This week, starting with tomorrow, will probably be a turning point for immigrants legislation. And yet the event I want to consider is not directly related to foreigners and undocumented, or at least it shouldn’t: not only for the delays it could bring about
I want to spend some words on the terrible bombing that transformed Boston marathon in a bloody trap, and so I hope to add some reflections to the immediate and unavoidable sympathy to the three victims, their families, and to the more than a hundred people who have been hurt by the explosion.
What has all this massacre to do with immigration? Unfortunately, it is quick to show. It is enough to give a look to the news reported by CNN: a Saudi national kept under guard in hospital, investigators in search of “a darker-skinned or black male” with a possible foreign accent.
Once again, America is facing the fear of being under attack in its own territory, something that didn’t happen even during the worst times of WWII or of the Cuban missiles crisis. The future evolution of the investigation, in the most lamentable of the hypotheses, could affect the immigration overhaul, especially the part related to border security, as 9/11 heavily influenced the subsequent legislation, for example the fourth title of the Patriot Act.
We don’t know what to expect from the next proceedings. Of course Al-Qaeda is a scary possibility, and as it has been noticed the fact that such an attack occurred on Patriots Day represents some evidence of a possible anti-American terrorist plot.
But my biased European mind cannot but return to the mass-murder that hit Norway less than two years ago. The killer, Anders Breivik, was so mad to plan a face-two-face shooting contemporary to the detonations of the bombs he had displaced in the center of Oslo. This allowed him to harvest far more innocent lives than the responsible for Boston bombing did, but at the same time permitted an immediate identification of the offender: a full-blooded son of Norway, whose mind was riddled with islamophobic paranoia and social alienation.
In an interview that can be watched also on YouTube (see video at 28:15), Edward Said, the great scholar and author of the best seller Orientalism, stressed the readiness with which Arabian are considered possible terrorists, while this quick generalization is not visible when we have to do with (so called) Christian fundamentalists. He himself was asked to give the investigators some advice after Oklahoma City bombing, and ironically that inquiry concluded with the arrest of an American citizen.
There’s no point in discussing which scenario is at present the most realistic, that is if we should blame Al-Qaeda or some other organizations or even an individual like Breivik for this heinous bloodshed.
But both the Norwegian killer and Bin Laden (that in fact the former paradoxically admired) have in common the appeal to a “crusade” against a race of evil enemies: a murderous and suicidal ideal that led them to the destruction of their own lives after those of their own peoples. That’s why prejudices and generalized hatred should always be avoided, even when hunting for terrorists: they are the deepest responsible for any kind of violence.