Terrorism

The Danger of Snap Judgments

Lessons from the Norway attacks

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When news came last Friday of a bombing in Oslo, Norway, followed by a shooting spree at a nearby youth camp, virtually everyone assumed this was the latest chapter in the bloody annals of Islamist terror. Hours later, the story took a dramatic turn: The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, was a self-styled "crusader" against Islam and the enablers of "Islamicization." Has the Norwegian tragedy become a lesson in the danger of snap judgments—and of anti-Muslim animus?

By happenstance, I found myself (indirectly) caught in the twists of this tale of terror. The day before the attacks, a prominent blog site, The Volokh Conspiracy, linked to the online version of my article on anti-Muslim bigotry from the August/September issue of Reason magazine. As news of the bombing trickled in, a few commenters scornful of any attempt to distinguish between Islam and radical Islamism weighed in with such gibes as, "Too bad about the timing of your essay. It would have been more persuasive on a day without a bombing in Norway."

Had the initial assumption been correct, it would have hardly discredited my article, which repeatedly stresses that extremism—violent and non-violent—is a major and serious problem within Islam today. Yet the actual events in Norway give a new relevance to the issue of anti-Muslim extremism.

Not that this horrific act mitigates the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism or its vastly greater proportions. Although Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto boasts that he is one of 80 "solo martyr cells" in Western Europe—and counter-terrorism agents are taking the claim seriously enough to investigate—there is no evidence so far that he was part of a terrorist network.

Nonetheless, last week's tragedy stands as a stark rebuttal to the dictum, popular in anti-Islam circles, that "not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims." Some Muslim advocacy sites disingenuously downplay the Islamist nature of most modern terrorism, exaggerating the significance of mostly property-directed, rarely lethal acts by minor radical groups of various stripes. But the "terrorist = Muslim" meme on the other side has led to bizarre fantasies: that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was an Al Qaeda tool, or that Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui was a secret convert to Islam.

There is now a contentious debate on whether the "anti-Jihadist" websites Breivik frequented, notably Pamela Geller's Atlas Shrugs and Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch, share some blame for this atrocity. Is there a danger in the mindset they promote? Ronald Radosh, a friend and a writer whose work I often admire, is harshly critical of such claims. In a Pajamas Media blogpost, Radosh deplores what he sees as an effort to smear authors brave enough to voice "uncomfortable truths" about the dangers posed by large populations of Muslim immigrants who reject Western laws and standards and support "jihad and sharia law."

In an email, Radosh tells me that he was referring to more measured critics of Islam, such as Bruce Bawer, also cited in Breivik's manifesto. But, as published, his post does seem to defend the above mentioned blogs, which have a far darker agenda—and plenty of supporters on the right.

Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, and similar sites relentlessly pound the message that Islam is inherently so fanatical and evil that, unlike other religions whose sacred texts contain barbaric passages, it is impervious to reform or modernization; that terrorism is the only real face of Islam; that any moderate and peaceful Muslims are either liars or dupes who don't understand the nature of their faith; and that even liberal and secularized Muslims who have not explicitly renounced Islam are dangerous because they, or their children, could always revert to militant Islam.

In the "anti-Jihadist" blogosphere, valid critiques of Islamism coexist with a stream of false and misleading claims (that Islam permits believers to lie to infidels, or that all rapes in Norway in the last five years have been committed by Muslims). Modest religious accommodations for Muslims, such as foot baths for ritual ablutions in some bathrooms on college campuses—hardly different from, say, kosher menus in student dining halls—are seen as practically the first step toward mandatory burqas. Every violent crime by a Muslim is automatically blamed on his religion, and paranoid rumors of a Muslims connection are often flogged in cases where none exists (such as claims a few years ago that a University of Oklahoma student who killed himself with a homemade bomb was a Muslim convert and a would-be suicide terrorist).

To put it simply, these bloggers and activists traffic in hate: not toward Islamist terrorists or militants but toward Muslims in general. While they do not directly advocate violence, some of them, such as Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, lionize Serbian war criminals as misunderstood defenders against the Muslim peril. All of this adds up to a toxic stew.

