Jag skulle, om jag i går kväll mött Ibsen sagt: Titta dig om, gubbfan! Det du ser är de strongaste människor vår jord kan uppvisa. Det är i en katastrofsituation för en reporter slentrian att beskriva stämningen i orden c h o c k och s o r g. Men Karl Johan, som är mycket mera än en gata, det är ett sinnestillstånd och symbol (tänk bara på 17 maj), visade i går kväll starka drag av normalitet. Jag tror att de rätta orden för att beskriva stämningsläget är: a l l v a r och s a m l i n g.
A number of hard rock and heavy metal musicians have posted comments regarding the reports that Norway had been rocked by a two-act tragedy — first a downtown Oslo explosion, then a shooting at a youth camp. Some of the messages follow.
Benjamin Franklin famously said, that “a people who gives up its freedom to gain a little security will lose both and deserve neither”. But now that it has been shown in the most gruesome, in-your-face way that we don’t even gain a little security by giving up these freedoms, then why are we doing so?
Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg is absolutely right when he says we must fight antidemocratic lunacy with more democracy and more humanity. His quote from one of the young on Utøya, “if one man can show so much hate, imagine how much love we all can show together“, is one of the most statemanworthy I have seen in my entire life. Both when it came from the young surviving lady right off the island, and from Stoltenberg on repeating it in his official capacity.
The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin wrote a whole column based on the assertion that Muslims were responsible, one that, as James Fallows notes, remains at the Post with no corrections or updates.
But now it turns out that the alleged perpetrator wasn't from an international Muslim extremist group at all, but was rather a right-wing Norwegian nationalist with a history of anti-Muslim commentary and an affection for Muslim-hating blogs. Despite that, The New York Times is still working hard to pin some form of blame, even ultimate blame, on Muslim radicals.
What we've seen repeatedly: that Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target.
Will tall, blond, Nordic-looking males now receive extra scrutiny at airports and other locales, and will those having any involvement with those right-wing, Muslim-hating groups be secretly placed on no-fly lists? Or are those oppressive, extremist, lawless measures -- like the word Terrorism -- also reserved exclusively for Muslims?
Norway is like a heart-achingly beautiful village the size of a country, with a quality of life, wealth and social equality few could dream of. But this idyll - repeatedly recognised by the United Nations as the best country on earth to live - has been utterly, incomprehensibly shattered.
Many Norwegians don't want their idyll spoiled, by either joining the EU, or by turning multicultural - and it is this nativist side of the country that has now turned horrifyingly murderous. Clearly, Norway must confront its racist demons, in the same way other western nations have. But the shock of the attack could also crystallise fears of many Norwegians that they don't like where their country is going and actually spur anti-immigration sentiment. Either way, Norway's innocence has come to a tragic and horrifying end.
Many reacted to the news from Oslo with wide eyes and a pointed finger. The most animated reactionaries took to the pages of the New York Times comment section to issue sweeping proclamations about the Clash of Civilisations and something called "the cult of death".
When news emerged that the perpetrator of the murders - the terrorist - was a man whose religion and skin pigmentation closely resembled those of the editors of the NYT, the story changed. The terrorist became a deranged "Christian extremist" whose tactics clearly mirrored "Al Qaeda's brutality and multiple attacks". In that way, the paper linked the terrorist with Muslims, despite his strong antipathy for them.
That we are engaged in a war of civilisations - is one that I agree with. But the combatants are not Islam and the West. Instead, the war is between the normal, sane people of the world and the right-wing zealots who see doom, destruction, hellfire and God's Will at every turn.
I was once a member of Sweden's nationalist party, but vile online propaganda drove me away.
I understand how a man like Anders Behring Breivik fed the flames of his hatred, even if that was not the only reason for his terrible act of terrorism, because I was, for a while, his friend on Facebook.
A machine of hate propaganda pumped through my feed on Facebook. There were YouTube clips of massacre victims, demands that all the "fucking niggers" should get out of the country, and far more horrible things.
I reacted by backing away. But for many other people who are weak, or feel bad for some reason, this stream was something to drink from.
There are two things we learned on Friday afternoon. One: extremists are found in all groups, and all are at least as dangerous. Two: hatred breeds hate.
Now I will continue to feel sick that I had one of the worst murderers in years on my friend list. I am ashamed of that. I am ashamed.
Looking to place blame for the attacks that took place in Norway, many looked no further than the Muslim community.
Norwegian police, meanwhile, concluded fairly early on that the attacks weren't the work of a foreign terrorist group.
Local Muslims: 'Deep sorrow': This hits the Muslim community in Norway in two different ways - first, their sense of security is threatened as much as any other Norwegian. On top of that, they are automatically blamed for arguably the darkest days in Norway's recent history. The local Muslim community was quick to respond.
Cultural bias. From the American perspective, the Norwegians are innocent and naive, since they haven't had to face terrorism on this scale before, and now that will change and they will become more like Americans. It's an easy enough opinion to arrive at, since if you don't know the cultural differences, you'll operate on the assumption that Norwegians are fundamentally like Americans.
But they're not, of course. The US responded to 9/11 in the American way, and Norway will respond to this in the Norwegian way.
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