Norway continues to mourn the scores of victims from a terror attack allegedly committed by an anti-Muslim far-right extremist named Anders Breivik. Yet just days after the attack, major right-wing papers have published op-eds and editorials that are claiming that while this extremist was wrong to committ violence, his cause was just.
First, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed today by Bruce Bawer, an American expatriate author living in Europe. He argued that while Breivik’s terrorism was wrong, the real tragedy is that the attacks have dealt a “heavy blow” to the “urgent cause” of highlighting the alleged threat Muslims pose to Europe:
During the hours when I thought that Oslo had been attacked by jihadists, I wept for the city that has been my home for many years. And I hoped Norwegian leaders would respond to this act of violence by taking a more responsible approach to the problems they face in connection with Islam. When it emerged that these acts of terror were the work of a native Norwegian who thought he was striking a blow against jihadism and its enablers, it was immediately clear to me that his violence will deal a heavy blow to an urgent cause. […]
In Norway, to speak negatively about any aspect of the Muslim faith has always been a touchy matter, inviting charges of “Islamophobia” and racism. It will, I fear, be a great deal more difficult to broach these issues now that this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.
And yesterday, the Jerusalem Post published an editorial also condemning the attacks but warning that they should also be viewed as an “opportunity” to reform Norway’s immigration laws and that Breivik was right about the failure of multiculturalism:
Perhaps Brievik’s inexcusable act of vicious terror should serve not only as a warning that there may be more elements on the extreme Right willing to use violence to further their goals, but also as an opportunity to seriously reevaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere. While there is absolutely no justification for the sort of heinous act perpetrated this weekend in Norway, discontent with multiculturalism’s failure must not be delegitimatized or mistakenly portrayed as an opinion held by only the most extremist elements of the Right.
It appears that the Wall Street Journal and Jerusalem Post are endorsing the idea that while the Norwegian terrorist should not have resorted to violence, his anti-Islam message was noble and should not be ignored simply because of its messenger.