Now in Norway

News of the two attacks in Norway that blew up a building downtown Oslo and in a vastly more insidious second attack saw 90 students and adults gunned down on a camping trip by the same guy. Every parent who ever sent a kid off to camp felt the same shivers of fear up the spine upon hearing such news.

That the suspect was arrested alive is useful if it leads to understanding why such acts of violence and hatred were committed by a fellow Norwegian. But knowing the facts of this grisly case will not ease our angst about why such things happen or what we can do—short of giving up all our personal freedoms—can prevent others.

When we hear car bombing and random shootings we immediate “assume” an Islamic militant attack but jumping to that conclusion is both premature and unsettling. More Muslims are victims of Islamic radical violence than other groups.  Homegrown terrorism is an unfortunate magnet for the disaffected no matter the culture, it seems.  Yet it is the most difficult to identify and thus most difficult to prevent. As the picture of the blond, blue-eyed Scandinavian arrested testifies all terrorists do not automatically look like Osama Bin Laden or KSM.  Regrettably, they also look just like the rest of us.

At this stage we can pray for the victims as the police get to the bottom of the crime, but we can do more.  We can go about our lives and deprive the terrorists of their most sought after outcome—fear!


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