Thursday, January 13, 2011

Henning Mankell & the Fiction of “Understandable” Terror

Today’s item is a bit stale—it cropped up over the holiday season, following the suicide bombing in Stockholm. But even when it was new, it was rotten. Sweden’s renowned mystery author and cruising protest tourist, Henning Mankell, penned an op-ed for the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which paragraph after paragraph simply reeks of anti-Western loathing and misplaced sympathy for would-be and actual murderers.
Here’s an example of Henning’s moldy but purple prose, as with all of his usual hysteria, he compares the Stockholm bomber to the September 11th attack:
-“This is the first suicide bomber in Scandinavia and I am surprised that so many are – surprised. It reminds me of when the passenger jets crashed into the towers in New York. I never understood the surprise that followed. Wasn't this exactly what we had expected?”
Wow! Westerners were just begging to have 3,000 people murdered! We deserved it!
And why? Henning explains it was:
-“A situation where the extreme, the desperate and the furious attacked the western world that for so long had humiliated Muslim countries. An attack that would be understandable but nevertheless wrong and worthy of condemnation.”
Oh the humiliation! Yes, when OPEC decides to cut the supply or ratchet up the price of oil so that Westerners have to line up to put gas in their cars, or can barely afford the commute to work, and the rising price of consumer goods, that’s humiliating for the oil states. That’s why Saudis were the ones piloting those airplanes right at the people in the Twin Towers.
Yes, when Osama bin Laden, the offspring of one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest families, got good and humiliated from knowing his country was able to hold the industrialized world hostage by adjusting the oil supply, he understandably had to take his anger out on the Americans.  And, according to Henning, this was “wrong”. Not heinous, murderous, or even an atrocity, simply “wrong”.
Of course, anti-Islamic feeling following 9/11 was “more a question of covering up the fact that those in charge of security had not made the correct assessment of different threats.” In other words, “Islamophobia” is a convenience dreamed up by the West to rationalize security failures. This is pure invention, but recognizable as a literary device—the hysteron proteron, “in which the natural or rational order of its terms is reversed.”
And how do the Swedes fit into this? Well, apparently Sweden is stuck with collective guilt, as the result of an individual exercising free speech, as Henning explains:
-“Many Swedish people do not fully realise what this extremism can lead to. There have been warnings. The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, for example, has ridiculed Islam and the Prophet in some of his work.”
Here it is unclear which extremism is being discussed, the Islamist terror, or Wilks’ irreverent cartoons.  
According to Henning, while Westerners have been guilty abusers, Sweden’s Muslims have admirably “condemned” or “reacted strongly” to the attempted mass bombing in Stockholm. If only they would make a little more effort and mount large government-supported street protests, everything would be okay.
It just shows that all Henning knows how to write is fiction.
What Henning and his ilk refuse to see is that the Islamist world isn’t just angry about Lars Wilks’ cartoons, or the NATO incursion into Afghanistan. Being nicer won’t make a difference and neither will street protests. The Islamists have a mission to overcome the infidel, and jihad is the way.  And for immigrants who don’t work and may not even speak Swedish, jihad could be the hottest occupation out there.
But since Henning is such a drama queen, and he feels that his own protest career is so significant, for him protest is the way to solve the problem of terror in Sweden.  Despite Henning’s egoistic and fiction-based suggestions, hard problems demands real solutions.
Stick to mysteries, Henning.
 By: Chanah Shapira

No comments:

Post a Comment