My heart goes out to Norway today. This peaceful, beautiful, civilized country has been rocked by two terrorist acts that killed about a hundred people. Norway has about five million people, so per capita this terrorist act killed twice as many Norwegians as the 9/11 acts killed Americans. Even worse, most of these killed were young people.
Disturbingly, initial news reports from certain sources immediately blamed Muslims for the attack. Rupert Murdoch has been in the news lately for some horrible things one of his newspapers in England did; his newspapers and radio stations (Washington Post, Fox News, and others) were the primary (although not the only) news sources blaming it on Muslims.
It turns out it was a Norwegian. A gun-loving, immigrant-hating, apparently fundamentalist Christian, white guy. Not surprising, since almost everyone he killed was pro-immigrant. And all of a sudden instead of a "terrorist," he's a "madman," and many newspapers somehow don't substitute "Muslim" for "Christian" or even "fundamentalist Christian"--they just leave out his religion altogether.
Perhaps it's a lesson. In the Western world, far-right Muslims aren't the only ones capable of horrific terrorist acts. Far-right Christians are also very capable (remember the Oklahoma city bombings?)
Immigration issues in the U.S. are also quite heated, even though the number of immigrants is probably decreasing right now (mainly due to economic conditions). I was too quick to judgment in blaming the Arizona shooter for being like this Norwegian (when it appears that the Arizona shooter was indeed just a madman, who believed crazy things from both the right and the left). But we need to be on guard here, and watch out for those who get so caught up in anti-immigration rhetoric that they take their guns and their bombs and cause terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, please join me in prayers for the good people of Norway.