The Recent Massacre

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.

The terrorist was an anti-feminist white supremacist Islamophobe.

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.

Jadey, who is much more articulate than myself, describes my state perfectly when she writes, “I have no words for Norway in the aftermath of yesterday’s terrible event, only feelings.”

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.

5 thoughts on “The Recent Massacre

  1. Let it be known that he was an anti-feminist, Islamophobic Neo-Nazi terrorist. This bears repeating a thousand, million, billion times over.I am sick of non-Muslim Westerners constantly jumping to the conclusion that any act of violence must have come from Muslims. I'm sick of Islam being constantly portrayed as somehow a violence religion while Christianity and Judaism get a pass. I'm sick of non-Muslims demanding that Muslims bear collective guilt for terrorists that happen to identify as Muslims, while Christians, Jews, and atheists who commit acts of terrorism are treated as isolated actors not representative of the culture / religion / ethnicity that they are part of.Anybody who thinks that Judaism and Christianity are "peaceful" had better go read the psalms, concentrating on the ones where Davidic rulers crow about bathing their feet in the blood of their "enemies" (more accurately, anybody who's not them), or read about the Crusades (including modern-time crusades such as ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia) and Christian "justifications" of slavery and both literal and cultural genocide of American NDNs, Inuit, Australian first peoples, etc.And, my heart and prayers go out to the families of those slain, and to the people of Norway – *all* people.

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  2. Thank you for this post Nahida, and for sharing my comments :) I have cried, more than once. Actually, any time I read more than a headline about these events I get tears in my eyes. It just absolutely horrifies me. And I really frigging hate how the media at first blamed Muslims for the attacks, then change their entire vocabulary afterwards.I would say however, that in none of the Danish broadcasts I saw, did they characterize the terrorist as Muslim, before he was apprehended. They actually specifically stated that it wasn't known yet, and that all possibilities were open.

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  3. I noticed the shift in language away from "terrorist" in some publications! Fortunately the approach in Norway has been to clearly recognize and prosecute him as a terrorist – he fits the definition to a tee. I think the commentary around this event has been as telling as the event itself. Things are deeply, deeply fucked up.On one hand, I don't want Breivik to get the chance for the media circus he so clearly desires, so I'm hoping that the Norwegian justice system will continue to keep things closed and not allow him to speak directly to the public from the court. On the other hand, I don't want this to fade quickly from public memory – we need to get past the sensationalism and actually *talk* about what this means, dammit.

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  4. I believe the reason he isn't called a "terrorist" is that he isn't connected to any larger group.I would say that he is indeed a terrorist even though he is (or at least they claim he is) the lone person who did this and not part of any larger conspiracy. Terrorism is the use of violence against innocent citizens in order to effect a political outcome by creating fear in that community. Could it happen here. Well we have had attacks in the past that weren't even related to politics. A long while back someone attacked a McDonalds and killed many many people. And of course there were a couple of attacks on schools by some students.Why do we automatically blame the Muslims? Well didn't a Muslim group take credit for this attack before we really knew what was going on?Also the most organized group of terrorists these days are Muslims. Sure it used to be the IRA as well but today it's Muslims.

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  5. How is he not part of some larger conspiracy? He had ties with a political hate group, and after his attacks MRAs on the Internet nearly pissed themselves defending his ideas.

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