The "uncomfortable truth" is that the anti-Islam polemicists have some legitimate points. Yes, worryingly large numbers of Muslim immigrants, especially in Europe, resist acculturation and hold extremist views. Yes, large zones of Muslim culture today are dominated by radical fundamentalism and fanaticism that have no parallel in modern Christianity or Judaism except on the lunatic fringes. When a cleric like Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who spews anti-Jewish rhetoric and supports execution for apostates and homosexuals, can be regarded as an esteemed and "moderate" religious scholar, it says something about the state of the religion.

Yet many Muslims—clerics, academics, journalists, activists—are working for change. In today's world, the modernization of Islam is an urgent necessity. "Anti-jihadist" ideology denies the possibility of such change, instead agreeing with Islamic zealots that the West is at war with Islam and a liberalized Islam is impossible.

Whether the vitriolic rhetoric of Spencer, Geller, and their ilk helped create a monster is up for debate. What's clear is that it demonizes an entire group on the basis of religion—and discredits serious critiques of radical Islam. To oppose this bigotry is not "political correctness" but common sense.

Cathy Young writes a weekly column for RealClearPolitics and is also a contributing editor at Reason magazine. A version of this article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  1. Jared Loughner in Norway, we get it.

    1. You and I might get it, but sadly some commentators on television do not.

    2. I think the Loughner comparison is disingenuous.

      While Loughner was a loser who was batshit crazy, Breivik is a different animal altogether. The fact that he made a fortune as an entrepreneur, all with the apparent intention to commit this carefully planned act puts me in mind of an extreme psychopath. Like a real life Hannibal Lector. If your definition of crazy is being out of touch with reality, I don’t think Breivik easily fits the bill.

      1. There is a comparison between the two in this sense – the way people with preconceived notions about their motivations wrote about them.

        People on the left assumed Loughner listened to way too much talk radio and was a “right wing lunatic”. Turned out later he was a fan of Karl Marx.

        People on the right assumed that Breivik was sympathetic to the cause of Islamic radicalism. Turned out later that quite the opposite was the case.

        1. Funny thing is al jazeera had speculation that it was al queda as well. They of course have changed the page that said this 🙂

    3. Too lucid.

  2. snap judgments are not always negative but no, It was a lesson in crazy

    1. He was simply the mirror image of that which he claimed to be fighting against. He became the monster he claimed to fight.

      Reminds me of the Twighlight zone episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”

  3. Wait. Extremism is bad?

    1. Extreme hatred is, yes. Not everything that is extreme is however. Would you call extreme generosity or honesty bad? How about extreme empathy?

      1. Extreme honesty, yes.

        “Why yes, honey, you are getting fat.”

        1. OK, you may have a point there 🙂 But be honest, she isn’t really EXPECTING an honest answer there, is she?

        2. Honey needs to hear it. She’ll more likely nip a few pounds in the bud now due to the exertion of social pressure than successfully diet away several dozen pounds later when you are still lying to her about how pretty she is.

      2. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

      3. Extreme empathy could be very annoying.

        1. I feel you, man.

  4. But who will jihad the jihadists?

  5. *Sigh*

    As the saying goes, 1 death is a tragedy, 1 million deaths is a statistic. Judging from the press the approximately 100 Norway murders got compared to the approximately 1,400 Syrian murders this year, the threshold between tragedy and statistic is about 700. The moral of the story: killing people doesn’t pay unless you kill lots of people.

    1. Let’s obsess over a random act of violence anyway!

  6. When news came last Friday of a bombing in Oslo, Norway, followed by a shooting spree at a nearby youth camp, virtually everyone assumed this was the latest chapter in the bloody annals of Islamist terror.

    Their assumptions went with the heavy odds and they rolled snake eyes this time. BFD. No one was convicted of anything. No one was lynched. BFD. The biggest “danger” of this is the possibility of making a fool of oneself. BFD.

    1. Exactly. And it wasn’t just “anti Islamists” who assumed the guy who did it was a Muslim. Glenn Greenwald figured it was a Muslim who did it. And he wasn’t the only one. There was a lot of “lets not let this cause us to hate Muslims” talk going around on the left before they realized they could go with the “Sarah Palin is getting people killed all over the world” talking point.

