All Americans join the world community in mourning the horrific loss of life from theNorway terrorist attacks. We can only imagine the void left in the lives of the victims’ families. The staggering toll of young lives taken by a gunman at the Utoya youth camp reminds us all, once again, that guns are the enablers of mass killers.
For those who are quick to argue that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” it is instructive that the Norway killer took many more lives with his guns than with his explosives. Violent individuals intent on inflicting multiple fatalities don’t choose knives or baseball bats. With few exceptions, they choose guns.
There are some in the American “gun rights” community who will no doubt use this shooting to assert that Norway’s strong gun laws don’t work, or to support the National Rifle Association’s campaign to make it easier for Americans to carry loaded guns on the streets, and into restaurants, coffee houses, bars, college campuses and other public places. Does this mass shooting in Norway suggest that Western Europe’s restrictive gun regulations are futile, while America’s practically non-existent gun regulations make us safer?
Such a conclusion approaches absurdity, when we consider some well-established facts. Press reports indicate that as many as 70 young lives may have been taken in the Norwegian youth camp massacre. Whereas that number of shooting deaths in a day is treated as a historic event in Norway, it is less than the death toll from guns every day in America — which is now in excess of 80. Whereas a mass shooting in Norway is an extraordinary tragedy, described by that nation’s prime minister as a “national disaster,” it is a regular occurrence in America. Within 48 hours of the Norway shooting, there were at least four mass shootings in our country: six dead at a skating rink in Texas, nine woundedduring a fight between teenagers at a birthday party in Central Florida, a 15-year-old killed and eight wounded at an outdoor party near Stockton, California, and seven wounded in a casino shooting near Seattle.
As awful as the Norwegian youth camp shooting was, the average resident of that nation would have difficulty imagining life in a society with gun violence even close to what we experience in America. In 2005, for example, there were 12,352 gun homicides in the U.S. In that same year, Norway had five. The homicide rate in the U.S. is over eight times what it is in Norway because the U.S. rate of homicides with guns is 38 times higher than Norway’s.
Norway has a restrictive gun licensing system, with a requirement that a prospective gun owner provide a written statement justifying why he or she wants one and stiff restrictions on how guns are stored. The fact that one gunman, driven by violent fanaticism, was able to get a gun to commit mass murder no more justifies weakening Norway’s gun laws than it justifies weakening its law against murder itself. No law is a guarantee against the evil it was passed to prevent. We can say with certainty that Norway, with its strong gun laws, is a far safer place than the U.S., with its weak gun laws and its permissiveness toward carrying guns in public.
It is reasonably certain that the Norway youth camp shootings will lead to determined efforts to further strengthen that nation’s gun laws. In contrast, America has suffered through Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Tucson and too many other similar events with little action taken to prevent more tragedies of this kind. The youth camp shooting is neither a reason to condemn Norway’s gun laws, nor to praise our own. Instead, it confirms, once more, that the well-known bumper sticker could not be more wrong. Actually, guns do kill people. For more information, see Dennis Henigan’s Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy (Potomac Books 2009). Visit theBrady Campaign on Facebook.
“I saw people being shot. I tried to sit as quietly as possible. I was hiding behind some stones. I saw him once, just 20, 30 meters away from me. I thought ‘I’m terrified for my life,'” the young survivor said to a Reuters reporter. “I thought of all the people I love.”
And there’s the moment, in all its politics and horror: no more than this. Young adults — teenagers — being stalked and methodically murdered at their bucolic summer camp on Utoya Island in Norway. In God’s name, why?
This is the question we ask instantaneously, with sucked-in breath. Why? The question is bigger than any answer we make up. The killer, Anders Behring Breivik, had an agenda, of course. The Utoya murders, along with the deaths meted out by the bomb he detonated in Oslo a short while earlier — 76 victims in all — were explicit political killings; but first, they were the product of some psycho-social kink in the human condition, some dark permission to do evil in the name of good, which Breivik, the self-styled Knight Templar, seized in his private lunacy.
Before we slice and dice the killer’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, death-to-multiculturalism agenda — which yields nothing in terms of the answers we seek at the deepest emotional level — we need, I think, to acknowledge this: Any political “side,” any righteous believer in a cause, can seize the same dark permission Breivik did. This is humanity’s ever-present temptation: to be so right we can justify dehumanizing, and killing, our enemies.
For me, the question in the wake of any coolly planned slaughter, whether political or personal, becomes: How do we minimize our collective risk from armed true believers and the righteously aggrieved?
The day after the tragedy, the mayor of Oslo stated the complex answer as simply as possible: “I don’t think security can solve problems. We need to teach greater respect.”
