I’ve been quiet about this. I can’t really describe what I’m feeling. It’s almost a scary calm when I’m in a hazy detached state, except when I actually focus my mind on it, at which point I want to sob uncontrollably.
Becky summarizes the events:
I’m sure most of you have heard about the horrible events which took place in Oslo, Norway yesterday. It is actually two events, which the police believe are connected, done by the same man, possible with an additional helper. First a bomb shook central Oslo, as it hid one of the main governmental buildings. At least 6 people dead and 15+ hurt. 6 more people are still missing.
Soon after the news broke that a man, disguised as a police officer, had opened fire at a (left-wing) political summer camp on an island in the bay of Oslo. So far 84 people are dead, many more hurt.
Many people automatically assumed that it was the works of Muslim terrorists. Only it wasn’t. They’ve apprehended the man they’re fairly certain who did it. He’s “pure” Norwegian, and connected to the far right-wing community in Norway. Allegedly he’s also a Christian.
Yet no one talks about how “all” Christians are violent and extremists. He’s described as a madman. Had he been Muslim, trust me, the news would’ve been full of how dangerous all Muslims are.
These events horrify me. This man opened fire on teenagers. When he had shot the people on the island, he started shooting those who were swimming, trying to get away from the island.
And she continues on to write,
I am scared for my family in Oslo, even though I already know they are safe. I am scared for my sister’s and my friends’ friends, whose safety I do not know about yet.
I am heartbroken and crying for the people who lost their lives, for their families and all the people who loved them, and for all the people of Norway who survived and witnessed and must now cope with this trauma. Summer camp means something very special to me, and that someone could use a gathering of young people as an opportunity for such incredible violence makes my soul sick.
I am angry at the news media for initially reporting that Norway had no domestic terrorists and citing all kinds of possible motivations for the perpetrators to be members of radical Islamic groups (e.g., the Mohammad cartoon and fall-out, Norway’s NATO participation in Afghanistan) when there was no evidence that these groups had anything to do with the killings. I am even more angry because once actual evidence came to light, it became clear that the main suspect is an anti-Islamic Neo-Nazi terrorist who is also a white, Christian political conservative.
I am scared for Muslims and for people of colour in Norway and surrounding countries who may be targeted for violence, or may have suffered from the early assumptions people made about who was responsible for the bombing and shootings. I am scared for everyone in Norway who could be a target for people who shared the racist, anti-liberal beliefs of Anders Behring Breivik.
I am angry at the people who hate enough to kill. I am angry with the people whose intolerance, hatred, bigotry, and ignorance contribute to an environment where these ideologies fester, whether they pick up a gun or not.
I am scared that something like this will happen here, in my country. I don’t believe there is any reason why it couldn’t. Reading the commentary on the news websites yesterday when they were still talking about Muslim terrorists shows me all I need to know about the character of my country’s citizens.
I am sad, I am angry, I am scared, and I am tired.
Of course, now that government/reporters know he isn’t a Muslim, the language has been changed from “terrorist” to “extremist.”
Let it be known that he was an anti-feminist, Islamophobic Neo-Nazi terrorist.