      1. nah, palin’s stupid ends at our shores her latest being that obama passed TARP. evidently she cant see texas fm her porch

        1. SARAH PALIN STUPID AHHHHH AHHHHH

          jumps up and down and throws shit

          1. Would someone please focus on how all Christians constantly blow up abortion clinics?

            1. The Allies spoiled all our legal fun too!

              1. “Constantly” would equal “abortion clinics get blown up on a regular basis”.

                When was the last one, OO?

                1. 00 is being sarcastic…because anyone anywhere ever has claimed that ALL christians blow up abortion clinics

          2. can we just admit that sarah palin is not smart? she’s pretty and a great pep rally speaker and probably pleasant to be around but she has proven multiple times to have almost no knowledge of history, current events, economics or the constitution.

      2. nah, palin’s stupid ends at our shores her latest being that obama passed TARP. evidently she cant see texas fm her porch

      3. “Sarah Palin is getting people killed all over the world”

        Who claimed this?

    2. Exactly. Most terrorists are goat fuckers!

  7. Snap judgements? How about government lies. How long were we led to believe that the anthrax mailings were a terrorist attack?

    1. They weren’t a terrorist attack?

      1. I think he means “a terrorist attack connected with 9-11”. And we still don’t know they weren’t. All we know is that the guy the FBI tried to frame for it was probably innocent.

        1. Both of them.

        2. Interesting that Mr. Whipple conflates “terrorist” with “Islamic terrorist.”

          1. Most terrorists are Islamic!

  8. In the “anti-Jihadist” blogosphere, valid critiques of Islamism coexist with a stream of false and misleading claims

    I’ll scan Atlas Shrugged headlines for information that is unavailable elsewhere, but I take what is published there with a grain of salt. The debate over the Islamic Center at Ground Zero is a prime example of why this is important. Established media outlets, Reason included, portrayed opponents of the Islamic Center at Ground Zero as a collection of bigots. This portrayal was an over generalization. Atlas Shrugged linked to video tapes of the meeting on landmark status for the old Burlington Coat Factory building which I watched. The video showed that about half of the opponents to the Islamic Center at Ground Zero did not have legitimate reasons for opposing the construction while the other half were your garden variety historic preservationists.

    Young, I agree that Geller over generalizes about Muslims, and I sent her an email last autumn criticizing her for that. I guess we have to decide where exactly to draw the line. When I go to a Marijuana March, I debate against someone who believes corporations are evil. No group is going to be full of people with flawless beliefs.

    1. bigots? no. fools, no question considering the islamic center has been used for years & the local board approved the renovation.

      1. THEY HATES THE MUSLIMS!!! AHH AHHHHH

        jumps up and down and throws shit

        1. noes, THEY foam-up the wingnutz then fund-raise off the muslims. luv the fear…

      2. Um … The meeting about landmark status happened a long time ago. It was the last meeting before the approval for the new construction.

    2. All religion is stupid….Islam is just one of the most stupid.

      1. I’m retarded.

      2. For instance, Atheism is stupid, Agnosticism is stupid, Ecumenism is stupid, and Political Correctness is stupid.

        1. Only a dumb fuck thumper would think Atheism is a religion.

  9. Doesnt make much sense at all does it?

    http://www.web-privacy.au.tc

  10. Religion is ideology, and I thought that demonization on the basis of ideology was perfectly legitimate. I mean, its perfectly fine to ridicule anyone claiming to be a Nazi.

    1. Come on. It’s totally different when you invoke a Deity.

      1. The Nazis invoked plenty of deities, lots of old germanic gods.

        1. Some religious crazoids regularly invoke Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens as if they were deities. Then, of course, there’s the greentards and their Goracle…

    2. Godwin’s Law!

  11. I rarely have time to go back and analyze the arguments which may be posted in response to my statements?because there are so many far-right-wing-ultra-conservative Internet sites to be read. In positing the following comment, the only thing I ask is that whether the assertions be mine or others, divest yourselves of all pejorative thinking and investigate for yourself to find the truth:

    If “anti-Jihadist polemicists have some legitimate critiques”, they bury it deeply within their intolerant rhetoric.

    If you want to be entertained, watch FOX, MSNBC, or CNN. If you want to be informed, watch LinkTV or FreeSpeechTV for real news, analysis, and documentaries.

