In Europe, the recent acts of terrorism in Norway are being exploited by some to legitimize the claims of apologists for other forms of terror. The murderous attacks in a country famed for fish, tranquil fjords and illegally-brewed spirits are horrifying to any civilized soul.
This previous sentence is a statement everyone would assume to be true; and yet if we were talking about Islamist or nationalist Palestinian terror – surrounded by apologists for the most heinous of crimes – it is a condemnation that must pointedly be made. Otherwise, with silence there is risk of acceptance; or worse, vindication.
Despite an early claim of responsibility from an Islamist terror group, the cold blooded murders on Saturday were the work of a violent iconoclast, a man described as a “right wing loner” by the London Times.
Much of the media had, at first, assumed such atrocities were the work of an Islamist terror group. The headline of the British tabloid, The Sun, read: “Al-Qaida’ Massacre: Norway’s 9/11”. Will McCants, a former US State Department counter-terrorism adviser, linked through Twitter to an Islamist web site shortly after the bombing. At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, wrote: “This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.”
Why should we mention radical Islamism at all if these attacks were the work of a Norwegian neo-Nazi? Because, just several years after the Mumbai attacks, this recent atrocity could have quite easily been the work of Islamist terror groups. Already, a number of Western commentators are complaining that the immediate assumption that Islamists were to blame is evidence of widespread ‘Islamophobia.’ Worse still, some are suggesting there was a ‘Zionist’ influence behind Breivik’s actions.
It is interesting to examine the angry response by those who claim that the original confusion over the murderer’s ideology is an example of an inherent hostility towards Islam that has infected the West. “Innocent until proven guilty has been replaced when it comes to Muslims by ‘guilty until proven innocent’,” opined Iraqi-born British commentator Adnan Al-Daini at the Huffington Post. “Responsible media outlets must endeavor to do better. Innocent lives may depend on it.”
With a better grasp of real politik, Basharat Nazir, the spokesperson for the Amhadiyya Muslim Community in Britain, noted, “When any news like this comes up, our hearts really sink. It’s not just others, it is us too, that think it may be Islam-related.”
Other European reactions to the shootings have attempted to give credence to the erroneous notion that Anders Breivik was ‘pro-Zionist.’ At the extreme end of this, Ellie Merton, the Chair of Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign, stated that the attacks were “Israeli state-sponsored terrorism.” The chair of this organization is the British Member of Parliament Neil Gerrard.
Gilad Atzmon, the jazz musician and infamous holocaust denier opined that the murderous rampage in Norway was an Israeli-sponsored attack launched in ‘reaction’ to the successes of the BDS movement.
The truth is being crudely sacrificed to satisfy lunatics such as Merton and Atzmon, whose iconoclasm is not that dissimilar from the violence preached by Breivik.
Additionally, Breivik acknowledged that his ideology shared certain tenets with violent Islamist movements. In his extremely long manifesto, published before his shooting spree, Breivik writes:
An alliance with the Jihadists might prove beneficial to both parties but will simply be too dangerous … We both share one common goal. They want control over their own countries in the Middle East and we want control of our own countries in Western Europe.
Let us all be clear: Breivik was no friend of the Jews. In the same document, he writes:
If the NSDAP had been isolationistic instead of imperialistic (expansionist) and just deported the Jews … instead of massacring them, the anti-European hate ideology … would have never been institutionalized in Western Europe
The US on the other hand, with more than 6 million Jews (600% more than Europe) actually has a considerable Jewish problem.
The far-Right can undoubtedly be a useful scapegoat to Islamists and their apologists. Let us not hesitate from realizing that neo-Nazi groups do exist and still pose a great threat to Western Jews and Muslims alike. However, they lack the organization and finances of the Islamists. While anti-racism groups spend a majority of their time warning of the far-Right, they say little about the far greater Islamist threat.
It is more surreal when the Islamists and the far-Right link up. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen. Recently, the Iranian propaganda channel Press TV, which also broadcasts out of London, cozied up to the far-right activist Peter Rushton, whom the channel flatteringly described as an ‘historian and political observer.’ Rushton similarly condemned the Norway attacks as an example of Zionist-led Islamophobia. And this from a recognized neo-Nazi!
Breivik’s actions have become a rare example of terrorism that was not committed by an Islamist group. This uncomfortable fact is a truth that the European Left and Muslim leaders alike must acknowledge and properly act upon. Instead, some seek to capitalize on this neo-Nazi attack by claiming that the murders are proof of a ubiquitous anti-Islamic mentality. Such exploitation of others’ suffering is almost as sickening as Breivik himself.
As the brilliant Canadian Muslim commentator Tarek Fatah recently noted, “The fact the Norwegian terrorist wasn’t an Islamist convert is a huge victory for soft jihadis and sharia-bolsheviks, apologists for the worldwide Islamist agenda. They will now forever invoke the name ‘Anders Behring Breivik’ to deflect attention from jihadi terrorism. For too long they had to rely on just one name, ‘Timothy McVeigh’.”
If people like Atzmon and Merton really wanted to promote a virtuous agenda and demonstrate some basic morality, they would not seek to vindicate Islamism using proof of apparently unrelated suffering, but rather these triumphalist ideologues and apologists would note the cruelty and violence of the collectivism inherent in both neo-Nazism and radical Islamism, and would publicly highlight and condemn the moral turpitudes of both. I will not hold my breath.Originally published in The Algemeiner