U.S. conservatives on the defensive after Oslo killings

(RNS) For years, many religious and political conservatives in the U.S. have sought to connect Islam to violence carried out by Muslims, and argued that Muslims often fail to denounce terrorism committed by Islamic extremists.

But in the wake of the horrific attacks in Norway by a right-wing extremist who identified himself as a Christian warrior against Islam, many of those American conservatives are finding themselves on the defensive, especially after some of them prematurely portrayed the terror attacks as the works of Muslims.

Perhaps the best lesson—for conservatives and everyone else looking for obvious culprits and easy answers—came from a Norwegian woman who visited the devastation in Oslo.

“If Islamic people do something bad, you think, `Oh, it’s Muslims,’” Sigrid Skeie Tjensvoll told The Washington Post. “But if a white Protestant does something bad, you just think he’s mad. That’s something we need to think about.”

There is a reason for that:

The Oslo episode represents the bloodiest non-Muslim terrorist assault in the 16 years since Oklahoma City; in that same period of time, monitoring organizations have identified more than 3,000 Islamic attacks with multiple civilian casualties, often in unexpected locations like Thailand, India, and the Philippines, producing few headlines but many corpses.


…many commentators leaped to the prompt conclusion that the vicious Friday attacks in Oslo represented the work of Muslim extremists. Following a phony claim of credit by a little-known Islamist group called “Helpers of Global Jihad,” initial discussion of the appalling incident (like the weekend editorial in The Wall Street Journal, or my own nationally broadcast radio remarks on Friday afternoon) placed it squarely in the context of jihadist violence. We were all wrong, obviously, which raises the question of whether we are generally wrong to focus counterterror efforts on Muslim radicals and to label Islam as distinctively vulnerable to terrorist temptations.

When thousands of attacks by Muslim extremists occur over time and a Muslim extremist group claims credit, it’s fairly natural to assume they did it. :shrug:

Since I’m not a follower of US politics, what’s all this about?

I don’t know… Couldn’t get the link to open.

Edit…working now. A dumb comment by Beck.

It will now.

Yes. Thanks for fixing it. Glenn Beck is good at saying dumb stuff. He’s not always wrong, but he often uses inflammatory rhetoric. Comparing a Labour Party youth camp to Hitler Youth is just wrong and disrespectful to the families who lost loved ones.

It’s also rather bonkers - don’t expect he’s seen Riefenstahl’s: ‘Triumph of The Will’ though.

I don’t know. Ironically, it is usually the American Left accusing the Tea Party of being Nazis. Maybe he was trying to use the same tactic? Comparing people/groups to Hitler/Nazis is sadly part of American political theatre.

Yes, it doesn’t even seem to be inflammatory rhetoric, just a very stupid and thoughtless commentary.

There is an all too human tendency to look for justice in gravely unjust situations, to try to find reasons why irrational acts of violence happen to other people, to assure ourselves that they will not happen to us. It is the kind of vlame the victim mentality that leads prosecutors away from choosing women for juries in rape trials. Many women look for fault in the rape victim to assure themselves that their behavior will never lead to such degradation.

Comparing murdered youth to Nazis seems to be following along those same lines.Religious people probably suffer from these tendencies worse of all. It is bad judgement to follow the impulse that tries to find justice when there is none whatsoever.

Very poor judgment on Beck’s behalf, much like the religious that see God’s judgment in hings like AIDS and natural disasters.

We seem to deal with eccentrics much better.

Europeans are far superior to Americans in every way. Okay. We get it. Thanks. :rolleyes:

Yup. We get it.
Over and over and over.

I expect that made you feel better.

As, I’m certain your typical “we do it better here” post made you feel better. :thumbsup:

I’m guessing you’ve done it so many times that you don’t even recognize the superior attitude you display every time you post.

Well, I don’t actually talk about America or Americans much so you must have very advanced powers of perception.

As to the question of eccentrics (which was my point), I do think that Brits have better ways of dealing with them.


Of course you do…

OK, so you’re determined to make the OP’s point for him.

Meanwhile, have you examples of my making adverse comments on America or Americans?

I’m not going to search through your numerous posts, as the thread is not about you. However, I would say that you don’t generally make “adverse comments on America or Americans.” Rather, you make the “we do it better here” comments about Europeans.

As far as the OP, yes, conservatives are defensive. They don’t advocate the things the terrorist did. They don’t applaud the things this terrorist did. People on the Left glom onto individual acts done by these whack jobs after thousands upon thousands of Islamist terrorist acts and go “AHA! See? These conservatives are all bad guys…”

Are these some of your eccentrics, btw?? youtube.com/watch?v=H1BnCDX2f_A

Is this what you mean by how you handle your eccentrics? youtube.com/watch?v=9yVeqP5BCpg

Nice, calm, happenings in the UK. Above the fray…proper. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well we’ve learned an important lesson kids on today’s episode of CAF European-American High School. Don’t give it if you can’t take it, although some people may feel they are taking something that is not been given as well we need to remember.

Glenn Beck’s comment below was stunningly, stunningly stupid:-

“There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.”

Well put JC - Surprisingly it seems that the answer to Beck’s question, " I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics?" is his own organisation -or affiliates have been involved in vacation liberty schools where kids as young as eight have been learning all about a Tea Party-endorsed curriculum spanning religion, economics and political principles.
Och well, I may as well join in the high school bunfight - reckon that the vacation liberty schools must have lasted about an hour- with all the eight year olds complaining that the curriculum was well below their intellectual capabilities

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.