As the dust settles over what happened in Munich on Friday, when Ali Sonboly took the lives of nine people and injured tens of others, there are a lot of questions that are taking our eyes off the ball. Instead of talking about “Islamic terrorism,” why are we not talking about some other motives that could have played important roles in the tragedy?
In Finland, an interview hosted by Sanna Ukkola of YLE with police service chief inspector, Timo Kilpeläinen, and an unknown authority on geopolitical conflicts, Alan Salehzadeh, reinforced how lost we are in finding solutions to mass killings and terrorism.
The whole talk show revolved around Islam, radical Islam and terrorism when, in fact, it should of asked more important questions.
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“One of the questions facing authorities is whether Sonboly, who was bullied and isolated at school, intentionally set out to kill other young people. The dead included seven teenagers, a 20-year-old and a 45-year-old woman.”
Even if YLE attempts to racialize the tragedy by stating Sonboly as “a German native with Iranian parents,” we should be asking two key questions: Why was the teenager bullied at school and how did he get his hands on a Glock 9mm pistol and had 300 rounds of ammunition in his backpack?
It should be pointed out as well that the killer suffered from depression and was under psychiatric care.
Sonboly targeted victims who were “Turkish- or Arab-looking,” according to the Guardian. “The identities of the nine mainly young victims of the attack have emerged amid claims that 18-year-old Sonboly may have targeted people of Turkish and Arab origin, groups he apparently felt had picked on him at school,” it reports.
Very little or nothing is, however, mentioned about the fact that Sonboly was a third-culture child and how this state affected his depression and social exclusion. How much was he pressured by his classmates to “integrate” or “not integrate” into German white society?
In some cases, the bullying of similar third-culture children can be just as bad as that of those white Germans that bully him in a racist manner.
We have in Finland cases of racist bullying at schools. If we go back to the 1990s, for example, many horror stories about would emerge from that decade.
Instead of spreading fear and labeling Muslims as “terrorists,” the authorities should take a hard look at some of the real causes for what happened in Munich as well as in France.
If they look deep enough, they may find matters like social exclusion and discrimination of third-culture children as some of the root causes of the problem.