  12. Yes the rise of the Nazi Party in the 30’s was because of the hateful anti-Nazis.

    1. It was in part due to the rise of the communists and the german conservatives’ willingness to pick the ‘lesser of two evils.’
      Silly german conservatives didn’t realize that National Socialism and communism are only superficially different.

      1. The Nazis were the moderate alternatives to the extremes of communism and capitalism. They nationalized part of the economy.

  13. Why are all your damning links to other blogs? Why not link to the verse in the Koran or Hadith telling Muslims not to lie to infidels? (Other than the fact that it doesn’t exist)

    Why not link to a news article about the number of non-Muslims committing rapes in Oslo?

    I really like how the last three paragraphs undermine the rest of the article. Yes Islam has always been spread by violence and terror – but it’s rude to point it out.

  14. Yes, worryingly large numbers of Muslim immigrants, especially in Europe, resist acculturation and hold extremist views.

    Worryingly large numbers of white Americans have extremist views, and they control a House of Congress.

    1. “extremist views” = they won’t give Tony all my shit.

    2. I agree. It is a very extreme view to believe one should pay ones bills.

      1. Unlike the tea partiers who for some reason think we should default on our obligations.

        1. Which obligations are you referring to?

          1. Been asleep for a month?

          2. Our obligations to make Tony happy.

        2. Re: Tony,

          Unlike the tea partiers who for some reason think we should default on our obligations.

          They’re not OUR obligations, Tony. A bunch of suckers getting scammed by a bunch of corrupt and spendrift politicians does not confer any of us any responsibility.

          1. You won’t be saying that when your 401k is decimated… again.

            1. Re: Tony,

              You won’t be saying that when your 401k is decimated… again.

              Oh, then I have NOTHING to worry about. I don’t have one, I wasn’t that stupid.

              I bought gold waaaaaay back when it was $650.00 an ounce and silver when it was a puny $15.00 an ounce. How about then apples, fool?

              If there’s one thing I can thank mises.org, it is for the warnings they gave me about the scam the stock market is. 20% of the investors know what they’re doing, while 80% are suckers who prop up the numbers so CNBC and Jim Cramer could keep flapping their lips.

              1. It is all about you after all.

                1. Tony|7.28.11 @ 11:24AM|#
                  It is all about you after all.

                  No, it isn’t, but you decided to make it about Old Mexican when you said:

                  Tony|7.28.11 @ 10:48AM|#
                  You won’t be saying that when your 401k is decimated… again.

                  Tony, you should start taking responsibility for your own actions.

                2. Re: Tony,

                  It is all about you after all.

                  If by that you mean that I am not willing to put my finances on the collective gutter just to know how it feels to go down with the ship alongise the other suckers, then you’re right: It IS about me.

                  I certainly do not care about YOU. That’s YOUR responsibility, bud, no matter how frightening a notion it is for you. Crawl under your bed and cower if you find life too filled with vicissitudes.

            2. You mean like they did in Argentina?

    3. Yes, it is called the Senate!

    4. The Senate?

      1. Yes, it is the other half of Congress. Look it up! Of course as usual Tony uses the wrong terminology “….control (a) House of Congress.” Impling that the two parts of Congress are referred to as Houses. Reality is The House of Represenitives and The Senate make up Congress.

        1. Harvard or Yale?

        2. Ok……Representatives…..

    5. Re: Tony,

      Worryingly large numbers of white Americans have extremist views, and they control a House of Congress.

      Bob Beckel? Is that you?

    6. Yes, we need to neutralize the Harry Reid’s caucus in the Senate.

      1. Oh how clever you’re only like the 3rd person to make this joke. Extremism is a definable thing and Harry Reid ain’t it.

        1. Extremism is not a defineable thing, it’s in the eye of the beholder. To one person, a complete open borders policy is extreme. To another person, strict limits on immigration is extreme. To one person, funding PPFA is extreme, to another person, it’s sensible public policy. To one person, our present military actions are justifiable; to another, they’re unprovoked imperialism. To one person, our current level of regulations on consumer goods is sensible, to another person it’s “nanny state” micromanagement. And so on. Pick an issue; everyone one one side will think of the others as extreme.