But the major media outlets, so vast in their reach and full of themselves, spent little time grappling with the implications of this comment or thrashing in horrified uncertainty beyond their political comfort zones. They became predictably preoccupied with the lesser question of Breivik’s political agenda, focusing much attention on the 1,500-page “manifesto” he had written (which his killing rampage successfully publicized), about the liberation of Europe from the clutches of non-believers and liberal accomodationists.
In other words, the major media failed utterly — as usual — to look at the issue of violence itself, and its causes, and lapsed into analyses of viewpoints and sides. The sinister irrelevance of this analysis — at least in the absence of deeper and more complex coverage — was revealed in the first wave of mistaken commentary, before it was known precisely who had perpetrated the mayhem. Some pundits, reporters and editorial writers jumped the gun and blamed… OMG, Muslim terrorists! And the word went out.
“Norway certainly did not buy itself much grace from the jihadis for staying out of the Iraq war, or for Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s demand that Israel open its borders with Gaza, or for his calls for a Palestinian unity government between Fatah and its terrorist cousin Hamas.”
Thus the Wall Street Journal, in its lead editorial in the first edition of the paper to come out after the shootings (as pointed out by David Dayen at FireDogLake), immediately began grinding an anti-Islam political axe, embarking on a neocon clash-of-civilizations diatribe. Oh the innocence of the freedom-loving West! And Jennifer Rubin of theWashington Post, reminding us that the Bush-Cheney doctrine lives, used the occasion to call for more defense spending so we could continue to fight al-Qaida.
Fox News, not so surprisingly, was quick to blame Muslim terrorists for the Norway killings, and juxtaposed a false news story asserting this with a report bashing the planned Islamic community center near the site of the World Trade Center.
And even the New York Times had a hard time letting go of the idea that Muslim terrorists killed the Norwegian teens, or at least acted as spiritual brethren and teachers for evildoers with other political agendas. Their point was that all evil is lumped on the other side of the war on terror. No matter who killed the Norwegians, Muslim extremists are the permanent bad guys. And our hands and our wars are clean.
This is worse than bad reporting. It’s a massive cover-up of the roots of human violence. What if Breivik, who demonstrated, after all, a capacity for meticulous planning, had managed to steal or, what the heck, build a drone aircraft, and had bombed Utoya Island from the safety of his apartment complex? Would that have exonerated the Muslims?
“As they approached closer, I saw that the truck was riddled with bullets and shrapnel — full of dead insurgents, decapitated corpses. I’ll never forget this. A very young PFC in the back of the truck lifted a decapitated head. ‘We really fucked these guys up, didn’t we?’ Other soldiers were celebrating on top of the bodies. (The dead were) mostly teenage boys from the local community.”
This fragment of testimony from the 2008 Winter Soldier testimony in Silver Spring, Md., by Iraq War vet Jeffrey Smith, exposes the lie of good sides and bad sides. Anders Behring Breivik is our creation.
– – – Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist, contributor to One World, Many Peaces and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound (Xenos Press) is now available. Contact him at email@example.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.
By Our Special Correspondent
|Manzar Imam with IDC chairman Mohammad Umar Gautam|
With expansion of the modern means of media and communications, it has become vital for all to keep abreast of time and also transform those ideas and ideologies to target audience and intended readers.
It is not as easy though, as it sounds. Gone are the days of lengthy stories and essays that were the characteristic of old British writing. People are hard pressed for time now.
It is a difficult task to make people spare time to read someone else, says Manzar Imam, Editor of Delhi-based Islamic Da’wah Centre Newsletter (IDCN). IDCN was launched by Islamic Da’wah Centre under the supervision of its chairman Mohammad Umar Gautam in March 2011 with the objective of presenting Islam in contemporary world.
So far we have brought out five issues of IDCN and the sixth is in the process of printing, says Mr Imam who has a long experience of writing.
As against the general stereotyping of Muslims to be agents of negativity, IDC believes that Muslims are peace-loving but they are continuously misrepresented.
We believe firmly that Islam has solution to the many social problems and people are looking for peace.
The world today is in search of truth and there are large numbers of people who acknowledge the Truth of Islam but we do not have any systematic arrangement to train and educate the people about the real Truth, Umar Gautam is quoted in the first editorial of IDCN under the title Islamic Da’wah.
The 4-page Newsletter can be easily read in one sitting, says Mr Imam adding that the purpose is to reach out to non-Muslims who are either misguided by people with vested interests or do not find something which could be read in a short time.
The April editorial Justice in Islam tries to explain with the example of a story of Ali, Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law and fourth caliph of Islam that justice should be dispassionate and no personal anger should trigger one to exact revenge. It further says that “Injustice not only leads to disturbance, it also creates imbalance and widens the inequality gap between the rich and the poor, mighty and the meek.”
