I’d like to add an addendum to my post about the Oslo terror attacks from yesterday.
Firstly, the spiking death toll is utterly shocking.
Secondly, while I did not definitively state my opinion that an Islamic extremist group was behind the attacks (I made sure to note that no such thing had been confirmed) I did discuss the implications and possible motivations of that being the case.
You might see a bit of a backlash against that thinking today, as it begins to appear that the perpetrator, which might well be just a single man, has no connection with Islam whatsoever. Early days in any investigation of course.
The backlash comes from what is perceived as an anti-Islam agenda, that being, the accusation that Islamic groups were behind the attacks betrays bigoted thinking.
I reject this. The points are:
1. The most notable and well known terrorist groups in the world are of an Islamic nature.
2. The most notable of these, al-Qaeda, has recently lost its leader and promised retaliation against the west.
3. Norway is a member of NATO and has troops involved in the ISAF effort in Afghanistan, making it a potentially target for retaliatory strikes from groups with an interest in that region.
4. Norway was also involved in the furore over the publication of thew “Muhammad cartoons” the other year.
5. A claim of responsibility was published by an Islamic group. While this group now appears to have been a fantasy, the claim was still newsworthy, as long as its genuineness was noted as unconfirmed (which I did).
6. Norway has no major dissident groups actively operating inside it. That is, there was no other obvious potential suspect, not at first glance.
Thus, I find it not all surprising, even to be expected, that people would regard an Islamic extremist group to be among the suspected perpetrators.
The hysterical over-reaction to suggestion that Islamic groups may have been involved is misguided, an example of a PC culture that cannot allow the slightest suggestion of improper conduct from a minority. It’s not healthy and can lead to unsubstantiated accusations of bigotry and racism where there is none. Something to think about.