The vilification is ongoing. Here is a bit of common sense. “Scapegoating the anti-jihadists,” by Charles Jacobs at Family Security Matters, August 10:
“Insane” is what Anders Behring Breivik’s lawyer calls him. “Crazy” and “psychotic” is how many describe the man behind the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II. Hunting down teens like rabbits with a high- powered rifle to defeat a purported Muslim invasion of Europe seems definitively, absolutely irrational. But The New York Times, which unswervingly refers to Islamist atrocities as isolated incidents by crazed loners, will have none of that. The day after the tragedy, its headline ran: “Norway Charges Christian Extremist.” Breivik is nothing of the sort.
In his rambling 1,500-page manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik explains that he is not a Bible-believing Christian. “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” is “everything we DO NOT want,” he wrote. A “secular European society” is “what we DO want.”
It was not only the Times that so much wanted Breivik to be an agent of the Cross and an exemplar of the hated right. Using classic defamatory technique, European and American media raced to blame the entire anti-jihadist movement for murder by association, with the goal of setting the legitimate concerns many ordinary people have with radical Islamists beyond the pale of civilized discourse.
For US mainstream media, this was dÃ©jÃ vu all over again: Recall the media chorus that painted Jared Loughner, the man who shot Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a right winger inspired by Tea Party rhetoric, even a Sarah Palin groupie. Loughner, it turned out, is an anti-war, Satan-worshipping, left-wing pothead. Recall that Timothy McVeigh, the first American terrorist cast by the media as a “Christian fundamentalist,” was another pot-smoking atheist who wrote, “Science is my religion.”
Instinctively, incorrigibly America’s mainstream media seeks to punish the voices that undermine their false narrative of reality: In the current tragedy, it’s not the domestic right – focused on abortion, marriage and taxes – but the growing, international, populist – but also erudite – antijihad movement.
The hatred here is even more intense, driving Times men batty; columnist Roger Cohen, who has rarely met an Iranian mullah without some redeeming features, calls anti-jihadists “racists,” hurling modernity’s most damning epithet, despite knowing full well that the anti-jihad fight is about beliefs, not skin color. Knowing full well that black Christians and Indian Hindus are in the forefront.
As they exultantly make Breivik the poster boy for anti-jihadism, the Times irresponsibly published a photo of the movement’s most learned, prolific and courageous leader, Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer. In doing so, it painted a target on his back. Spencer, already facing numerous death threats for his scholarly yet engaging works, is the true gentleman and indefatigable warrior who has consistently spoken out against any sort of violence and advocated for human rights for every person….