Theater of Cruelty

When we kill


What was this week's most shocking news? To stay in the hometown newspaper's hometown, Monday's first page spread in Dagbladet can be highlighted:

"Dad killed Mark (5) on his birthday."

Under the title, the murder in Odense is described as follows: “Danish tragedy: – I have an extra birthday present for you. It must have been Bjørn Schaap's (37) last words before he blew himself and his son Mark (5) up in the air. "

How is it possible for a Danish officer to blast his own five-year-old son in the air, and that on the boy's birthday, in front of the eyes of the boy's mother and family? Has a more bestial criminal act been carried out in Scandinavia in the last decade? Hardly, with the possible exception of the Baneheia killings.

Still: The most striking is the lack of or limited coverage of the case in both Norwegian and Danish media. Apart from one of the sales reports to Dagbladet on Monday, the issue has been silent in the Norwegian press.

After this summer's extensive media coverage of a possible murder of Rahila Iqbal (23) in Pakistan, one would think that the far more shocking murder of Mark (5) in Denmark could also be mentioned – to show that it is not just "the others" who kills. Now an argument for lack of coverage may be that the killer in Denmark is known, and that the murder did not happen in Norway, but these two factors were also present in the much talked about murder of Fadime Sahindal (26) three years ago. Both the fact that the Fadime murder took place in Sweden, and the fact that it quickly became clear that the father was behind it, did not prevent extensive and long-term media coverage in Norway.

In both the Rahila case and the Fadime case, we have seen many investigations on how the culture, religion and honor should have sealed the fate of the two women.

But when Mark (5) is killed, it is only referred to as a "family tragedy", at the same time as the case only became known three weeks after the murder "for human reasons". We therefore have no debates about whether there is something wrong with the Danish or Scandinavian "culture", or what measures should generally be adopted to stagnate frustrated, divorced Nordic men.

The lack of a "cultural explanation" for the brutal Mark murder is probably just as well, but it requires at least that we in the Norwegian public wear similar glasses when people with a minority background commit criminal acts. A comparison of the murder of Mark with that of Fadime, and with the possible murder of Rahila, will not come out so well in Danish and Scandinavian "culture". Both Rahila and Fadime were in conflict with their families before they died. 5-year-old Mark, on the other hand, was not in conflict with anyone until he was killed by his own father.

The fact that the father takes his own life does not make the case better. On the contrary, the murderer thus deprives the survivors of any opportunity to understand how the bestial child murder could happen.

In general, our domestic Scandinavian duck pond seems to lack horizons of understanding that can also be used to provide insight into the world of "the other". That is one of the reasons why Ny Tid today can bring London citizen Soumayya Ghannoushi's comment on Al-Qaeda and the abuse of Islam on pages 6 and 7. Good reading.


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