.: Europe

Date: 24 Jul 2011

Norway massacres reminiscent of Oklahoma bombing, says Muslim News editor

London (IRNA): The editor of Britain's leading Muslim newspaper has drawn parallels between Norway's worst terrorist attack and the Oklahoma, US, bombing in 1995.

“When the news of the bombing broke all the media, including al Jazeera English, began speculating that the perpetrators could be al-Qaeda, Islamists, Islamic terrorists,” Ahmed Versi of The Muslim News said about the massacre of scores at an island youth camp in Norway and the deadly bombing in Oslo.

Versi, whose paper monitors the numerous Islamophobic attacks in Britain, told IRNA that speculation even extended to the possibility that the Libyan government could be behind it but that there was “no mention of right wing extremists.”

“Again, when it transpired that it was a right-wing anti-Muslim Christian, the response was ‘it is unbelievable that a Norwegian would do such a thing’ even though most terrorist attacks in Europe are committed by non-Muslims,” he said.

He quoted figures from the European Police Office (Europol) showing that Muslims only carried out one out of the 498 terrorist attacks committed in the European Union in 2006.

“It reminded me of the Oklahoma bombing in the US when again Muslims were blamed for the 168 people killed, including 19 children under the age of 6. The bomber was again a right wing Christian,” Versi said.

There has been universal condemnation of the carnage and massacre carried out in Norway. Some papers described Friday's horrendous killing as being equivalent to Norway's 9/11.

The Muslim News has been a leading critic of the British government’s counter-terrorism strategy being so narrowly focused on al-Qaeda to such an extent that it alienates the country's two million Muslim community, while warning of the dangers of overlooking threats posed by right-wing extremists.

“It is important that the security should look into the right wing anti-Muslim Christian extremists who are on the increase otherwise more innocent lives will be lost,” Versi said.

“This attack and others in Europe shows that extremism and terrorism is mostly perpetrated by non-Muslims,” he said.

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