamentalist' Christian without so much as one morsel of fact-checking. In light of this horrible tragedy there they are trying to score points against the Tea Party and Palin/Bachmann.