Foreign Policy Watch

Geopolitical musings through a progressive lens …by Matt Eckel and Jeb Koogler

When the Word “Terrorist” Is Not Used

Nope, this isn't a creepy picture at all.

I am struck — if not particularly surprised — by the skewed use of language surrounding the attacks yesterday in Norway. The Western press is largely avoiding the term “terrorist” when speaking of the blond, blue-eyed, Christian attacker, Anders Behring Breivik, who is now in custody after being picked up by the police. The term “terrorist attack” is also absent from the headlines of our country’s major media outlets. (See the lead articles on The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.)* Does anyone have a shred of doubt that these attacks — politically-motivated acts of violence against unarmed civilians — would be trumpeted as an “act of terrorism,” and its perpetrator as a “terrorist,” if Breivik was a Muslim?

As Glenn Greenwald writes, the reason for this glaring inconsistency is apparent: in the American press and in mainstream political discourse, “terrorism” simply means “violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target.” That someone who “looks like us” and who “believes in our god” (sarcasm) could commit an act of terrorism is, of course, to misuse the term. Christians do not engage in terrorism. It is a term reserved exclusively for Muslims, or at least that is the conclusion that one is forced to draw if one pays even a whit of attention to what our political and media elites are saying these days. Christians who engage in these types of acts are generally labeled “extremists,” not terrorists. And, indeed, that is the term that is now being deployed.

The way that our media and our political elites selectively use the label of “terrorist” — to galvanize fear of Muslim radicalism and build reliable support for our endless war on terrorism — is deplorable. The term has become so politicized and manipulated these days that it is now virtually meaningless in its present usage. Is it fair, for instance, to label (as is often done) Muslim militants launching attacks on an occupying military force as “terrorists?” Conversely, does it make sense to eschew the term “terrorist” when a blue-eyed, white-skinned, non-Muslim attacker with clear political grievances uses wanton violence to gun down nearly a hundred civilians, many of them children? I’m not sure that question really needs to be answered.

____
NOTE: In its lead article, the NYT does refer to the incident as an act of “homegrown terrorism.” However, as of 7/23 (UPDATE, 7/24: the headline has since been edited slightly) its headline reads, “Right-Wing Extremist Charged in Norway,” and the three-page article fails to refer to Breivik as a “terrorist” at any point.

Subscribe to Our Posts

Comments Closed

68 Comments

  1. The word that should not be used is “Christian,” and yet you use it, as if “Christian” and “Muslim” described different ethnic groups.

    The deranged and horrifying acts are in complete contradiction to Christian teachings. That’s why we can appropriately say “deranged.” Are you sure that we can say something similar about the horrifying acts of Muslims on several continents?

    The horror in Norway does not change the culpability of european elites over the last decades as they embraced an enemy; but it might remind us of the importance — not of spreading “free elections and democracy,” please — but of keeping WMDs out of the hands of people whose culture demands physical dominance over others.

    • Quote: “The deranged and horrifying acts are in complete contradiction to Christian teachings. That’s why we can appropriately say “deranged.” Are you sure that we can say something similar about the horrifying acts of Muslims on several continents?”

      Are you trying to say that “deranged and horrifying acts are in complete agreement with Muslim teachings”? and that’s why we call them terrorists when THEY do it?…

      If yes, then you’re the one who is a bit deranged.
      Violence, Killing, and suicide is completely forbidden in Islam…. perfect recipe for being punished. Those who do it in the name of Islam will be punished, because of deep misinterpretation of the teachings.

      Cheers to you my friend.

      • @ Jhon, that was spot on, I’m so sick of reading and listening to crap being said by un educated folks about Islam. Arogance and stupidity frustrate the shit out of me.
        And for that I THANK you, you just said what I wanted to Jeff C say quite nicley:-)

      • He meant that the Muslims that preformed those acts were probably going against the Muslim belief structure he is comparing it to the Christian man who went against the very fabric of this religion he was saying that both religions have extremists that go against wat the majority believe and use their respective faiths as ammunition to use against what they personal think is wrong… This is what a terrorist is no matter what religion it is a sick person who was wrongly put into a place of power and abused it to purposefully kill people in numbers it is not a Muslim that Christians do not like its just a bad person thats all

    • Hello,

      “Are you sure that we can say something similar about the horrifying acts of Muslims on several continents?”

      Trust me, as a muslim, the “horrifying” acts and killing of innocent people (muslims or not) are completly in accordance of Islam teachings. The question is: How well do you know Islam, or WHO taught you what Islam says, And it’s the same problem as the one in tha Article: Terrorist or not. If we want to know what Islam teaches, we have to be objective FIRST !

      Cheers!

