Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bomb blasts in Norway, Muslims Blamed yet again


Moments after the explosion that, as of Saturday night, left seven dead, pundits and analysts alike had assigned blame to al-Qaeda or an al-Qaeda-like group (a close approximation will do, one can suppose).

There were also reports of a group calling the Helpers of the Global Jihad either claiming responsibility for the attack or lending it support to whoever carried it out. The group retracted its rather vague statement on Saturday.

Norwegian police, meanwhile, concluded fairly early on that the attacks weren't the work of a foreign terrorist group. They have 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik in custody - he is believed to be the gunman who opened fire on the teenagers attending a youth camp organised by the Labour Party.

It's also been reported that Breivik bought six tonnes of fertiliser in May from a farm supply firm, which seems to take a page right out of another non-Muslim terrorist's handbook: Timothy McVeigh, who along with Terry Nichols, blew up the Alfred P Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 with a truckload of fertiliser, killing 168 and injuring 450.

Still, despite the initial lack of evidence shortly after the attack - and a growing stack of evidence pointing to the contrary later - some continued to look for a "jihadist" connection in the Norway attacks. Some looked for a link between the attacks and the anger that erupted after a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005.

This hits the Muslim community in Norway in two different ways - first, their sense of security is threatened as much as any other Norwegian. On top of that, they are automatically blamed for arguably the darkest days in Norway's recent history.

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