U.N.: Claim That Muslims Attacked Norway Provide ‘An Embarrassing Example Of The Powerful Impact Of Prejudices’

The horrendous Norway terror attacks spurred many in the right-wing (and mainstream) media to immediately claim that it was obviously the work of Muslim terrorists. Now that anti-Muslim, Christian extremist Anders Breivik has been charged and admitted to the attacks, those same figures are either arguing that Breivik had a point about Muslims or trying to brush their prejudicial error under the rug. However, Heiner Beilfeldt, a United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion, released a statement condemning the media for gleefully jumping to the wrong conclusion. “The way in which some public commentators immediately associated the horrifying mass murder in Norway last Friday with Islamist terrorism is revealing and indeed an embarrassing example of the powerful impact of prejudices and their capacity to enshrine stereotypes,” said Bielefeldt in a statement. “Proper respect for the victims and their families should have precluded the drawing of conclusions based on pure conjecture.”