I know it’s tempting. When the news from Oslo started to arrive, many on the right tripped over themselves to be the first one to blame Islam for the attacks. Before the smoke had even cleared, guests on Sun News were blaming the attacks on Obama’s passivity in the face of radical Islam, and south of the border the Islamophobic hate machine published several editorials before anything was known about the actual cuplrit of the attacks. A lot of those people look pretty silly now that we know that the terrorist was actually a Conservative Christian Islamophobe. I can understand the desire for those on the left to rub it in.
But let’s not. What happened in Oslo appears at the moment to have been caused by a combination of domestic politics and the tragic derangement of one man. It’s cynical and opportunistic to try and use the shootings as a stick with which to beat conservatives. There are political lessons to be learned from what happened-particularly about how islamophobia has become so irrational that so-called terror experts were certain that this was an islamic attack before it had even finished. Let’s take some time out before we discuss the political implications of the attack, though. We owe it to the Norwegians, who deserve some time to deal with the shattering consequences of one of the most horrendously inhuman acts the world has seen in some time.