When Terror Reigns
Despite the tragedy of the situation, the British press were once again over-hasty in blaming Muslims for the massacre in Norway. Mahmud Al-Rashid reflects.
Even though it was too early to draw firm conclusions, that did not prevent the British press going into overdrive to attack Muslims for the horrific massacre in Norway. Even before the blood of the victims had stopped flowing, much of our frenzied media demanded belligerent action against Muslims. “Islamist fanatics out to kill PM,” declared one paper. Like hounds after a prey, they rounded upon Muslims to demand apologies, contrition, and retribution. Experts were hastily wheeled out to express their fanciful opinions. Houriya Ahmed of the discreditable Henry Jackson Society declared, “No-one should be surprised if this bombing turns out to be a jihadist attack.” The Quilliam Foundation postulated this was a standard “jihadist attack.” They all strained to find any links, no matter how spurious, to justify their expositions. This persistent offending by the press, with its handy rent-a-quote talking heads is taking its toll and causing untold damage and disharmony.
But no one is willing to see that. The constant vilification of Muslims by the media and their handmaiden the politicians (now that the News International scandal has made it clear who is beholden to who), has created a debilitating victimhood mentality amongst many Muslims. The bigoted amongst Muslims will continue to spout their irrational threats of Islamic vengeance and global domination, but most Muslims would have been mightily relieved (and this in itself is a sad indictment) that the prime suspect is not a Muslim – can you just imagine the fallout if he was? This sadistic state of affairs is perilous, and a truce needs to be urgently declared. We must withdraw from the brink of perpetual provocation and violence.
So, Anders Behring Breivik is a “blond, blue-eyed” Norwegian. This rather causes a problem for David Anderson QC, the reviewer of British terrorism laws, who just last week said the focus of investigation should be on Pakistani-looking people. To search others would be the “antithesis of intelligence-led policing,” Anderson surmised. Which rather exculpates white people, or those with blond hair, or blue eyes – a subtle form of Aryan supremacism, you might think. Norway’s security service concluded, “National extremism [as opposed to Islamic extremism] would not pose a serious threat to Norwegian society in 2011.” If the guardians of our safety and security have become indolent over clear and present threats from other sources, then we are all doomed. As Breivik has shown, blond hair and blue eyes are an equally lethal combination as dark skin and brown eyes.
If it had been a “jihadist attacker,” he would have belonged to a global terrorist network; this would have been another evil plot by the ummah to bring down western civilisation. But upon the arrest of Breivik, the press was anxious to justify his liability. He was described as a loner, a lunatic, an individual acting on his own. It is Muslims who connive; others merely act alone, frustrated at the “Islamification” of their homeland; they do not have networks, cells or clerics who preach hatred; no ideology to feed their hatred. Well, Breivik has given the lie to that cosy assumption. He is a devout Muslim-hater and his target was those he perceived to be responsible for being soft on Muslims.
The leaders and opinion-formers of our society are complicit in creating such a demonic atmosphere. They provide the mood music for fanatics and extremist groups to act violently. It is clear from Breivik’s internet musings that he collaborated with the EDL and other like-minded groups. His anti-Islamic credentials are impeccable. And why shouldn’t they be, when our ‘muscular liberal’ leaders never fail to berate Muslims at every opportunity, thereby creating a class of people who are deemed a threat to “our way of life.” Breivik’s musings are not isolated, but quite commonplace amongst the public expressions of our leaders and opinion-formers. Under the pretence of free speech, they have created so much odium against Muslims that it is respectable for ordinary people to be anti-Muslim. This constant inflammatory discourse of enmity has engendered so much hatred that even a “blue-eyed blond” feels compelled to massacre people to express his contempt of Muslims. As his lawyer chillingly says, it was “gruesome but necessary.” Our leaders and opinion-formers need to recognise their irresponsibility that has led to this.
Breivik claims he is a Christian. In expressing his religiosity he has chosen the egregious methods of his crusading forefathers, of whom he spoke proudly; it would have been infinitely better had he selected instead the way of true Christian belief. Notwithstanding that, our media will not be demanding apologies from Christian leaders, nor will they taint all of Christendom with this grotesque act of violence by one of its own. “Christian terrorism” is an oxymoron declared a work colleague, whilst he has always been at ease with the term “Islamic terrorism”.
The fight against terrorism has become dangerously partisan. It cannot be said enough times, and the evidence is glaringly obvious, that anyone of any background can and does resort to terrorism; Muslims do not have a monopoly on acts of political violence. Genuine acceptance of this fact will create a real and solid partnership between those who wish to do good in society and those who are set on its destruction. Then we can together address the causes of terrorism, and work for a society where justice prevails, instead of living in one where terror reigns. At the very least this is what the lives lost to terrorist violence deserve from us.