Yesterday, there was horrible terrorism in Oslo, the capital of Norway.
Reporting about it, British Leftist daily The Morning Star mentioned:
Police were not commenting on the cause of the explosion.
So, the Norwegian police, and The Morning Star, like they should, were not prematurely blaming anyone: neither Muslims nor Muslim haters. Not “apolitical” common criminals, or others whom maybe one might suspect of this crime.
According to police figures, just 0.4% of terrorist violence in Europe is perpetrated by Muslims.
In addition to the general rule of not blaming anyone before there is enough evidence, that should have cautioned media and politicians against prematurely blaming Muslims.
The Huffington Post, usually considered a non-xenophobic left of center news source in the USA, published an article with a lot of speculations about connections with Muslim militants, angry about the anti-Islamic cartoons published in a corporate daily in Denmark years ago, etc.
I cannot find that particular article anymore.
However, I can still find another Huffington Post article, which said:
Norway Explosion: What’s The Risk Of Attack?
The Huffington Post UK | Dina Rickman First Posted: 22/7/11 15:48 GMT | Updated: 22/7/11 19:59 GMT
In an interview with Foreign Policy magazine the director of Norway’s Peace Research Institute Oslo Kristian Berg Harpviken said:
The only concrete supposition that would emerge in a Norwegian context would be al Qaeda.
Like the Huffington Post, the Peace Research Institute Oslo has a left of center rather than a far right xenophobic reputation.
This shows how far anti-immigrant poisonous ideas have spread beyond their original source, the “white nationalist” extreme Right. People who one might expect to know better uncritically repeat, like Pavlov’s dogs, the “Muslims did it!” meme. Like happened with the Oklahoma bombing in the USA, attributed to Muslims before the Christian conservative background of the atrocity became clear.
Reality turned out to be very different from the extremely premature speculations of Mr Harpviken and many others.
By Mike Head:
Bombing, mass shooting kill at least 87 in Norway
23 July 2011
A bombing and mass shooting in Norway on Friday have left at least 87 people dead. Following a large explosion directed against government buildings in the capital, Oslo, a right-wing anti-Islamic extremist opened fire with automatic weapons on youth at a camp run by the ruling Labour Party on nearby Utoya Island.
At 3:30 p.m. Friday, powerful explosions rocked a government quarter in downtown Oslo that is home to the office of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the finance ministry and the country’s biggest tabloid newspaper Verdens Gang (VG). Seven people died and 15 were wounded in the blasts.
Some two hours later, a massacre occurred at the youth camp, attended by about 600 people. The gunman, dressed as a police officer, fired repeatedly on a crowd of mostly 15- and 16-year-old campers, killing at least 80. More deaths are expected to be confirmed as police and rescue teams search the island and the surrounding lake for bodies and wounded survivors.
Police authorities subsequently arrested Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old native Norwegian with known links to anti-Islamic Christian fundamentalist groups. Norwegian media said Breivik had many right-wing connections, including a Facebook account in which he described himself as a Christian conservative.
Norway’s national broadcaster NRK and other media posted pictures of Breivik. According to Norwegian TV2, the suspect belongs to far-right groups in eastern Norway and may have registered two weapons—an automatic weapon and a Glock-type pistol—under the name of one of the groups. The Swedish news site Expressen said he was a self-described nationalist and had written a number of posts critical of Islam.
The island shootings were cold-blooded. Terrified witnesses described young people jumping into the lake or hiding behind buildings in a desperate attempt to escape the gunfire. One, 21-year-old Dana Berzingi, said the fake police officer ordered people to come closer, then pulled weapons and ammunition from a bag and started shooting.
Another 15-year-old eyewitness, Elise, told the Associated Press: “He first shot people on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water.” Others said the gunman repeatedly shot his victims to make sure they were dead.
Rune Thomas Ege, one of the only journalists on Utoya when the shootings took place, reported: “We saw people still being dragged out of the water. We saw people being taken care of by paramedics on the shore. There were some horrific scenes of the young kids, some crying, some shaking while watching paramedics trying to save their best friend’s life.”
Earlier, in the city, huge blasts blew out windows and caused structural damage. Images on Norwegian television showed the prime minister’s office and other buildings heavily damaged, footpaths covered in broken glass and smoke rising from the area. “People are lying in the street covered in blood,” Ingunn Andersen, a journalist with public radio NRK, said from the scene.