          To me, the only clear benchmark of when a person is an “extremist” is violent terrorism.

          And say what you will about them, but no one in Congress is a proponent of terrorism.

          1. Point taken, but I think extremism can be defined relative to the status quo. I just think one of the most annoying habits of political thought these days is to assume that two sides of every issue are equally extreme relative to the status quo. That just because one side has gone over the edge, the other must have gone over it too in an opposite and equal way.

            1. Even defining extremism relative to the status quo is subjective. How many standard deviations from the mean does a data point have to be to qualify as an outlier? The answer is based more on tradition than any objective criteria.

            2. If you define extreme as different from the status quo and say that extremism is always bad, you create a bias against new ideas and minority beliefs. By your definition, American Islam is extreme, because it differs from the religious beliefs of the vast majority of Americans. I think you need a new definition of extremism and new criteria for judging if a belief system is bad.

              1. I agree. Extreme doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Some policies I favor would be extreme relative to the status quo. But if we’re using that criteria, then for example the position that we need to end Medicare is extreme while, say, Obamacare is not extreme, since it doesn’t alter the status quo that much. Clearly, whether a belief is good or bad depends on its goals and effects relative to real people’s lives.

                Religious extremism though seems fairly uniform in its goals and effects regardless of the name of the deity being invoked. We know what right-wing extremism is (and left-wing extremism). I maintain that in the specific case of the US at the current time, right-wing extremism is a powerful political force while left-wing extremism is virtually nonexistent.

                1. Tony,

                  So you approve of Conservative Judaism but condemn the extremes of Orthodox Judaism and Reform Judaism? I guess you don’t mind if I eat vegetarian at McDonald’s, but you would get worried if I ate the cheese burger there or stuck to kosher restaurants.

    7. Yeah, we’ve got to regain control of the Senate, although a don’t see what Reid’s skin color has to do with anything.

      1. Grey?

    8. You’re correct Tony . . . the SENATE.

  15. How’s about the snap judgement in the headlines that he was a fundamentalist Christian when his writings show he had little time for religion but focused more on race? Media saw a white guy and assumed that it had to be a crazy Christian to fit their pre-scripted narrative.

    1. Among other things, I saw an editorial cartoon in USA Today that not only implied this guy was a Christian, but also spread the common BS line about how Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. (Despite how he himself stated the contrary to Time Magazine…)

      Fact checking is optional to these people when something seems to confirm your own biases.

    2. That’s usually how it goes. The media was all over McVeigh and Eric Robert Rudolph as Christian extremist seeking to impose the vengeance of a rathful God.

      The truth: McVeigh was really an agnostic, though he was raised Christian. Rudolph was motivated more by white supremacy, he barely discussed religion, and, oddly enough, he proclaimed himself Catholic, which usually draws the ire of your garden variety white supremacist.

      Nevertheless, if you listen to the left, they continue to insist we have this large marjority of white racists ready to launch a domestic jihad; though they remain as elusive as bigfoot.

  16. He is just a LaRouchie…

    http://www.talk2action.org/sto…..73510/6015

    http://ecologicalheadstand.blo…..nders.html

    He plagiarized much of his manifesto from William S. Lind, it seems.

    1. He also quoted the New York Times a couple of times. That should say something… I guess.

      1. He also quoted Jefferson…but what I’ve read of his manifesto has the ring of the LaRouchite propoganda. The mishmash of far right social views with vague anti-government because the wrong people are in charge screed.

        But, hey, Lind is a regular over at Lew Rockwell…so maybe he is an equal opportunity reader fro the tinfoil hat set.

        1. Re: Neu Mejican,

          But, hey, Lind is a regular over at Lew Rockwell…so maybe he is an equal opportunity reader fro the tinfoil hat set.

          “Tin foil hat set.” Sure.

          Lind has not appeared in LewRockwell in a while, and Lew only published those essays related to military matters [which were pretty good, btw], not so much his anti-Islam politics. If you ever bother to read LewRockwell’s blog, you would see that his many contributors are highly critical of anti-muslim neo-cons and bloodthirsty hawks.

          1. If you ever bother to read LewRockwell’s blog, you would see that his many contributors are highly critical of anti-muslim neo-cons and bloodthirsty hawks.

