Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Oslo Chaos

   When mindless acts of terror (is the phrase redundant?) Occur in the world, will people please not immediately ascribe those acts to believers of Islam?

   Until yesterday I would have thought "Oslo Chaos" was an oxymoron or the name of a Norwegian punk-rock band. (Anachronism warning: are there still punk-rock bands?)

   Someone exploded a bomb in downtown Oslo. A couple of hours later, a man opened up with an automatic weapon and killed (at last count and it may rise) 84 people. Police have connected the two crimes to the same man: Anders Behring Breivik, blonde-haired and blue-eyed (the photo I saw makes him look a little like Sting), 32 years of age, and the writer of several pieces critical of Islam (meaning he probably posted those items on the internet).

   Several right-wing bloggers (amongst them Michelle Malkin) jumped on the bandwagon to implicate what apparently is a growing Islamic community in Norway.

   There are reasons why police should work quickly to figure out who committed such acts as these. The police want to catch the culprit(s) and stop him/her/them as well as bring them to justice. That is why, in their squad rooms ( or are they squad røøms there?), law enforcement officers check leads and toss out theories. On the other hand, for a columnist/blogger or whatever pundits are called these days does so as to an entire class of people—like, say, Islamic people—is irresponsible. That is the kind of blanket accusation that leads to mobs and riots.

   On the other hand, it is more difficult for blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegians to become whipped-up into a mob-like frenzy over a home-grown, blonde-haired, blue-eyed fellow Norwegian, like Anders Behring Breivik, who claims to be a conservative Christian.

   We should mourn those who died. If Breivik’s religious beliefs played a part in his acts—and I do not say they did; I posit a view as a comment on the early accusers, in the Oslo Chaos, of Islam—maybe we should look at the religions of Abraham. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, in chronological order of date of origin, seem to give rise to a disproportionate amount of violence and warfare. Hinduism is not free of such history. Shintoism is the religion of warriors. In other words, let us look at our own culture and its religions (all of them) and the ways in which some of the adherents of each of those religions work violence into their cosmologies. We should do that so that we are not so prone to point a finger at one group.

   I have read the koran. I am not a fan of that religion. There is, however, a leap between disbelief in and criticism of a religion, and a quick trigger finger to accuse its adherents of acts of violence on such a scale as occurred yesterday in Oslo.

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