Saturday, July 23, 2011

Oslo & Jumping To Conclusions

Many people's initial reaction to the Oslo attack was to assume Islamists were responsible. This has led to a certain amount of gloating and scolding now that it turns out to be a blond, nationalist terrorist of the kind that populate Hollywood movies but are rather rare in real life.

I said almost immediately that it was probably either an Islamist or a lone nutjob and have been proven correct so this is not defensiveness on my part.

However that does not mean that those who initially assumed it was an Islamist attack have something to apologise for because it is not irrational or bigoted to assume that synchronised terror attacks in a Western city targeting civilians were perpetrated by the kind of groups who have most recently committed synchronised terror attacks, attacks on Western cities and attacks which focus on murdering civilians.

It was a rational assumption to make even though it turned out to be incorrect.

PS. I am not defending those who said that the attack was definately by Muslims without any evidence only those who said it was likely.


Mark Wadsworth said...

What's worrying is that when they said that the attack was not Islamist, that was even more perturbing than if it had been islamist.

I'm used to the fact that all islamists are nutters and want to kill us, I didn't reallise that tall blonde people hated us as well.

Jaz said...

I agree that it was natural for people to jump to that conclusion, but the people that did should (a) have the humility to accept they were wrong and (b) stop trying to blame Islam nonetheless.
There have been some truly awful comments on a number of right-wing sites in which they still try to blame Islam. The shooter only did what he did because of the immigration etc etc.
But racists are racists.
I also think that all of these people who have been attacking Islam for all these years are desperately trying to claim that because the killer turned out to be a christian that he does not represent their religion
Funny how all Muslims are terrorists, but christian killers are on their own.

Ross said...

Jaz- I agree with most of what you have said. To still insist that it is somehow the fault of Muslims when it clearly isn't is shameless.