I guess you’ve heard about the terror and massacre in Norway. It seems that Christian right-wing terrorism à la Timothy McVeigh has finally reached our shores here in Scandinavia. Fortunately, all my friends in Norway are safe. The atrocities committed by the conservative fanatic Anders Behring Breivik are almost incomprehensible. The fact that this terrorist went on a killing spree for one and a half hour with the sole purpose of murdering as many social democratic teenagers as possible is unfathomable. The latest casualty figure from the terror acts is 75 confirmed dead. As far as I understand, he published a 1500-page long manifesto, partly based on McVeigh’s writings, just hours before the bombing in Oslo and the massacre at Utøya.
One thing about this mass murderer that makes the tragic events even more terrifying is that he wasn’t a neo-Nazi (I assume the police have their eyes on them) but a staunch conservative, previously unpunished, driven by vitriolic hatred of Muslims and Marxists. Given that the combination is hardly unique within right-wing fanatics in Europe, and the fact that anti-Muslim sentiments permeate the rhetoric of more or less mainstream political parties across the continent, it makes you wonder how long it will take before another disturbed individual snaps.
These are sad times. I just hope our politicians and pundits realize it is time to take the threat from Christian fundamentalism seriously, as well as militant Islamists.
Nils Enar is a Swedish journalist.