Theater of Cruelty

When violence calls


Latter-day attacks on Australia's beaches are scary. The inevitable question, which arises in any Scandinavian consciousness, is: Can it also happen here in Scandinavia, when only the snow melts?

The possible parallels to the riots in Paris have already been highlighted in the Aftenposten this week. But the more question is what is the limit that the majority here at home will allow attacks on innocent people in our midst.

The frightening thing is not that some young people with a Middle Eastern background are said to have attacked two lifeguards at Cronulla Beach in southern Sydney. The irrational and totalitarian threat to the order of the world community lies in the fact that as many as 5000 agitated white people on Sunday, a week later, gathered for a giant mob on the beaches. They were summoned by text messages on their mobile phones urging them to go to the beach to beat up "Lebs and wogs", racist slang for people with ancestors from Lebanon and the Middle East.

Behind the summons were among other right-wing extremist groups, also known as neo-Nazis.

The frightening thing is how many so-called "ordinary" Australians who in 2005 allow themselves to be seduced by the most primitive acts of revenge that the human race, and the mammal family, can muster. While shouting "No more Lebanese" and "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie… oi, oi, oi", drunk young men draped themselves in the Australian flag while attacking women, children and men without white skin.

A Muslim woman's lap was brutally ripped off, another woman was chased into a store, innocent men were knocked out on the open street. 31 were wounded, 16 were arrested. Six policemen and two ambulance drivers were injured while trying to curb the mob.

The criminal attack carried out by a handful of groups was thus answered with something far worse: the millennial irrationality carried out by a collective, a sect ruled by the totalitarian nature of fascism. It was only an assault before the collective hatred of the majority population flared up and was controlled by the neo-Nazi summons.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard was quick to apologize for this white mob: "I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country."

An absurd statement, all the while the pictures show white young men attacking an Arab-looking man on the train, solely because of his appearance.

But that's a typical statement from Howard. It is the same every time someone from your own does something criminal – then it should always be excused and explained. It is always the Others who are threatening.

This week also came the message that the Norwegian Police Security Service believes that a terrorist attack on Scandinavia may be imminent. In the future, such messages will awaken in the unconscious of the regular citizen, as has been the case for a long time in Australia, while the right-wing extremists will use this to whip up more hatred. Only time will tell how many will show up on Oslo's beaches next year, when the mob's text messages call for collective revenge rally as soon as the psychological pressure in the population becomes large enough. And when a bad excuse can be presented.


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