Around the blogosphere and the media people are trying to make sense of the bombing and massacre in Norway. At Larvatus Prodeo Mark Bahnisch offers some advice:
I think there is a duty to analyse why these things happen, and why they are talked about in the way they are, but I’m not at all certain that a pause for reflection isn’t in order first. The human scale of the tragedy affects how people respond, but that response has to be calibrated and sorted out from the emotional impact. Not easy to do, and so probably wise to pause.
According to media reports Anders Behring Breivik, the man police have charged for the attacks, has posted a substantial body of material on the internet. Bloggers and journalists are combing through the writings and comments he’s left on various web sites in an effort to find some larger meaning in the attacks.
According to Matthew Goodwin at the Guardian, Breivik "was profoundly concerned about the effects of immigration, multiculturalism, Islam and the growth of settled Muslim communities, he was also dismissive of crude racial supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas and parties that espoused these ideas". Goodwin argues the newer extremist groups Breivik identified with focus on the "socially acceptable issue of culture". They claim that Muslims are not biologically inferior, but culturally incompatible. Goodwin argues that we need to focus on the threat posed by these new extremist groups.
But perversely that may be exactly what Breivik is hoping for. After 9/11 Islamic extremism received a huge amount of media coverage and Bin Laden’s face appeared everywhere. Terror and media images of terror have fused together into a single weapon.
So as Mark says, right now it’s probably best to pause and think. In the meantime TigTog’s response makes the most sense: "The shock and horror I’m feeling must be a pale shadow of what those in Norway are feeling. My thoughts are with them all."