The Newsletter also covers the activities of IDC which include get together of reverts, speeches organized for Da’wah and social reform of Muslims and also English language courses conducted from time to time for products of madrasas.
For a Da’ee, writes Manzar Imam “language is learnt and spoken with the noble aim of reaching out to people to convey them the message of the Lord and to remind them that they all have been created with a purpose”.
Islam is a universal religion and language should not hold Muslims back in delivering their duty as the ummah of Da’wah, observes the May issue of IDC.
We have planned to increase the number of pages after sometime. We are also making it a point that every issue carries a special theme so that some of its significant aspects are covered to a satisfactory level, says Manzar Imam, adding that the June issue dealt with the topic of Quran.
Da’wah is obligatory for Muslims and it can be done by various means, says Umar Gautam, who is also the executive editor of the Newsletter. Our aim is to bring people of different faiths to a single platform so that people understand each other and respect each others opinion. Apart from it, providing simple and easy literature is also in the scheme of our things. The publication of IDC Newsletter is just a beginning towards this end, says Mr Gautam who embraced Islam some 20 years ago.
In an era to fast growing communications, will IDC catch with the modern day demands?
“That’s not our aim”, says he. We do not measure success on those parameters, our effort is our success. We hope that Allah enables us to convey his message to all people because His message is for all.
With this pessimism IDC seems to be trekking the right track.
As the top terrocracy promoting terror networks in Libya and elsewhere, US shields state criminals in some countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while protecting and feeding the non-state terrorists in others like Libya. White House has, thus, been a sanctuary of terror specialists advising the rulers to use the military to pursue US hidden agendas. Bulks of American politicians are corrupt people having got illegal nexus with oil-arms merchants.
Sept-11 has not benefited any single Muslim or Muslim nation in the world, but on the contrary has helped the NATO fascists to murder Muslims already in millions but has also ruined many Muslim nations, starting from Islamizing Afghanistan.
Right from the Sept-11, the CIA has been actively creating subversive terror networks in Muslim nations, especially in oil rich Mideast in order to advance its goals and ensure energy security by talking about “threat to security”. NATO Fascists and the terrorists propped up in Libya by the same NATO led by USA-UK terror twins to destabilize Libya for shipping its oil resources and steal its foreign bank deposits and gold reserves are allies against Muslims and for illegal resources, jointly attacking Libyan people and properties. NATO air forces have bombed food godowns threatening food security of Libya.
The rebel terrorists consider themselves as US patriots and betray Libya. They shamelessly call themselves defenders of so-called democracy. After creating these rebel betrayers, the NATO rogues have also “recognized” them to advance US interests- farce recognition of terrorist organizations is also illegal.
It is an irony of civilization that the rebel terrorists in Libya, trained by the CIA-NATO fascist terror gangs, are talking in terms of giving permission to Libyan President Col. Moammar Qaddafi to say on in his country. It is not just a crude joke on part of the Obama regime for instigating the anti-Libyan betrayers to destabilize their nation and help CIA to loot Libyan oil resources and steal Libya’s bank deposits abroad. Obama is eager to take away major chunk of Libyan deposits and gold reserves to cushion an ailing US finances and economy.
USA, UK, France, Italy and others have already offered terror goods to Libyan terrorists in exchange for oil and future booty. As US policy, CIA operates through the rebel terrorists to weaken Libyan government. Semi-Islamic Qatar has also stepped up the flow of military aid to rebels in recent days. Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Sunni nations, whose brains are controlled by Washington, are promoting terrorists and CIA in Libya and region.
CIA and its terrorist agents in Libya try to dictate terms to Libyan people. CIA sponsored Libyan terrorist leader Mustafa A. Jalil said that Col. Qaddafi and his family could remain in Libya as part of a political solution to the five-month-old conflict, provided they give up power and rebel leaders can determine where in Libya and under what conditions they remain. This shift of approach appears to be a significant reversal for the Libyan opposition leader, who is the chief betrayer and chairman of the rebels’ illegal Transitional National Council, based in Benghazi. He also has stipulated that President Qaddafi can stay will have conditions in Libya and the rebel terrorists would decide where he and his family would stay and who watches him.
