By now you’re probably aware of the explosion and subsequent shooting that happened today (yesterday there?) in Oslo, Norway. If not, go read then come back.
Going off the details that are undisputed as of now, a bomb was set off in downtown Oslo, near the government buildings and later a man dressed as a police officer opened fire on delegates of a Labour Party youth camp. (Real) Police believe the two events are linked and the death toll is still rising and is at least 10.
The New York Times had initially reported that an Islamic fundamentalist group had taken credit for the bombing, but the paper was quick to note that such claims are often false.
Any time a terrorist attack (and I define this as a terrorist attack since it was an attack that inspired terror) occurs, it’s almost instinct now to blame Muslims. Hopefully most people take a second and realize it’s not any or even a sizable number of Muslims who could commit such atrocities (can anyone picture Mayor Nenshi doing anything so atrocious?). Finally, we actually realize that in situations like this, we need to wait until some facts come out before posting our favourite violent sections of the Koran in relation to this attack.
Almost ironically, some reports are starting to come out now, and they’re worthy of the same skepticism as the initial reports, that the gunmen was a blonde Norwegian and has no links to any Islamic group. The irony comes from the fact that this man may prove to have ties to ultra-right organizations that strongly oppose the left-leaning governing Labour party and Muslim immigration.
Rather than Islamo-Fascists it may prove to be just old fashioned Western Fascists.
Of course if a xenophobic right-wing group had escaped without being caught, they could have pinned the blame on Muslims and immigrants, potentially swinging popular opinion over to some of their more extremist policies.
But now I’m into idle speculation.
I wish the best for the investigators and Norwegian people. Norway holds a soft-spot in my heart as the place Alberta (and Canada) could be if we actually worked together.