Who said this can’t happen to Kenya? 1 man, 3 guns, 1 crazed mind, leaving Norway, one of the most peaceful and stable Nordic countries, drowning in the blood of 90+ people dead.
Anders Behring Breivik, a well- educated man, residing as a somewhat loner in his farmhouse with only his mother for company, listing his interests on Facebook as bodybuilding, hunting, and Freemasonry (weird huh?) He also listed himself as a Conservative Christian and, through the Internet, was found to have strong anti-Islamic views. He also was allegedly affiliated to the right wing…which I don’t think has ever or will ever be a good thing. He, thus, would be in opposition of the Norwegian Labour Party, whose Oslo offices, where he was seen earlier that day, were bombed. Approximately 90 minutes later, he opened fire at teenagers at a Labour Party camping retreat on the Utoeya Island. Dressed as a policeman, he beckoned campers (who thought he was protective detail) towards him. He then opened fire on them…pushing most to the water’s edge where he shot many as they tried to swim to safety on the mainland. And after questioning, he unashamedly admitted that his actions were indeed “gruesome yet necessary”.
What anyone would ask is what pushed an ordinary man to turn on his fellow countrymen, most of them aged between 14-18 years? Young innocent lives olucked at their prime. Well, we all know that the moment that bomb went off, the whole world was on the “Al-Qaeda” and Islamist jihad stereotype, believing that such acts could only be carried out by Osama’s cohorts (may the sharks feed on him thoroughly). So immediately the minute detail that the shooter/bomber was Caucasian, the terrorist title was quickly replaced with MADMAN! Difference much? In this entire disillusion, the Sun (a major British daily) published its front-page headline as: “‘Al-Qaeda’ Massacre; Norway’s 9/11”.
Al- Qaeda? From where? The perpetrator was a right-wing Christian extremist!
Does the West understand the term ‘domestic terrorism’?
And as a Kenyan, this particularly worries me, putting into consideration the hard times our nation is going through presently. With an estimated 10 mil. people enduring the worst famine in 60 years, a disgruntled populous, a rising cost of living, the hassles of implementing a new Constitution while all along all the country’s leadership can think of is 2012 – elections! I bet none of them have watched 2012, the movie. Considering how mundane their views and actions sometimes are, maybe they would believe the movie and be focussing on…hell, they can’t even focus!
2011 has been the year of revolution: Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, even the former pearl of Africa, Uganda. However much I pray that Kenya be spared that fate, I bet even blindest man on the streets of Nairobi could ‘see’ that all the ingredients for a revolution are right here with us, just waiting for that explosive trigger. And judging from the ‘efficiency’ of university comrades in rioting (not forgetting K’ogalo fans); we are yet to see the worst from them. The recent go-slow by the Police Force comes to mind. Its timing was just…for lack of a better word, marvellous. The Baks, heading back to his retirement home from Manyani, had his escort in shambles as all radio comms were down. They had to use mobile phones…MOBILE PHONES! I’m even scared to think of the worst case scenario if his security had been compromised; considering the rise in hacking lately. And however much I hate the Kenyan police (for all the bribes they take and their baseless harassment), they are Kenyans. And just like any other citizen, they also bear the brunt of harsh times. So their call for their promised pay-rise IS justified.
But the Police are part of disciplined forces. So it might take a little more for them to go psycho – if they haven’t already. The trigger of such catastrophes is the basic struggles and/or stereotypes in day-to-day life. Like this ‘I’m-Muslim-So-I-Will-Bomb-You’ mentality, just sad. I was lucky to go to school near Eastleigh, the Somalia inside Kenya minus all the warfare. So between, wondering if the lady behind that bui-bui was hot or deciphering some of that language (too phlegmatic), I got to live alongside and befriend many who profess Islam. Spending 4 years with people of various cultures, flare-ups on cultural & religious fundamentalism were inevitable. And debate on these issues was common and some very confounded rumours too (like the C.U. official who vehemently claimed that Muslims worshipped genies! How now?). Discussion. Discussion. DISCUSSION! The level of respect I gained for Islam in those years is priceless. Especially noting how devout they are, and never willing to stand back and see their religion’s name defaced.
Back to Norway, I pray that that guy’s motive was more political than religious. The world doesn’t need any more of those. However much an advocate for the sanctity of life I am, this is one guy who deserves the gallows (is the death penalty legal in Norway?) 93 people’s lives on your soul is too much, just too much! 1 is even more than enough! if you disagree, listen to this eyewitness account of the Utoeya Island attack:
As for Kenya… GOD HELP US.
And as a footnote: Oslo, Norway is the home of the Nobel Peace Prize. Just shows how the quaintest locales are the easiest to push into havoc. Although the Peace Prize itself has quite some contradictions in its origins.