Libyan terrorist rebels are promoting US interests in Libya, they eat, drink and also think American stuff. This is another CIA fun. Jalil eats American stuff and he spoke over a lunch of lamb, garbonzo beans and Pepsi, served in imported cans adorned with pink paper umbrellas, at a private home in the western mountain city of Zintan, where rebel terrorist leaders have established their regional headquarters. Jalil appeared to be softening his position, and backing up comments made by US, Italian and French regimes in recent days to the same effect. NATO terror leaders target sovereign Libya, its leaders, oil zones and installations. The dictatorial US and Italy have said recently that Col. Qaddafi must be removed from power, but have said his fate after that is up to the Libyan people, leaving open the possibility that he remain in Libya. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said that Col. Qaddafi could remain in Libya as long as he gives up power completely.
Libyan betrayer Jalil made his first visit to the region since he was tapped as the rebel terror leader to help the NATO destabilize Libya shortly after the uprising began on Feb. 17. Jalil and his entourage flew into the western mountains after a short visit in Tunisia where the CIA uprisings first hit and now remains destabilized.
CIA mischief is discernible from Jalil’s gimmicks. Latest Jalil’s or CIA’s position toward Col. Qaddafi and his family comes as rebels say they are stepping up military preparations for a resumed push on Libyan forces along multiple fronts. A critical piece of those preparations has been an uptick in military aide from Qatar, a pro US rogue state in Mideast, in recent days.
Qatar has sent military trainers to the western mountains to train rebel terrorists and has built and equipped a rebel-terror operational command center with the latest equipment. Indeed, Qatari military personnel were accompanying Jalil during his visit to the western mountains. Qatar has been sending rebels anti-tank weapons, small arms, ammunitions, and bullet proof vests, among other such items for months.
The top anti-Libyan Jalil said rebel terrorists would continue their offensive on all fronts even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins early next month as they in the western mountains are the closest to Tripoli and rebels’ best chance of piercing Col. Qaddafi’s defenses and reaching the capital to destroy it or hand over to NATO rogues. In recent days, days Qatar has stepped up both the quantity and type of military aid it is shipping to the rebels, these officials said. The recent shipments have for the first time included new four-wheel-drive vehicles and armored mine clearers to ruin Libya.
Terrorist rebel leader Jalil supports Israeli fascism against the besieged Palestinians and didn’t elaborate on where or under what conditions rebels would demand Col. Qaddafi live, but presumably it could mean anything from comfortable house arrest among his tribesmen, to a dark cell in solitary confinement. Since his approach is likely to prove unpopular among the rebel terror rank and file, Jalil quickly issued a quick denial after protests erupted in the streets of Benghazi.
CIA says and Jalil repeats that the anti-Libya terror war by NATO-rebel gang war would end in one of three ways: Col. Qaddafi would surrender or flee Libya or he will be killed or captured by one of his bodyguards or by rebel forces with NATO assistance. However, none of these would happen but the Libyan betrayers would be hanged in public. Obviously, on request from USA and Saudi Arabia, a Qatari team of terror trainers arrived in the western mountains 20 days ago to train rebels to use certain light weapons and teach them small-unit tactics. Why?
The NATO madness and rebel terrorist crimes in sovereign Libya have exposed the Sunni nations in Mideast as being as much the real culprits of genocides of Muslims since Sept-11 as the NATO terror syndicate forces are. These Arab countries have supported all crimes perpetrated by US-UK, the Arab partners in arms-oil trade, since Sept-11. This also explains why Israel keeps killing Palestinians and slaughtering of Muslims in Kashmir. Global fascist media and their NATO political bosses are becoming exceedingly dangerous to humanity, even as the NATO terrorists go on rampage in Muslim nations, slaughtering Muslims.
So, the NATO fascists have not entirely given up hopes of getting rid of people’s leader Col. Qaddafi, the king of African kings. Obama wants Col. Qaddafi dead or alive for a dinner an hence he continues to terror attack Col. Qaddafi and his people. .
The rebel terrorists have not yet run away from Libya after killing so many innocent Libyans with their CIA uprisings and Libyan army has not taken them to task either, so far.
Both NATO terrorists and Libyan rebel terrorists should be held accountable for his actions in Libya.
The rebel terrorists deserve the cruelest punishment for their crimes against Libyans and betrayal of sovereign Libya.
ICC and ICJ must bring the illegal NATO terrorist leaders for destabilizing sovereign Libya on fictitious pretexts, killing Libyan Arabs and looting its oil resources.
Whether they like it or not, the western terrocracies would have to face similar “upheavals” within that the CIA has successfully engineered in Mideast, especially in Libya, to destabilize and loot the nations. Peoples of NATO states must revolt to throw the fascist regimes so that Obama, Cameron, Blair, Sarkozy and the other fascist leaders of NATO terror syndicate would flee the nations to forests so that human world is rescued from state terror methods.
Islamic world must keep the western, essentially anti-Islamic terrocracies with hidden agendas at a distance!
[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]