As Glenn Greenwald suggested yesterday, reports on the horrific attacks in Oslo are already dropping the “terrorist” label in reference to the suspect, who, as it turns out, is not Muslim: he is a blond-haired, fundamentalist Christian, right-wing conservative.
From this report on msnbc.com:
Magnus Ranstorp, a specialist in militant Islamic movements and research director at the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defense College, said it was natural for people to initially conclude that the attacks were the product of a terrorist plot.
“Intuitively, the bombing is al-Qaida-related,” Ranstorp told the Norwegian Nettavisen news service. But the new information about the suspected gunman — especially his nationality — “points to an internal rather than external extremist,” he said.
“With this attack on Utoya, this could just be a crazy person,” Ranstorp said.
This man simply cannot be a “terrorist.” This is not “terrorism,” people. Sure, the slaughter in Norway may well constitute “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.” One might even accurately characterize it as “the unlawful use or threat of violence esp. against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion.” But terrorists are Muslim — not Christian. If he is a Christian, and he did these things, then he is just a
“crazy person.” QED.
I would add one point about Western reaction if indeed it turns out to be a domestic rather than “terrorist” (i.e., Muslim) attack: American interest in these attacks and the desire to be seen publicly denouncing them will quickly diminish — almost to the point of non-existence — if the perpetrators are not Muslim.
If Glenn turns out to be correct — and he almost always does — it is because right-wing conservatives are incapable of looking in a mirror and seeing anything other than Very Special Snowflakes staring back at them.