Before details about the alleged killer emerged, political leaders, both domestic and international, insinuated that the attacks were the work of Islamic extremists and declared that the violence underscored the need to prosecute the “war on terrorism.”
President Barack Obama and European leaders swiftly vowed solidarity with NATO member Norway, whose Labour-Socialist Left-Centre coalition government has 500 troops in Afghanistan and is participating in NATO air strikes in Libya.
The Norwegian police had earlier in the year warned of right-wing anti-Islamic groups seeking provocations. In an unclassified report released in February, Norway’s intelligence police agency (PST) stated: “An increased level of activity among some anti-Islamic groups could lead to increased polarisation and unease, especially during, and in connection with, commemorations and demonstrations.”
Friday’s atrocity occurs under conditions where governments and media outlets across Europe, including the Scandinavian states, have condoned or encouraged anti-Muslim racism and anti-immigrant chauvinism. This appeal to the most reactionary and backward sentiments is aimed at diverting popular opposition to austerity measures and the growth of social inequality.
So, it is really time for police to investigate extreme right anti-immigrant, anti-political left, violence more.
See also the recent massacre in Alphen, the Netherlands. Done by a voter of Geert Wilders’ xenophobic PVV party.
Breivik appeared to come from an affluent background, attending a middle-class secondary school in the city. Apart from a traffic conviction ten years ago he has no criminal record, according to a Norwegian newspaper. He completed a year of national service in the army.
Breivik had set up his own business, Breivik Geofarm, and a month ago had started to run an organic farm in Hedmark in eastern Norway. There he reportedly produced and stored fertilizers that he was able to use in explosives.
He was known to be active on the internet, expressing extremist Islamophobic views on forums and criticizing immigration policies.
He recently claimed that politics today was not about socialism vs. capitalism but nationalism vs. internationalism. He argued on a Swedish news website that the media were not critical enough about Islam and claimed that Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom in the Netherlands was the only “true” party of conservatives.
He argued that socialism was breaking down traditions, culture, national identity and other societal structures and that this in turn made society weak and confused.
On July 17 he set up a Facebook and Twitter account, posting a single tweet, “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
He claimed to be well-read and worshiped the Norwegian World War II hero Max Manus. On his Facebook profile he listed his favorite books as “The Trial” by Franz Kafka and “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell and his favorite television show as “Dexter,” a series about a Miami police forensics expert who moonlights as a serial killer of criminals whom he believes have escaped justice.
Among his other interests he listed founding and developing organizations, freemasonry, working, gaming, partying and fitness. He described his relationship status as single.
His business was described as buying, selling and managing stocks, project developing and real estate.
The Politicons site, a politically conservative site, says that atrocity suspect Breivik had a firearms license. Like the Alphen massacre killer.
UPDATE: According to Dutch news site nu.nl, at least 91 people were killed in Oslo.
Norway suspect described as right-wing Christian; death toll hits 91: here.
The US conservative blog Little Green Footballs reports that Breivik, calling himself “Fjordman”, played a prominent role in the Islamophobic blogosphere.
From the Daily Kos blog in the USA, about Fox News TV, owned by Rupert Murdoch:
Anders Behring Breivik, the man suspected of the shooting in Norway has, according to the police, links to right-wing extremism. You wouldn’t know that if you tuned into The O’Reilly Factor last night. Laura Ingraham let her opinion be known to her viewers that the attacks were the works of Muslim terrorists.
Norway Live Blog at Al Jazeera site: here.
Norway Analysis: “The dangers of a ‘rush to judgement’ without the full facts”: here.
Al Qaedä massacre
Tea Party strikes in Norway: here.
Norwegian terrorist posted ‘manifesto’ warning of “Islamic colonisation”: here.
World public opinion has been shocked by the news of the bloody massacre in Norway. At least 91 people have been killed, including 84 members of the Labour Youth Organisation (AUF) in a summer camp: here.
One Georgian Survives, Another Missing in Norway Attack: here.
Nationalists pose bigger threat than al-Qaeda. Contrary to popular belief, most terrorist attacks in Europe are the work of extremist nationalists: here.
Terrorism Expert: Since 9/11, Only 33 Deaths From Muslim Terrorism Vs. 150,000 Deaths From Murders: here.