Much has been written about the implications of the horrible massacre in Norway. After the initial automatic knee jerk assumption that the murderer must have been an Islamist terrorist, the discovery that he was one of Norway’s ‘own’ – albeit an extreme right wing white supremacist – sent shock waves throughout Norway, whose mourning was so dignified and full of quiet determination.
I want to make a three key points about the lessons of this atrocity which cost the lives of 76 people. Firstly, European states and societies need to get over their post 9/11 automatic assumptions that ‘terrorist’ acts are always perpetrated only by Islamists. Such assumptions lead to the racialization of Muslim and Arab-looking people, and to tighter immigration, asylum and travel controls throughout Europe, and, as in this case, miss the point entirely, at a heavy cost of innocent lives. Read more