Mass Murder Is the Problem
by Anthony Gregory
The emerging profile of Anders Behring Breivik is not what was first expected. On Friday, President Obama and the mainstream media immediately jumped on the murder of 92 people in Norway to affirm the war on terror’s importance. Putting aside the establishment’s tendency to cite both failures and presumed successes, both acts of mass violence that came to fruition and ones that were preempted, as vindication of the war on terror, we should note that the administration was politicizing an atrocity in the only way that it is ever considered appropriate: The state can respectably pat its soldiers and enforcers on the back for their waging wars and bashing heads; all other political points made in the light of mass death are considered gauche.
Yet as it turns out, the alleged murderer is not the Islamist that so many assumed. He was, instead, an anti-Islamist of the very sort that has become commonplace in the last decade. He is a Christian nationalist worried that Muslims will overtake the West. He enjoyed the same neoconservative blogs read by millions of Americans. Despite this, his act continues to be spun as a reason to worry about al Qaeda’s supposed influence in inspiring acts of mass violence, rather than as a warning about the threat of anti-Islamism.
And that threat is real. Many Americans think that Muslims should be outright prohibited from building mosques in the United States. At least one Republican presidential candidate has articulated this position unambiguously. Conservatives ludicrously warn that Muslims will impose Sharia law through the U.S. court system, abolishing American liberty. Anyone who reads conservative message boards can sense the possibility that we are one dirty bomb away from seeing our Muslim neighbors rounded up and sent to camps. The hundreds seized without due process and detained for months after 9/11 are forgotten, but their story reminds us of how fragile liberty and tolerance can be.