What happened in Norway is a scary reminder that there is no possible way anyone can fully prepare for happenstance insanity and individual nutcases who believe they represent some majority who are sitting around on their hands not speaking out (and they need a nutcase spokesperson).
It was a tragedy for humankind in general as well as the humans involved.
When someone decides to “make a statement” regardless of how extraordinarily pointlessly harmful to innocent people there is pretty much nothing you can do. Extremist point of views will always exist.
And the radicals will always be a minority.
And then there will be a few of the few who will do something even more extreme.
And that I imagine, in its broadest sense, represents what terrorism is all about.
The terror of the helplessness of everything about the situation. It is the ultimate reflection of Un-enlightened Conflict. And that is terrorism.
All that said. I guess I wanted to make a point about terrorism and “the few of the few” and nutcase radicals and how we (most people … including media) jump to immediate conclusions and seemingly always want to focus on Muslims as “the terrorists.” Because this tragedy was a reflection of a non-Muslim nutcase. Yet everyone wanted to jump to a wrong conclusion initially (which is sad in its own right). And there is something to be learned from that.
Some truth(s). Oh. And I didn’t dig up all this information I actually came across most of the factoids and words I read used by some guy who HAD invested a lot of energy to make the point within a comment made on a comment on a column on the Norway event. I felt it was worthwhile reprising his words & thoughts (after I had spot checked their accuracy) to share some truth.
Truth numero uno.
In the 2010 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2010 it reported that of 294 terrorist attacks carried out in Europe in 2009, exactly one was the work of Muslims (or rather some radical fundaloonie Islamists) while another 273 were carried out by European separatist groups. Ok. If you are keeping European scores … that is Muslim 1 to Non-Muslim 273.
I guess my main point with truth factoid 1 is it seems that we are mighty quick to bring out the proverbial verbal missiles when a Muslim performs an act of terrorism and we all begin the infamous diatribes about the collective responsibility of Islam. Yet (using Norway as an example) when a white radical Christian murders a large number of innocent people he’s a loner (and there is no nebulous collective responsibility to point at).
Being enlightened is about “quid pro quo.” Apply the same thinking and rules to each group.
Truth 2. Terrorism is not owned by Muslims (or even radical Muslims).
Let me restate an earlier factoid. The EU’s Terrorism Situation and Trend Report states that in 2009 there were “294 failed, foiled, or successfully executed attacks” in six European countries. This was down almost one-third from the total in 2008 and down by almost one-half from the total in 2007.
And just one of these attacks were carried out by Muslims. If you are keeping a scorecard, well, its obvious.
Truth 3.Europe (or USA or Canada or …. ) is not being swamped by Muslim immigrants and its culture is threatened.
I say this one to address all the “fear-mongering” taking place about how Muslims are overtaking the world. Fact. By 2050 Muslim population of the EU will be about 8%, by which time its birth rate will be the same as the non-Muslim population. Christianity remains the majority religion. And it will remain the dominant religion (flaws and all). Christianity needs to stop using fear as a tool and focus on being a leadership faith. Take the proverbial high road (pun intended)
Truth 4. Immigrants do integrate with the native population.
Asian Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus all marry outside of their own groups at the same rates as whites.
For example, for most ethnic minorities in Britain, roughly half or more of their friends are white, while only 20% of those born in Britain have friends only from their own group. In other words, immigrants are no more or less likely to integrate than native Britons who emigrate – and to suggest otherwise is racist.
The point here? (although there are a bunch I could make)
It is economic deprivation that causes racial tensions and not the failure of immigrants to integrate. Immigrants will easily integrate into new cultures and countries (see the growth of USA as a country as a prime example) if they are given opportunities to become an economically viable citizen group.
Truth 5 (and this one is a big one): Immigrants are not a drain on the welfare state.
Statistics in both the United States and Great Britain conclusively show that not only are immigrants (illegal and legal) productive contributors to the economy they also contribute millions in tax revenue (legal and illegal). They are not “free citizens’ but healthy (and sometimes healthier producers than non-immigrants) producers of actual production and $ stimulus.
Immigrants had “higher levels of skills” than native born UK citizens in a UK Home Report. It also stated that immigrants earned on average 7.3% more per week and as a result paid more per person in tax than non-immigrants. Immigrants are PRODUCTIVE citizens (not leeches as some want to call them) and productive citizens enable a healthy economy (and a healthy country).
Back to terrorism.
Truth 6. Muslim terrorists kill more Muslims than they do Christians.
That is a factoid to chew on here in the USA. Most of Al Qaeda’s victims worldwide have been Muslim (so much for their targeting the Christian non-believers).
Norway was a tragedy.
But as with anything we should learn, and think, and try and be better people.
More enlightened (in my words). This is what I thought about after I took a moment of silence for those unfortunate undeservingly dead innocent victims of a nutcase.