Right-wing commentators and extremists, who blames Muslims for Friday's terror attacks in Norway, have sought to justify their prejudices - or just blamed them anyway.
Right-wing commentators and extremists, the first to point the finger of blame at ‘them bleeeedin’ Muslims’ for Friday’s terror attacks in Norway, far from admit their prejudicial jumping to conclusions and offering a simple “sorry”, have sought to justify their actions – or just blamed Muslims anyway.
Foremost among them was the EDL, forever claiming to be “not racist” like the BNP, who further exposed themselves for the deluded, hate-filled bigots they are. Incredibly, they have accused Norway of a “cover up” over the attacks.
As Political Scrapbook reports, the official EDL London Facebook page has claimed a “cover up by the left”, laying out supposed evidence for their conspiracy theories, blaming a media “cover up”, and, bizarrely, claiming far-right fanatic Anders Behring Breivik was more like “a rich kid belonging to uaf”.
But it’s not just in the gutter where such sentiments lie.
On the Telegraph blog, James Delingpole, pointedly failing to utter a single word of condemnation of Breivik or his ideology, mentions:
“USS Cole, and the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam bombings, and the Madrid train bombings, and 7/7, and the ‘Mumbai’ Massacre and the shoebomber plot and the Heathrow plot and the LAX plot and the New York car bomb plot and the Fort Hood massacre and, oh, yeah, 9/11…”
Note the use of quotes around Mumbai. Seems it all went wrong when the colonial names were ditched in Delingpole’s mind.
Even Labour MP Tom Harris (yes, a Labour MP) couldn’t help himself, with a ‘I know I shouldn’t have blamed the Muslims BUT…’ validation of his views:
“I got it wrong and I apologise. I should not have jumped to conclusions, especially not so early on in such a terrible sequence of events.
“But (and of course there’s a “but” or I wouldn’t be writing this), the palpable relief that swept through the left when the identity of the terrorist was made known – a 32-year-old Norwegian christian fundamentalist – was revealing. Here, thank God, was a terrorist we can all hate without equivocation: white, christian and far right-wing.”
And, just as with Delingpole, no real condemnation of Breivik, compared to the paragraphs of condemnation of Islamist terrorism.
As the excellent Charlie Brooker wrote in today’s Guardian:
“Soon, the front page of Saturday’s Sun was rolling off the presses. “Al-Qaeda” Massacre: NORWAY’S 9/11 – the weasel quotes around the phrase “Al Qaeda” deemed sufficient to protect the paper from charges of jumping to conclusions.”
It won’t surprise you that Fox News gets a mention from Brooker as well:
“Some remained scarily defiant in the face of the new unfolding reality. On Saturday morning I saw a Fox News anchor tell former US diplomat John Bolton that Norwegian police were saying this appeared to be an Oklahoma-style attack, then ask him how that squared with his earlier assessment that al-Qaida were involved. He was sceptical. It was still too early to leap to conclusions, he said.
“We should wait for all the facts before rushing to judgment. In other words: assume it’s the Muslims until it starts to look like it isn’t – at which point, continue to assume it’s them anyway.”
Finally, with the likes of the Mail, Express and Tom Harris in mind, Brooker concludes:
“As more information regarding the identity of the terrorist responsible for the massacre comes to light, articles attempting to explain his motives are starting to appear online. And beneath them are comments from readers, largely expressing outrage and horror. But there are a disturbing number that start, ‘What this lunatic did was awful, but…’
“These ‘but’ commenters then go on to discuss immigration, often with reference to a shaky Muslim-baiting story they’ve half-remembered from the press.
“So despite this being a story about an anti-Muslim extremist killing Norwegians who weren’t Muslim, they’ve managed to find a way to keep the finger of blame pointing at the Muslims, thereby following a narrative lead they’ve been fed for years, from the overall depiction of terrorism as an almost exclusively Islamic pursuit, outlined by ‘security experts’ quick to see al-Qaida tentacles everywhere, to the fabricated tabloid fairytales about ‘Muslim-only loos’ or local councils ‘banning Christmas’.”
Islamist extremism is a real threat, and this blog has called on the Left to examine itself or tackle any assistance, unwittingly or otherwise, it may give to it. But, given that Breivik quoted extensively from right-wing UK newspapers in his ‘manifesto’, you would think this is the time for the Right to do so similarly, rather than beat the anti-Islam drum.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.