Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wait... the Terrorist is... White?

And he's Christian?

Blue eyes and gorgeous blonde locks?

[Deleted picture of Anders Behring Breivik, Norwegian far-right terrorist who killed 8 people with a van bomb and 69 summer camp participants on the island of Ut√łya on 22 July 2011.]

I don't know why everyone is so surprised.  Is Oklahoma City ringing a bell for anyone?

Well, I do know why everyone is so surprised because this is an issue I've been railing about since September 11th. Although Islam has become intertwined with terrorism in the minds of Westerners, the fact is that no one religion or ideology is more or less likely to produce violent terrorists than any other.

The key to understanding this kind of behavior won't be found in skin color, religion, or culture. There is one common thread; and that is extremism. Extremists are certain of the superiority of their beliefs (and/or race) and fearful of groups who have different beleifs (and/or skin color). Their self-righteousness and fear inevitably leads to hatred of other groups, which inevitably leads to violence.

In 2005, in my first published work, I imagined a scenario where we could rid the world of extremism by letting all the militants battle eachother to the death while leaving the rest of us out of it.

One can dream...

At any rate, I hope that the people of Norway will re-think who they consider "one of their own." For the moment, however, I am wishing them the best as they try to cope with this atrocity. My heart goes out to the families of the victims, heavy with the knowlege that so many of those victims were young, eager, and involved in the political process in a positive way-- unlike their vicious, hate-filled attacker.

1 comment:

Heather said...

If anyone follows the link to my CityBeat article, I feel compelled to explain that the typos in the article are the paper's, not mine. I guess at the time they couldn't just "copy" and "paste," so someone had to type up a copy of the article I sent, and in the process they inserted typos. I was really upset at the time, and I'm still not clear on why they couldn't fix the online copy of the article... oh, well...