Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norway in mourning

What happened in Norway yesterday makes one silent. Bombing in Oslo, and youth camp massacre on Utoeya island. Suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, is said to be right-wing fundamentalist Christian.

Our two eldest daughters returned from a six-day youth camp yesterday, so this was a thing which hit close. We have had two school shootings in Finland, but nothing like this what happened in Norway. Could it happen here also?

As the details are still unconfirmed, it is hard to know what really is the truth about events in Norway. But what seems to be related to this terrible tragedy is the issue of fundamentalism, of seeing the world from one viewpoint only. Of not being able to meet otherness.

I wonder how things will develop from now on. Are we going to be even more limited in our world-view, even more scared of meeting other cultures, other ideas, others? Censorship, book-burning - it this the future for us?

Update: NYT writes about this.

5 comments:

Fiona said...

I admire your photography hugely - been reading your blog daily for some months now, and I'm in total agreement with your comment of seeing the world from one standpoint. I've recently returned from a trip to Berlin where I visited the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche, the church vitually destroyed in WW2. I was struck by the fact that the people affected were just like me, ordinary Europeans going about their daily lives not wanting to harm anyone, and the whole continent was decimated because a few people made some bad decisions and couldn't see that someone else had a right to a point of view as well. We need more dialogue between people so we know and begin to understand each other. Blogs like yours are a first step - keep up the good work.

Carl said...

My heart goes out to you. We had this in America with the Oklahoma City bombing. Perpetrated by a right wing veteran of our army. There is no explanation, there is no excuse. This is home grown terrorism and we must recognize it.---Carl

Andreas said...

Thanks for the NYT link. I've just watched his video and it's impressive, except for the fact that he blatantly lies. According to his numbers Marseille has a Muslim majority since 2010. Wikipedia has completely different numbers, not even remotely close. Guess whom I believe?

Let's hope he is really only a crazy lone wolf. At least it's hard to imagine that his "PR" could win anybody over. Maybe those who always deny a threat from the right even wake up now.

Juha Haataja said...

@Fiona: Thanks!

Dialogue, that we need - but do we have time for it when the world is speeding by?

@Carl: Yes, indeed, often it is the fear inside which grows into hate, and hate grows into violence. People who are not able to face other world views, other ways of thinking.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: I think all of his manifest is a blatant self-justification for violence arising from hatred arising from fear arising from ... who knows.

But how to tackle isolated hate-mongering groups, that is a big issue?

I guess part of the problem is that for one crazy lone wolf there are hundreds of thousands who are willing to look the other way in the early days of hate-mongering towards anything which looks like other. And this permits the crazyness to grow.