Sunday, July 24, 2011

Terror in Norway: No Excuse

Gary Fouse

Now that we know the motive behind the Norway terror attack, it is time to draw conclusions and speak out before something like this happens again. According to the statements of Anders Behring Breivik, it seems clear now that his actions in Oslo and Utoya Island were motivated by rage against Muslim immigrants and Norwegians whom he perceived were not standing up to the problems.

Let's be honest; when we first heard the news, most of us assumed it was the work of Islamic terrorists-myself included. Fortunately for me, I chose to wait until it was confirmed before actually saying it. It was a mere formality I thought. Of course, I was wrong and glad that I didn't jump the gun. Yet, in the comments thread, one anonymous reader took me to task for saying that Muslims should reflect as to why everyone would assume it was Islamic terrorists. I concede that my statement was inartfully worded.

As it turns out, this was more like Europe's version of Oklahoma City. Moreover, Oslo was motivated by hate against Muslims even though the targets were other ethnic Norwegians, whom Breivik thought were "part of the problem" so to speak. (Al-Jazeera had reported on the Norwegian foreign minister visiting the Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island the day before and criticizing Israel. A "Boycott Israel" sign could be seen in the accompanying picture.)

It goes without saying that this act has provided fodder for those who say that the backlash against Muslim immigration in Europe is proof that it is all about racism and hate, and that to complain about Islamic terror and crime committed by Muslims in Europe is hypocritical since both sides are now doing it.

It could certainly be answered that this is the first real terrorist act carried out by one crazed person in Europe opposed to Muslim immigration. Does it matter that the victims were other Norwegians? Whether they were Norwegians or Muslim immigrants doesn't matter. It would be just as wrong either way.

But the important point is this; what happened in Norway must never be repeated. It must not be allowed to be an inspiration for others to carry out acts of terror, violence or hate against Muslims in Europe. Those organizations in Europe who speak out against radical Islamists in their midst must speak out and condemn this act immediately. It must remain one isolated incident by an unbalanced person not the start of a trend or movement. It is undeniable that Europeans are angry about what is happening to their societies and the lack of assimilation of a broken immigration system. Their concerns are legitimate but can be discussed and addressed peacefully without violence and without victiming those Muslims who are trying to quietly work and live their lives in Europe.

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