Having mentioned in a recent post that I have friends in Norway so therefore could personalize the horror there should the news of mass murder not ring familiar enough, it’s fitting I follow thoughts prompted by one of those friends as my mind wanders plains dotted with roving herds of psychonutjobs.
It was a line in Bobby’s answer to my question, “How’s Norway?” that sent me in the direction today’s blog should take:
I am happy for the way Norway pulled together and is moving on, as Obama put it that Norway has shown the true way to overcome terror by uniting and not hating, though I contemplate on the fact if we would have the same peace, unity and love had the bomber been anything BUT white….
Bobby is Norwegian, but not white. Born In Norway to parents of Indian and Pakistani origins, he has spent his life in a perfect environment in which to develop a perspective that takes in the wider picture.
I am ok, too, less surprised then many others or to be honest not surprised at all at the event. this is and has been a peaceful country for many many years but I have never been under the false pretense that we are “always safe in Norway” …
No illusions of guaranteed safety may sound merely sensible to many living in the world today, but it is understandable that many Norwegians could have been lulled into buying those. For long a racially homogeneous society of well-educated, industrious folks tempered by cold rather than heat with a small population (4.9 million, the second least populated country in Europe) and Christian since shortly before the year 1000, the country is known for keeping its head down having declared itself neutral in both world wars and opting out of the EU.
As the Wiki indicates, Norway is a very white place, and we’re not talking snow, although there is a lot of that, as Magnar has mentioned. There are immigrants, of course, but of the 12.2% of incoming residents less than half (5.8%) come from places where people tend to brown eyes over blue, dark hair over blond and complexions more colorful than alabaster, and one might assume that those folks have been paying attention to any Nazi-like grumbling.
While 4,081,698 Norwegians self-identify as some flavor of Christian, 98,953 say Islam is their persuasion of preference, a ratio some find intolerable in the usual intolerant ways.
Given the numbers, it would seem odd that hot on the heels of the bombing and massacre an easy assumption implied a Muslim have been on the business end of the weapons.
When the attack began last Friday afternoon with a huge car-bomb detonated outside the main government buildings, Norway’s Muslim community braced itself for the worst, assuming that what had happened was the work of Islamist militants.
It was an assumption made by many around the world.
There’s a knee jerk for you, and one obviously not just a white response. (And that is not an “off the hook” for Fox, by the way.) It’s no wonder Muslims react with dread and non-Muslims jump from headline to jihad … just one reason those who aspire to journalism (or pretend to) should keep their fucking mouths shut until there is is actually something to talk about.
Mehtab Afsar, secretary-general of the Islamic Council of Norway, was leading a delegation abroad when he started receiving phone calls from Oslo from frightened members of the Muslim community.
“We heard some Muslims had already been beaten up in Oslo,” he said, “and women who were scared phoned me asking for help.”
“I was just hoping it was not true.”
Egomaniacal ass hats do come in all colors, shapes and sizes (although the overwhelming majority dangle dicks), a lesson that should have been learned sixteen years ago in Oklahoma City.
Don’t know about you, but it’s very hard for me to imagine a non-blond, ethnic-looking dude strolling into a camp on a Nordic island and getting everyone to gather round, cop uniform or not. The fact that the fuck wad was the picture of Hitler’s dream boy made it easier in a world where the darker the worser.
But, to Bobby’s thought provoking comment …
Norway’s got the warm fuzzies going now, all solidarity and support, with the mayor of Oslo telling CNN when relating the eventual fate of the mass murderer: “We’re going to punish him with democracy and love.”
My not-so-white friend wondering over how this would be playing out had the monster not looked so much like everyone else, practiced a different religion and been an immigrant instead of a “thoroughbred Norwegian” deserves more than a little thought.
Would the following still be the prime minister’s claim?
Norway’s prime minister pledged that his country would remain “an open society” in the wake of Friday’s massacre in Oslo and a nearby youth camp but said the bloodshed has changed the nation.
Does the fact that the monster grew from within, not without, make it easier to close ranks and pull together? Is it harder to point fingers when no matter how many do it comes back inside the circle?
For that matter, does a relatively conservative Christian country have any impetus to crack down on conservative Christians? Is the world ready to deal with the reality of Christian terrorists?
Many Christians cringe when Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik is described as a “Christian terrorist.” But that is what he is.
Breivik, in his manifesto, writes of al Qaeda with admiration, as if he would love to create a Christian version of their religious cadre. Though he only occasionally quotes scripture, and admires the church in Norway largely as a cultural center for Christendom, he is captivated by Christian history. Breivik is fascinated with the Crusades and imagines himself to be a member of the Knights Templar, the crusader army of a thousand years ago. He would like to have a Christian army comparable to al Qaeda’s Muslim militia.
So if bin Laden was a Muslim terrorist, Breivik is a Christian terrorist.
And if Anders had been an Abdullah … even an acting-alone-singular-insane-egomaniacal-fanatic … would Norway look like it does today?
In addition to reading Bobby here, you can check out his blog where he talks about his varied interests … body building, fashion guru-ness and other interests, which occasionally include arguing with me. His last post addresses the issues we’re talking about here … )