More on the complexity of the “left”/”right” dynamic in this story can be found here. But the press is indeed “cynically exploiting the murder of more than 70 innocents to make a connection which is as obnoxious as it is opportunistic in order to bully into silence those who express … legitimate democratic concerns.”
“Hatred, smears and the liberals hell-bent on bullying millions of us into silence,” by Melanie Phillips for the Daily Mail, August 1:
The baleful effects of the recent attacks in Norway, where Anders Breivik bombed Oslo’s government district and then gunned down teenagers at a Labour party camp, murdering at least 77 people, have not been limited to that horrific carnage.
For the atrocity has produced a reaction among people on the political Left in Britain, Europe and the U.S. that is in itself shocking and terrifying.
Former Norwegian prime minister and current chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Thorbjorn Jagland has said that, in response to the violent attacks, David Cameron and other European leaders should use a more “˜cautious” approach when talking about multiculturalism.
Cameron has said multiculturalism (the doctrine that gives the values of minorities equal status to those of the majority) has failed, and has also talked about “˜Islamist extremism” as a cause of terrorism.
Jagland, however, said leaders would be “˜playing with fire” if they continued to use rhetoric that could be exploited by extremists such as Breivik.
This is because Breivik’s so-called manifesto shows that he is violently against mass immigration, multiculturalism and Islamisation “” and that he wants the forced repatriation of Muslims from Europe and the murder of all who have promoted multiculturalism.
But to connect such abhorrent ravings with Cameron’s comments is simply grotesque.
First and foremost, this is treating Breivik as if his words deserve to be taken seriously and at face value.
As of now, however, we don’t know whether Breivik is psychotic, a psychopath or under the influence of all the drugs he claims to have taken.
Peter Hitchens has more on the role of various drugs in shaping Breivik’s mindset, and how that aspect of the story has been widely overlooked.
We also don’t know what part, if any, his political views actually played in this atrocity.
After all, since his target was his country”s Labour party one might just as well surmise that he was motivated by hatred of his father, who was a Labour party supporter and who was divorced from Breivik’s mother when the killer was a baby.
In any event, someone who travels to a teenagers” summer camp and invites them all to gather round so that he can kill them all cannot be considered rational.
Yet the former Norwegian premier is treating Breivik as if he is a political terrorist whose words have the authority of a sane and coherent creed.
Even if he was motivated by hostility to multiculturalism and Islam, it is perverse to suggest that no one should write about these things because some deranged person raving about such ideas has run amok.
It’s a bit like saying no one should express concern about late abortions or animal cruelty because it leads straight to the firebombing of abortion clinics or animal-testing laboratories.
Multiculturalism and Islamic extremism raise entirely legitimate and very serious concerns about defending a culture from attack both from within and from without.
Jagland seems to be cynically exploiting the murder of more than 70 innocents to make a connection which is as obnoxious as it is opportunistic in order to bully into silence those who express such legitimate democratic concerns.
Shockingly, he is merely one of many who are doing so.
As soon as the atrocity happened, people on the Left saw a heaven-sent opportunity to smear mainstream conservative thinkers and writers by making a grossly distorted association between Breivik’s attack and their ideas.
They claimed that anyone on “˜the Right” who had spoken out against multiculturalism or Islamic extremism was complicit in the atrocity and therefore had a moral duty to stop writing about such things.
To my stupefaction, I have become a principal target of this incendiary witch-hunt, being smeared for having helped provoke the Norway massacre. […]
Then there was Seumas Milne in the Guardian “” who tried to make the smear stick by insisting that my criticism of the secret policy of using mass immigration to destroy British identity was “˜Breivik’s feeling precisely”.
But the truth is that the outrage at that policy is shared by millions of decent British people. So Milne was in effect smearing not just me, but all those millions by implying that their opinions also formed a “˜continuum” with Breivik’s actions.
As one Guardian reader commented following Milne’s contemptible attack, the fact that he had deliberately blurred the distinction between reasonable political opinions with which one might disagree and the actions of a terrorist meant he was creating hysteria and polarisation.
Indeed, the result of such incitement has been a veritable tsunami of electronically-generated mob hatred. […]
The claim that “˜blood is on my hands” can so easily translate into someone seeking my own blood. Heaven forbid that should happen “” but if it did, there would be a direct causal link with those who have whipped up this wicked firestorm.
Indeed, those who have exploited the killing of innocents in Norway to provoke such an eruption of distortion, demonisation and irrationality should disgust and alarm all decent people everywhere.
There is more. Read it all.