Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Norway-style New Zealand terror attack unlikely" (But isn't that what they said about Norway?)

A murderous attack by a right wing extremist such as the one in Norway at the weekend could happen in New Zealand, although it is unlikely, a psychology professor says.

Anders Behring Breivik, the suspect in Saturday's attacks on Norway's government headquarters in Oslo and on an island retreat for young people, which killed at least 93 people, has said he was motivated by a desire to bring about a revolution in Norwegian society.

A manifesto he published online raged against Muslim immigration to Europe and vowed revenge on "indigenous Europeans'', whom he accused of betraying their heritage.

Victoria University associate professor of psychology Marc Wilson said, like Norway, New Zealand had a reputation for being relatively peaceful.

"One of the reasons the Norway event is so powerful is that they are also a fairly egalitarian society,'' Dr Wilson told NZPA.

The two countries were both relatively secular and had similar population sizes, so it might be expected that they had similar proportions of the population that might adopt these kinds of extremist positions.

However, there were also some important differences, including that extreme right wing politics in New Zealand was not as high-profile as in Norway and other parts of Europe. (more)