I rarely agree with Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League, but he has written an excellent piece for the Washington Post:
Europe and the United States have been no strangers to violence motivated by anti-Islamic sentiments over the past decade. Muslims have been assaulted and killed, their mosques and institutions damaged and destroyed. Yet the majority of the attacks have fallen into only a few categories:
Hate crimes typically motivated by culturally or religiously based anti-Islamic prejudice.
Acts of retaliatory or reactionary violence.
Violence by white supremacists, who usually hate the race and religion of the majority of Muslims.
For example, this month Texas executed a white supremacist, Mark Anthony Stroman, who in 2001 targeted and fatally shot convenience store clerks of perceived Middle Eastern appearance in “retaliation” for the Sept. 11 attacks.
The attacks in Norway seem to stem from a different source. They are the first to emerge from a relatively new, specifically anti-Islamic ideology that moves beyond religious or racial prejudices to incorporate anti-Islamic sentiment as the focal point of a larger worldview.
Growing numbers of people in Europe and the United States subscribe to this belief system; in some instances it borders on hysteria. Adherents of this ideological Islamophobia view Islam as an existential threat to the world, especially to the “West.”
This belief system goes far beyond anti-Islamic prejudice based on simple religious or racial grounds. In a sense, it parallels the creation of an ideological — and far more deadly — form of anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the backs of the previously dominant cultural and religious forms of anti-Semitism.
Meanwhile, Melanie Phillips here believes this was some lone madman and we don’t really know what drive him to kill all those people. Yeah, right.
Two of the people Foxman mentions are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. I’ll come back to Spencer later, but here is the latest from latter – Pam Geller Justifies Breivik’s Terror: Youth Camp Had More ‘Middle Eastern or Mixed’ Races Than ‘Pure Norwegian’.
It turns out Geller also posted a letter a few years back from a Norwegian fan who said he was “stockpiling ammunition” and preparing for the upcoming battle. She said she had deliberately taken his name off the email she posted to make sure he wasn’t traced back.
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Filed in: Terrorism