Anders Behring Breivik
Every year around this time I'm asked to write something. A piece to mark the anniversary of the terrorist attack in Norway
Is domestic terrorism, instigated by white supremacists, such as Breivik, on the rise? Recently, more incidents of hate crimes are reported to be taking place, with alarming frequency. There have been at least seven reports of hate crimes targeting Muslims and mosques in the last 10 days in the United States. Here in Canada we look down at the U.S. and say, "well, everything is worse down there, more guns, more violence, more racism." Not so fast. According to Statistics Canada figures from 2009, the frequency of hate crimes are up.
The recent shooting at the Sikh Temple has brought racial hate-motivated violent extremism to the fore. Hate-motivated violent extremism directed against Muslims or look-alikes is a growing reality in white America and is the direct result of narratives that perpetuate the us vs. them mentality. Sikh women also cover their hair, and with the presence and prevalence of anti-hijab narratives, hateful, ignorant people tend not to know the difference. This is not to say "let's get the right target," because the point is that NO community should be wholesale targeted for the actions of its extremists and the same holds true for "white America."
In the wake of the "Dark Knight" shooting, there is the inevitable and understandable desire to seek an explanation -- to make sense of the senseless. Somehow this monstrosity might have been averted -- if gun laws were different, if someone who knew the killer could have stopped the crime in advance, if social welfare programs to treat such sociopaths were improved, if movies didn't encourage such violence. And those thoughts may feel even more urgent to Canadians as our week began and ended with horrific shootings -- on Monday, two people were killed and 24 injured at a Toronto block party.
While it recently played host to the Oslo Freedom Forum, Norway's capital is gripped by the Anders Breivik trial. What happens at the Breivik trial has a bearing on the libertarian and humanitarian values that underly the Forum -- one that is neither left wing nor right win, and has highlighted oppression and dissident courage in places as various as China, Singapore, Turkish Kurdistan, India and Sudan.
My latest book about Christianity, Heresy, is in the forgiving business. But forgiveness does not mean forgetting the truth. We have to be resolute in what is and what isn't, which is why I've taken on the most frequent arguments used against followers of Christ.
Anders Breivik is a rarity - a spree killer who was caught alive. What insights could be gained from talking to a man who
Even before the haze of crushed metal and shattered glass settled, the words "jihadists", "Al-Qaeda" and "Muslims terrorists" were immediately and forcefully placed as top billing as the culprits of the crime. Case closed. End of discussion. Sound familiar?