Apparently it was all the fault of Right-wing bloggers and Right-wingness generally. We know this because an important, symbolic, portentous cartoon by Martin Rowson tells us (Or not: see note below) so in the Guardian. And so does the New York Times.
More broadly, the mass killings in Norway, with their echo of the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by an antigovernment militant, have focused new attention around the world on the subculture of anti-Muslim bloggers and right-wing activists and renewed a debate over the focus of counterterrorism efforts.
Damn. What fools we were. There we were deluding ourselves after the USS Cole, and the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam bombings, and the Madrid train bombings, and 7/7, and the ‘Mumbai’ Massacre and the shoebomber plot and the Heathrow plot and the LAX plot and the New York car bomb plot and the Fort Hood massacre and, oh, yeah, 9/11 that the world’s greatest terrorist threat came from Islamists who love death even more than we love Coca Cola. But this in fact was all just a red herring, brought about by the racism and Islamophobia of conservatives and libertarians and Tea Partiers to distract anti-terrorism resources from the real menace: Right-wing extremists like themselves.
Here’s comedian Charlie Brooker in the Guardian showing us all the correct way to think, using the medium of mirth. He knew, did our greatest living scourge of poor quality game shows, he just knew right from the start that the Norway killings could never have been the result of Islamist extremism. With his characteristic Swiftian scorn, he concludes:
So despite this being a story about an anti-Muslim extremist killing Norwegians who weren’t Muslim, they’ve managed to find a way to keep the finger of blame pointing at the Muslims, thereby following a narrative lead they’ve been fed for years, from the overall depiction of terrorism as an almost exclusively Islamic pursuit, outlined by “security experts” quick to see al-Qaida tentacles everywhere, to the fabricated tabloid fairytales about “Muslim-only loos” or local councils “banning Christmas”.
Yeah, stupid, Right-wing dominated media and Right-wing commentators. Fancy leaping to the conclusion as the first sketchy reports emerged that the car bombing and shooting of innocent civilians might be the work of Islamist terrorists. I mean, where’s the precedent for that?
The New York Times does even better. It has actually found a tame “expert” ex-CIA no less who declares of the “counterjihad” blogosphere:
“The rhetoric is not cost free.”
This, needless to say, has made the more excitable elements in the Left-wing commentariat positively explode with vengeful glee.
Here’s Greenpeace’s Head of Media tweeting, as they say, in a private capacity.
@sunny_hundal Yep, curious Twitter silence from Ms Phillips since cited on p 361-3-8 and 370 in #Oslo manifesto.
So all those commentators who’ve ever claimed with such devilish tricks as evidence and fact-based argument that political Islam poses a threat to Western security, and all those people who have ever expressed concern about the apparent unwillingness of many modern Muslims to integrate with their host culture, or about the double-standards of Western governments over issues like genital mutilation and “honour-killing”, or about the dangers of unchecked immigration, are tacitly responsible for the massacre of over 90 innocent teenagers by a deranged, lone-wolf killer?
Great. Glad we cleared that one up. Better clamp down on freedom of speech right away, in case any more of these atrocities happen.
*Just had a note from Martin Rowson, pointing out that the fulminator of internet hate in his cartoon is in fact a Muslim. You can tell by the crescent on his laptop, which I failed to notice. My bad. Sorry, Martin.
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4 thoughts on “How ‘Right-wing’ was Anders Breivik?”
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Breivik is unique, or if familiar to any science, of such a rare breed as to be near impossible to categorise by mere association. And with a 1500 page document, with words he selected when not himself the author, would give as good a summary of the man than any cherry picking exercise by those desperate to ride in public their personal political hobby-horse, entitled “Why all good people like me, are not ‘Breivik’.”
As an illustration, how many on the left will point out that from the age of one, Breivik, along with one of his step sisters, was raised by his single-parent mother?
And if he’d been a Muslim or an atheist, or had targeted a church or a bunch of right wingers, we would never hear the end of it. Muslims would be asked to ‘put their house in order’; atheists would be told to ‘disassociate themselves from this murderer among their ranks’.
When people on the right such as Ann Coulter say things like “‘The question is not, ‘Are all Muslims terrorists?’ The question is, ‘Are all terrorists Muslims?’ The answer is yes ,” then it is surely quite fair enough to point out a terrorist who is not a Muslim.
Finally: “With his characteristic Swiftian scorn…” followed a paragraph or so later by: “Fancy leaping to the conclusion … I mean, where’s the precedent for that?”
Please tell me this is deliberate irony – damning Brooker for attempting “Swiftian scorn” followed by a sarcastic paragraph completely aping Brooker’s style.
Politically speaking , he’s nearer to the neo nazi or EDL movement
Furthermore , it’s bogus to try an equate him to the likes of Timothy Mcviegh as Mc was clearly a paranoid conspiracy theorist , anti goverment , redneck that seem to infest parts of rural america…..Breivik was much more intelligent , sophisticated and well read than that Yahoo
But are these beliefs “right wing”?
Yes. Yes they are.
I agree however that the likes of Melanie Phillips cannot be individually blamed for inspiring any one person. It’s like eating nothing but cakes all day then blaming an individual bun for making you fat.