By now you’ve no doubt heard of
Amy Winehouse’s death the horrors that occurred in Norway: a car bombing in downtown Oslo that left seven dead and 15 injured, and a shooting rampage on the island of Utøya that claimed at least 85 lives, most of them teenagers. Early reports attributed the attacks to Helpers of the Global Jihad, an Islamic terrorist group who claimed responsibility on Internet forums.
I first heard of the attacks via Twitter on Friday afternoon. Since all the TV news stations failed to even mention what was going on in Norway and just kept babbling on about how fucking hot it was, I stayed glued to my Twitter stream. Between the tweets bitching about the heat and the ones relaying information about the Oslo / Utøya attacks, there was a gem from Jim Goad: He poked fun at Helpers of the Global Jihad, suggesting they change their name to Muhammad’s Elves, and added the hashtag #fuckmuslims.
Just a brief “cool story, bro” moment: Although I’m an insufferable atheist, half my relatives are Muslim. Most of my mom’s side of the family live in India and belong to the Bohri community, which is a sect of Shia Islam. On religious occasions, the men wear white pajama suits and the women dress like pastel pilgrims. As far as Islam is concerned, they seem pretty liberal, seeing as how they haven’t yet beheaded my mother for marrying my Hindu father, nor for divorcing him, nor for marrying my Catholic / Puerto Rican step-dad, nor for divorcing him.
Anyway, I took issue with what Goad had tweeted, so I told him to go fuck himself.
Fast-forward to Saturday evening: I spoke to Goad via Google Chat for two hours. He explained that he had two good friends in Norway who were reeling from the attacks. He wanted to make the Muhammad’s Elves joke without appearing as if he was making light of the situation, thus he tacked on #fuckmuslims.
I asked him how a hashtag would help soothe his tragedy-stricken friends. He responded that, “At the time, it felt like a bit of striking back at those who seemed to be the perps.” I told him that I didn’t appreciate how he had implicated a large, diverse group of people with the actions of some no-name terrorist organization. He said he understood.
The Norwegian special forces who responded to the shootings on Utøya apprehended Anders Behring Breivik, who later also claimed responsibility for the bombing in downtown Oslo.
Breivik is not part of Helpers of the Global Jihad. Breivik is not a Muslim. Anders Behring Breivik is a 32-year-old white male, a Norwegian citizen of Norwegian descent. Like all his countrymen, he looks like a robotic fashion model with dumb facial hair.
Breivik is being described by authorities and news outlets as a right wing Christian fundamentalist. He spent some time contributing to the Norwegian website Documents.no, where he identified with “national conservatism,” and denounced multiculturalists and cultural Marxists.
More significantly, there is Breivik’s 1,518-page manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, and an accompanying YouTube video, “Knights Templar 2083,” which he published on the day of the attacks. In the manifesto’s foreword, Breivik describes the Oslo / Utøya attacks as the “marketing operation” to distribute his book.
Both the document and video follow the trend of Breivek’s Document.no denunciations of multiculturalists and cultural Marxists, but also rail more specifically against Islam, Muslim colonization of Europe, the Socialist Party and the Labour Party, the last of which sponsored the youth camp on Utøya where Breivik opened fire. The manifesto and video basically describe an ongoing war of the Christian West against the Islamic East and their Western co-conspirators, a war in which Breivik is an enlightened foot soldier turned martyr.
Jim Goad’s #fuckmuslims tweet is gone. Whether he removed it because of its inaccuracy or its irrespective condemnation, I don’t know. (UPDATE: I received an email from Goad this morning saying that he removed the tweet because it was untrue.)
I do know that he still hasn’t replaced it with a #fuckrightwingers tweet, despite my goading. (Sorry, but I had to make that stupid pun eventually.) Maybe he doesn’t have any jokes about Anders Behring Breivik or maybe he doesn’t care to “strike back” at right wing perps.
Either way, even if Goad did come up with a #fuckrightwingers tweet, it wouldn’t be worth it. The right wing is a vast, at times ambiguous sphere that includes conservatives, libertarians, religious types, fiscal nerds and their various spawn; obviously everyone under the umbrella term doesn’t share all of Breivik’s beliefs. The perp is more particular, so your condemnations — and hashtag — must be more concise.
Breivik believes in the bankruptcy of multiculturalism, an ongoing East / West war stemming from the Crusades, a future of colonization and conflict in the Western world; Breivik wrote a manifesto, he contributed to a website, he is white.
Considering all this, maybe the most fitting hashtag is #fuckjimgoad?
No, that would be as stupid as equating all Muslims to terrorists.
Originally published on Street Carnage.