In his Washington Post column, Eugene Robinson delves into the issue of who else was responsible for Anders Behring Breivik's rage.
The monster who admitted slaughtering at least 76 innocent victims in Norway was animated by the same blend of paranoia, xenophobia and alienation that fuels anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States. Yes, it could happen here.
One could argue that it already did, in Oklahoma City. The difference is that Timothy McVeigh's apocalyptic anger was diffuse and non-specific. Anders Behring Breivik — who has acknowledged detonating a powerful fertilizer bomb in central Oslo and then killing scores of teenagers and young adults on a nearby resort island — was focused like a laser beam on what he saw as the "threat" posed by Islam …
In a 1,500-page screed setting out his philosophy, Breivik referred favorably to the work of several well-known anti-
Muslim polemicists in the United States — zealots who usually boast of their influence but now, for some reason, seek to deny it …
In his manifesto, Breivik also cites the Atlas Shrugs blog run by Pamela Geller, who was one of the most vitriolic opponents of the proposed Islamic center and mosque in Lower Manhattan. On Sunday, Geller wrote that the "Islamic/leftist machine" is trying to blame the massacre on "those of us who are working diligently to educate the people."
Who, then, was responsible for Breivik's rage? "Anders Behring Breivik is responsible for his actions," Geller wrote. "If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists."
At least one anti-Muslim blogger had the decency to acknowledge feeling "terrible" about being cited in Breivik's writings. The anonymous "Baron Bodissey," who runs a Web site called Gates of Vienna, wrote that Breivik is a monster and deserves just as little pity as he gave to his innocent, unarmed victims."
Read Eugene Robinson's entire column at the Washington Post.