EDITORIAL: Norway and the burden of hate crime
Governments and people of the Caribbean Community, indeed the Greater Caribbean region, would undoubtedly be sharing the pain and grief of last Friday’s barbaric criminal acts in Norway that have left that nation to mourn the worst human tragedy to afflict it since the Second World War.
The 32-year-old Norwegian gunman, Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 68 youths at a summer camp after killing eight other fellow citizens and exploding bombs in the capital city of Oslo, was to further shock the world by the mind-boggling claim to his lawyer that the atrocities were indeed “gruesome”, but that they were necessary (our emphasis).
An admitted activist linked to far-right extremists whose opponents include the Norwegian government and its ruling Labour Party, that operates the summer camp for young people, has been quite boastful in pouring contempt on the prevailing concept of rule of law and justice in his homeland.
Quite on the contrary, for the people and governments of our Caribbean region as well as the world over, Norway has long been, and remains, a shining example of a democracy wedded to the rule of law and firmly committed to fostering and defending human rights and dignity.
Those, like Breivik, who indulge in spreading ideological and/or religious differences to rationalize hate crimes could also be found in other societies, including the Caribbean/Latin American region.
Some very tragic examples are located in the frightening growing statistics of brutal murders, including the current phenomenon of decapitations in Jamaica, and the slaughter of women and children in their homes in Trinidad and Tobago and a few other CARICOM states.
Often, intelligence authorities have failed to be more vigorous in monitoring and taking precise actions against those whose statements of hate and bitter complaints point to a mindset of total contempt for the rule of law and what the vast majority wish to maintain as a generally peaceful and healthy environment.
In the circumstances, as Barbados and other member states of our Caribbean Community empathise with the families of the murdered victims of the hate-driven Norwegian ideologue, we suspect they would also share a cherish hope.
That hope would be for success by the Norwegian law enforcement agencies to do their utmost to bring to justice all of the secret cohorts of the notorious Breivik, lurking in the shadows with their bizarre burden of hatred that could implode in the sort of mindless slaughter of so many youths, between the ages of 14 and 18, at a summer camp in one of the most respected nations of the global community.