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torsdag, juli 28, 2011

The Norway Attacks

Almost one week has passed since the dreadful attacks in Oslo and Utøya - attacks on the government, Islam and the multicultural society. I have read the main parts of the suspect's "manifesto" and thus know his own reasons for doing what he did and how he went about doing it. Before I write any more, I would like to send my condolences to all the people who have lost their loved ones in this tragedy. My aim with this blog article is to reflect on the attacks and express my thoughts both to myself and to the rest of the world, now that I feel all the speculations about who has done what and why are over.

First of all, the suspect's "manifesto" is not as smart as it may seem at first glance. The suspect has, obviously, spent tremendous amount of time on making it seem as smart or professional as possible. If you spend some time on it, you'll easily see that several parts of it are not his own work, that he has used Wikipedia too frequently, and that he has deliberately made use of small parts of other sources ONLY to back up his twisted ideas. Yes, for example he refers to Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence to justify his cause. He refers to the French Revolution too and compares that to his own revolution. Still, there are a couple of ideas that I would say aren't twisted at all, but something we should give our time to reflect on and maybe work with to improve in the future. These ideas I'll come back to shortly.

Another feature of the "manifesto" is that the premises are already given by the suspect, which makes the conclusion logical IF AND ONLY IF you agree with the premises. The suspect of course does agree, and his biggest request in life is that as many people as possible agree with him and thus join him in his revolution. So, what are the premises and the conclusion? Let's go into the suspect's head and see the world through his perspective (the comparisons made below are his own words and not mine):

Premise 1: Islam is a "hate ideology" (like Nazism and Fascism).
Premise 2: Islam is increasing rapidly in Europe.
Premise 3: Multiculturalism is the main cause of the spread of Islam.
Premise 4: Thus it has to be stopped with any means possible (like we did with Nazism and Fascism).
Premise 5: Any person contributing to Premise 3 is by nature condemned to death (like the leaders in Nazi Germany).
Conclusion: A revolution is necessary to free Europe from Islam (like the Englishmen who freed themselves in the New World).

When having this type of twisted world view, it's no wonder he did what he did, so determined and cold blooded? No wonder he sees himself as a martyr, a hero who has done what he can to help Europe? Of course, I don't justify the action at all, but try to understand WHY, since the suspect is not crazy and has spent so many years reading, writing and planning his action. That's exactly why I think it's wrong to call him "insane" or "a monster". That's also exactly why I believe the way Norway has handled the situation is the best way, by stating that the terror attacks will be met with a more open society, more democracy, more tolerance and love. In this way, the suspect will obtain the exact opposite of what he hoped for!

So much about the background. What are the two ideas that I would say aren't twisted and that we can learn something from? The suspect spends several pages in his "manifesto" on describing political correctness. According to him, 95 % of the people are in fact brain washed to be politically correct at all times (well, that's because they don't agree with his ideas). Not giving him any credit for the latter, I still believe he is right to some extent, that is the fact that our society is to some degree too politically correct. Being for example against multiculturalism per se is politically incorrect. If you happen to be that, you risk being excluded from the rest of your social network. You are not a racist, which would be if you claimed that some races are inferior to others. You are just politically incorrect. Now, that's just one example. I could have given you many more. The point is: Are we too politically correct? Isn't that exactly what we don't want to be when we say we want more tolerance in our society?

The other idea, which is clearly linked to the first one, is when the suspect states that he has tried all the democratic means available to front his thoughts, but that it hasn't been possible. It's not difficult to imagine that an article by him would have been refused by any publisher. So, when we say we want more democracy and more tolerance, it's important to keep in mind that it means a more open society where ALL THOUGHTS, including the suspect's, can be listened to and argued with or against. In other words, today's democracy in Norway is very good, but obviously not good enough. As long as a person's idea does not oppose the Human Rights and the country's laws, I would say they should be first met with openness, then discussions, and not condemned to silence. When we shut our ears for the "politically incorrect" thoughts, the outcome can in the worst case become what we witnessed on July 22nd.

8 kommentarer:

Bobby Burner sa...

I could not agree more with you, having read through the "manifesto" myself.

We got to follow up the slogan "more democracy and openness" in order to allow all ideas, specially the radicals and fundamentalists, whether political og religious, to be expressed. This in order to confront them with arguments and facts, so that the myths they usually build their ideas on do not become facts among their own like-minded fellows.

Heidi sa...

This is so true! I really agree with you on this. Political correctness today is hindering people from their rights to express themselves freely. A real democratic political country/party does not have to fear or feel threatened by people with other opinions than their own. The left side of the political landscape in Norway has tolerance only as far as their own believes go, and unfortunatly this is somewhat true also for other political parties. This is the fact, as you point out, in many areas, and yes; there are many examples of this. Unfortunatly, these attitudes are coloring the media, and also more or less, the public opinions. There are for example lots of people sympathaizing with FrP, but this is still not considered as an acceptable thing to do, so even though many people vote for this party, they are not comfortable telling people about it. The last weeks incidents does not make this any easier in the future.

Yet, I must say that I am very greatful for having freedom of speech to the extent as we have, and for living in a country with more freedom than others may experience in a life time. Nevertheless, there are still room for improvements and more debates on this area :)

Zorro sa...

Good article.

Although I dont agree with you that ABB is not crazy. A person with a twisted worldview as ABB is certain to have some form of mental problem.
Firstly, any person susceptible to the ideas of the lunatic fringe of the extreme far right, is according to my definition a lunatic. Secondly, a person living in this extreme imaginary world, where enemies are everywhere, in his day to day life, would get the diagnosis of crackpot in most parts of the world, except in Norway.

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