            I have browsed around Lew Rockwell enough to know that “tin foil hat set” is a workable description. I am sure that there are contributors that are critical of Lind’s positions on many things, but frankly I’ve got better ways to use my time* than digging deeper into Lew Rockwell’s blog.

            *wait, wtf am I doing having this discussion, then?

  17. Polite request:

    For all future articles referencing the Norweigan Crusading kiddy-killer, can you please use the photo of him in a scuba suit weilding an assault rifle w/ dual flashlights and bayonette (instead of the above GQ head-shot?)

    This is the photo i mean =

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi….._with_gun_(self_portrait).jpg/220px-Anders_Behring_Breivik_in_diving_suit_with_gun_(self_portrait).jpg

    I mean seriously, I don’t want chicks being like, ‘yeah, he’s psycho, but he has really nice cheekbones..’

    Plus, you know… the gun?…the crazy eyes?… maybe a little more apropos than the “yes, I do moisturize; I also use an oatmeal scrub every morning” photo

  18. Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, and similar sites relentlessly pound the message that Islam is inherently so fanatical and evil that, unlike other religions whose sacred texts contain barbaric passages, it is impervious to reform or modernization[.]

    Cathy, the problem is not the so-called “barbaric passages.” Don’t be a fool! Tom Thumb has barbaric passages; Handsel and Grethel has barbaric passages. MANY stories have “barbaric passages.”

    The Qu’ran contains doctrinal mandates that many MODERN ISLAMIC SCHOLARS have indicated are totally valid today, including jihad and dhimmitude. It would be like the Pope saying that perforating your slave’s ear for non-obedience is totally valid and current doctrine.

    1. Saudi Arabia’s law is 90% Sharia, and they’re a major shareholder of News Corp (parent company of FOX News). Think if their viewers ever found out.

      1. Saudi Arabia’s law is 90% Sharia, and they’re a major shareholder of News Corp

        You mean the entire population of Saudi Arabia, all 25,391,100 of them, hold shares in News Corp?

        I guess I was under the erroneous impression that only 7 percent of News Corp was owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Silly me.

      2. Re: Tony,

        Saudi Arabia’s law is 90% Sharia, and they’re a major shareholder of News Corp

        Uh, you are spinning things, Tony. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud hold 7% of News Corp, making him the second largest holders, but HARDLY a MAJOR one and HARDLY “Saudi Arabia.” It’s just ONE guy!

        1. Well FOX News viewers are famous for their nuanced thinking.

          1. nuanced

            The word is now officially a buzzword just like transperancy, accountability, and ignorance.

            The normal definition:

            nuance
            noun?/?n(y)o?o??ns/?
            nuances, plural

            1.A subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound

            It has now come to mean attempting to prove the validity of two positions that, based on a certain argument, will prove helpful to their position, but that cannot both be true.

          2. Tony, so when your misrepresentation of the facts is exposed, you go back the your old standby of calling your opponents stupid.

          3. Typical Tony. Make a bullshit statement like:

            “Saudi Arabia’s law is 90% Sharia, and they’re a major shareholder of News Corp (parent company of FOX News). Think if their viewers ever found out.”

            “Then, once the bullshit is shown to be… bullshit, he comes back with:

            Well FOX News viewers are famous for their nuanced thinking.”

    2. Slaves get pierced ears for free?

      1. Re: Robert,

        Slaves get pierced ears for free?

        granted, it is not much of a punishment today, but back then people were more conscious of their image and less prone to mutilating themselves at $250.00 per session.

  19. What it all adds up to is that there’s no possible anti-terror policy. You’re mean to Moslems, you get terror. You’re nice to Moslems, you get terror.

  20. No Moslems, no terror.

    1. You’ve got that right. Norway is nice to Muslims, but they still commit a disproportionate percentage of violent crimes in the country.

  21. You’ve got that right. Norway is nice to Muslims, but they still commit a disproportionate percentage of violent crimes in the country.

  22. Jon Stewart had a pretty good take.

  23. There is a difference between people like Anders Behring Breivik who are loners and claim to be warriors on the behalf of Christianity yet are not backed by a religious order. Whereas many Islamist organizations are actively recruiting terrorist to do their bidding. I find this to be the key difference between the two.

