When the media thought he was a Muslim it was: "This is why we need to spend more on fighting terrorism." And, "Norway is too soft on Muslims." And, "Look at what Al Qaeda and radicalization via the internet do to people!"
But now that the murderer has been revealed as a white, Lutheran, conservative, Tea Partier (seriously, he is; his manifesto explicitly calls for a Norwegian version of the American Tea Party) he is suddenly a lone nutbag whose incredible hateful violence is an example of nothing larger at all, nope, he does not reflect badly on the racist elements in the Tea Party, no sir, just a random crazy guy, and really why call him a terrorist now that he isn't a Muslim, don't you know that only Muslims can be terrorists? Now let
's call him a "shooter" or something.
Media Reacts to News That Norwegian Terror Suspect Isn't Muslim - Global - The Atlantic Wire
Yesterday's first reports on the massacre in Norway suggested that there was a link between the horrific attacks, which left 92 dead at latest reports, and Muslim extremists. Only later was the news released that the suspect taken by police, Anders Behring Breivik, was apparently a conservative, right-wing Christian with strong anti-Muslim and anti-immigration beliefs. Many in the media were left reeling over the fact that others were so quick to report and comment that Muslims were involved, before there was clear evidence. Rupert Murdoch's newspaper The Sun had as a headline on the front page, "Al Qaeda Massacre: Norway's 9/11." The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial on the bombings that begins with references to Islam. It starts:
When cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad appeared in a Danish newspaper in the fall of 2005 and sparked a full-blown jihadist campaign against Denmark, then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded with a telling remark. "We Danes feel like we have been placed in a scene in the wrong movie," he told the German newsweekly Der Spiegel."
Joe Weisenthal, deputy editor of Business Insider, tweeted: "It is pretty bewildering that the first 3 paragraphs of this WSJ editorial on Norway are about Al-Qaeda/Islam." And Eric Umansky, a senior editor at ProPublica tweeted: "You can almost see the tracked changes in this WSJ editorial blaming Islamists for Norway attacks."
The most controversial piece, however, seems to be an editorial at The Washington Post by "Right Turn" columnist Jennifer Rubin, who quoted the Weekly Standard that:
We don’t know if al Qaeda was directly responsible for today’s events, but in all likelihood the attack was launched by part of the jihadist hydra. Prominent jihadists have already claimed online that the attack is payback for Norway’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan.
She added, in her own analysis, that:
Moreover, there is a specific jihadist connection here: “Just nine days ago, Norwegian authorities filed charges against Mullah Krekar, an infamous al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist who, with help from Osama bin Laden, founded Ansar al Islam – a branch of al Qaeda in northern Iraq – in late 2001.”
This is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.
The editorial remains up on the Post, "sixteen hours after its claims were shown to be false and hysterical, it's still there, with no correction or apology," according to James Fallows at The Atlantic.
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