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Chan Lowe: The Norway tragedy and stereotyping


It’s only human nature, when something occurs that offends our sensibilities, to round up the usual scapegoats. It happened again with the Norway tragedy. Evidently the Norwegians suffer from the same prejudices the rest of us do. They reflexively assumed at first that the perpetrator was a Muslim extremist, and, like the rest of the world, were surprised to find out he was a Christian anti-Islamist.

A corollary to this mindset is the reluctance to apply the word “terrorism” to terrorist acts perpetrated by non-Muslims. You rarely, if ever, hear the phrase, “Oklahoma City terrorism,” while “9/11” and “terrorism” are terms forever conjoined.

It’s all about frame of reference. To Muslims, a crusader like Richard the Lionhearted, who has gotten pretty good press in the West since the 12th Century, could be considered the Osama bin Laden of his day.

If non-Muslim Americans can take a lesson from this, it’s to reflect upon how it must feel to be tarred as a group by the actions of a few people who happen to claim a certain label.

Extremism is the generic enemy. Brand names don't matter.

Categories: Culture Wars (199), International (86), Religion (28), War on Terror (50)
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Actually, I'm kind of surprised I haven't heard anyone saying he did it to protest the Nobel committee giving the peace prize to Obama.

Chan Lowe knocks it out of the park.

I have just renounced Christianity and left my church with its weekly messages of love, forgiveness and charity to my fellow man. I am ashamed at my fellow Christian brother who took lives of innocent people in Norway and I hope his soul burns in eternity. I will take up arms and resist my Christian brethren. I will defend the general population against their acts of insanity.

Does that sound like an everyday Muslim, Chan?

Chan Lowe you've hit a new low (no pun intended). To depict that maniacal nut-job in Norway as being a Christian and implying that the Christian churches were somehow complicit in this horrendous trajedy, is beyond the pale. In addition, you mentioned Timothy McVeigh as also being attached somehow to Christianity. That is an outright LIE! McVeigh was an agnostic with no Christian affiliation just like this criminal in Norway. To incite bad feelings about a religion (Christian), of which I presume you don't agree with, is the height of cowardice. You wouldn't accuse Muslims as you accused Christians in this case. Shame on you and the S/S for running this obnoxious cartoon.

Chuck Lehmann

I don't know how many times this has to be repeated: no one religion, ethnic group, political philosophy, or party has a monopoly on extremists. There are things some members of my own people (and who that would be is irrelevant) have done which bring tears to my eyes when I think about them. But we seem to live in a time where the Golden Rule has shifted from "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" to "It's okay if I do it, but it's not okay if the other guy does it."

As usual, Chan Lowe can't wait to label a Christian as a terrorist. Sorry Chan but it seems the terrorist has more in common with you than with a Christian. It is now reported that the shooter claims to be a Darwinian in his manifesto. I'll be looking for your apology.

One of your fans says you knocked it out of the park. Too bad it was a foul ball.

Chan, You have stoop to another LOWE with your illustration bashing Christians again. You owe the Christian community an appology for your insensitivity. Your stupidity is no excuse equaiting Timothy McVeigh and this latest Norweigan psychopath with small individual zealots. They never used God's name for their heinous deed, whereas thousands of Muslim terrorists throughout the world shout Allahu Akbar and Allhamdu Lillah in the course of their devistation.

Chan: This really has shook Europe up hard and I admire the Norwegians for not pointing fingers at certain groups like it happened after 9/11. I agree with your blog. Best Karin

Mr Lowe,

Please tell us of ANY major Christian denomination that calls for the mass murder of children.

This comic is almost as funny as how many ignoramuses commenting on this comic have missed the point, entirely.
Chan Lowe's point is that you cannot blame an entire religion for the stupidity of an act of one of its "members."
Ah well, I guess not even pictures can help spell out irony to a Tea Bagger.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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