  24. Is extremism necessarily bad? My ex-wife is an Orthodox Jew who had an extreme sense of modesty. She believed that it would be immodest to have her head uncovered after our wedding. Some of the Muslims in my area are even more extreme in their sense of modesty. They believe that it is immodest for both married and unmarried women to have their hair uncovered. As long as they’re not trying to force their extreme view on others, I tolerate them.

    We need to confront those who advocate initiation of force regardless of how mainstream or unique their views might be.

  25. I’m sorry, I don’t see the attacks in Oslo as terrorism. As far as we know now, however tragic, this was the act of a single deranged individual copycatting other violent acts. Trying to identify contributing factors based on the actions of an insane person is nearly pointless and tends to reflect the observer’s biases more than anything else.

    The attack was not caused by video games, Christianity’s crusades, lose of national identity due to immigration, radical Islam’s previous use of violence, or any other simplistic explanation.

    1. I’m going with the theory that it was caused by extreme constipation.

  26. “Has the Norwegian tragedy become a lesson in the danger of snap judgments?and, perhaps, of anti-Muslim animus?”

    no just an exception to the common profile.

    Enough with the terroristical relativism already. How many times is this site going to make hay out of people who went with the most statistical likely prediction?

    1. Actually islamic terrorism is statistically insignificant… something like 94% of worldwide terrorism is done mostly by seperatist groups, some extreme left/right groups, etc.

      TLDR, you’re dumb

  27. Regardless of the pro or anti religious sentiment, the most surprising issue that seems to be overlooked by the majority of the media is that these horrendous acts were committed despite fairly strict Norwegian gun-control laws.

    It is my understanding that Norway does not permit any private citizen the legal right to carry a concealed firearm.

    Hopefully one day people will realize that those who are willing to murder innocents, have no problem with disobeying any gun-control law, thus rendering those laws ineffective against all but law-abiding citizens.

  28. I read Jihad Watch on occasion and I do not remember him ever saying anything like “Hey let’s go kill someone.”, “Lets kill some Muslims.” or “You know it would be cool to do a slaughterfest.” He does not have high hopes for the “Muslim world” to peacefully coexist with the rest of the world without fundamental changes. Those changes are difficult in a faith that actively condemns innovation in their practices.
    Spencer documents some of the many instances of violence and terroristic behaviors by Muslims and the obfuscation performed to minimize and transfer blame. I do not blame Spencer for what happened and doubt he truly had anything to do with the troubles in Oslo. The culprit here would have found his justification somewhere. In none of Breivik’s writings that I have read so far has he quoted a single instance of incitement in Spencer’s words.
    To find the villain, we don’t need to look any further than Breivik.

  29. Ekaterina Jung says: Whether the vitriolic rhetoric of Spencer, Geller, and their ilk helped create a monster is up for debate.

    I say whether the vitriolic and nauseating rhetoric of Ekaterina Jung helped lead to that AWOL Muslim Marine, Jason Abdo, to plot a repeat Ft. Hood Massacre, as was allegedly done by Maj. Hasan, is up for debate. What is not up for debate is Ekaterina Jung’s appeasement will lead to war and possible enslavement by Islam as certainly or even more certainly that Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement did in the 1938 Munich Agreement– dismembering Chezchoslovakia (the Israel of its day).

    We have Nazi apologists today such as Pat Buchanan, but the apologists for Islam — which is even more passionate about killing Jews than the Nazis were — are more numerous and perhaps even more revolting! Even the Germans did not jump up and down and pass out sweets to the kiddies when Jews were killed in those days, but the Muslims of today do.

    No Choice but Transfer

    Amendment to ban Islam

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

  30. Hey! I was bopping around cyberspace and I came accross another mention of Ekaterina Jung’s attempt to smear Robert Spencer reported in Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch:HERE.

    Ekaterina Jung won’t debate Robert Spencer (where he can counter her distortions in person) and the misnamed “Reason Magazine” won’t even print Robert Spencer’s letter in rebuttal to Ekaterina Jung’s PC nonsense about Islam. That “REason Magazine” wouldn’t print a rebuttal is a disgrace to my friend, Lanny Friedlander’s memory.

    The Jewish Defense League Marching Song

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.!”

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