Reprinted from melaniephillips.com.
In the wake of the Norway atrocity and the reaction it has generated, I have been thinking some more about hatred, fanaticism and moral confusion.
This shouldn’t need saying, but it does: there can be no excuse, justification or rationale whatsoever for the atrocity perpetrated by Anders Behring Breivik. The reason it unfortunately needs saying is that I have been reading too many weaselly equivocations about this, along the lines:
‘Yes, it was indeed a most terrible atrocity and one’s heart bleeds for those poor victims; but Norway’s politics towards Israel do stink/Norway’s Labour Party stinks/Quisling’s country, say no more/the Islamisation of Europe stinks/it was only a matter of time before someone was provoked by the railroading of public opinion into doing something like this’.
No, no, no! Any variety of such ‘yes-buttery’ inescapably makes some kind of excuse for the atrocity, however dressed up it may be in suitably pious expressions of horror. There is never any justification for mass murder. None. Any concerns about the Norwegian ambassador to Israel’s disgusting comments or European Islamisation or anything else are a totally separate matter and must be addressed through the democratic process of argument, persuasion and public debate.
Not only can mass murder never be excused, but the notion that ‘it was only a matter of time before someone was provoked into doing something like this’ is itself as nonsensical as it is obscene. Yes, there are a lot of people in Europe who are angry — very angry indeed — about a whole host of things. Some of them are decent people who are boiling with rage at being disenfranchised by an entire political class which seems determined to destroy their civilisation. Some of them have deeply unpleasant or racist views about some of their fellow human beings. Some of them are so angry they may join political groupings which resort on occasion to thuggery and hooliganism (the BNP, EDL or the anti-globalisation riots all come to mind). But violent as some of their behaviour may be, they would not travel to a youth camp, invite the teenagers to gather round and then open fire on them all with dum-dum bullets.
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