I think we need to be quite careful about how we respond to the political dimensions of the tragedy in Norway.
To be more precise, some responses in kind to the right wing noise machine have been quite distasteful, and only serve to reinforce the discourse which created the awful Andrew Bolt style commentary in the first place.
If we’re to heed Jens Stoltenberg’s call for “more democracy and more humanity” then we need to heed both parts of that.
Commentary which seems to gloat “Oh look! It wasn’t a Muslim, but a right wing Christian” reinscribes the crazy narratives about terrorism and political violence which precisely require a more dispassionate analysis.
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.
In the meantime, all those directly and indirectly impacted by this tragedy are very much in my thoughts.
Update: Some clarification of my argument is in this comment, in particular clarifying that I’m not arguing that the events should be depoliticised.