      • “….are completly in CONTRADICTION with Islam teachings” Sorry XD

      • I am muslim and I say you are a lier!

      • Dear I want to ask you some questions are you muslim by birth or you read about Islam from its genuine resources not from media or taking information from wrong persons. If you honestly read about Islam you would know that peace is one of names of God and our prophet taught Muslims that if you kill one person it is as if you kill all people. Who rose wars all over the world and humiliated people and took wealth of poor countries? count the wars carried out by western countries and wars carried out by Islamic countries and count number of victims and study the results of these wars and ask your pure heart who is really a terrorist. If you are really a muslim you would know that the first word in HOLY KORAN IS READ. ISLAM SPREAD BY WORKINK OUR MINDS not by force otherwise those who entered by force why not leave it. Dear Muslims by birth are not true muslims untill they are convinced by reading about Islam as God look directly to our hearts. Iam wondering why you describe yourself as a muslim as you are not convinced ? it is more fair for you to say I was a muslim by birth and Iam now converted to another religion than to say lies about Islam. GOD will spread and complete his message without Mohammed or jesus or any prophet PEACE BE UPON THEM ALL. thanks for the writer who said the truth and believe in justice.I wish you all the best.

    • “Are you sure that we can say something similar about the horrifying acts of Muslims on several continents?”

      But unfortunately it is said and all mess of the entire world is relted to Muslims.
      Do you now that the bloodiest ever know wars in the history of mankind were wrold war I and II. Millions were killed during both wars. The point of interest that Niether Islam nor Muslims were a part of those wars.
      Now you can compare very easly and then judge who is historically “terrorist”.

    • “Are you sure that we can say something similar about the horrifying acts of Muslims on several continents?”

      answer: Yes, you can.

      I wonder if you ever read a single page of Quran, a single line of Quran, that you dare yourself to accuse a major culture of the world of something that has nothing to do with it?
      You do look racist pal.

    • As if Bible never talked about killing your neighbor if he is working on Sundays. Wearing religion as a shield is a bad idea because it has holes all over. If you are religious you have to believe it all, not part of it. Instead, let’s just admit that the ancient religions we believe in are not suitable for the modern world and if we are bent upon continuing to use them we must make necessary changes to them. Otherwise they must go.

    • So the Crusade, the inquisition and the Conquista were done in the name of:
      A: the Smurfs
      B: Wonder Woman
      C: the Christians

      Dream on in Lalaland Jeff C

    • Your comments about Muslims is sad and shows your bias against a particular religion. If you had friends who were middle eastern or practicing muslims then you would realize that the majority would never condone the terroristic acts of killing children that took place in Norway. No real believer in God or anyone who is humane would condone such acts.

  2. I think it is amusing that when you click the link to the “lead article” on CNN, he is referred to as the “Norway terror suspect” in the headline, and both the Washington Post and WSJ article refer to the acts as terrorist attacks in their articles.

  3. Pingback: The European Terrorist « ContemporaryComments

  4. Jeb,

    This is a really important point and I think it is part of a larger interrogation of the notion of “terrorism,” that is essential if we want to understand the true impact of radical acts of political violence.

    I think that you hit the nail on the head: western minds and media are less able to see Breivik as a terrorist because he is a member of Western society and not an other. The notion of the terrorist has been intertwined with the notion of the islamic: a foreign agent whose religious ideology puts him on the other side of a clash of civilizations.

    Clearly Breivik is a terrorist – he committed an act of terrifying violence which was designed to further political goals by its psychological impact.

    But in order to adress our thinking and language about this terrorist act, we need to find the best comparison. I think the “Fort Hood Shooting” is the most useful event in recent years: it was a similar type of action but was carried out by a Mulsim. A quick look at the news articles about the Fort Hood Shooting confirms a more prevailent use of the terms terrorist, terror ext, though there is a lot of discussion about what it means that the Fort Hood Shooter was a “homegrown terrorist.” (Try searching on google news for ["fort hood shooting" + terrorist]). But I also found this interesting article from the NYT which adresses directly the question of whether the shooting constituted a “terror plot”: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/us/08investigate.html

    Another good comparison is the Oklahoma City Bombing. The parallel has been made already in much of the press about the Norway attack. The Oklahoma city bombing took place before the 2000′s, and the term “terrorist” was used widely to describe it. I think this demonstrates that the current popular understanding of “terrorist” evolved dramatically over the last decade.

    Personally I believe that the term “terrorist” – user of terror – should apply equally those western politicians who created the so called “war on terror.” The “war on terror” was formed as a political object in order to utilize public fear (public terror) in the performance of pre-existing geopolitical goals. These fear mongers hijacked the term “terrorist” and adopted it to mean islamic terrorism specifically. In my view this utilization of public fear is terrorism and in the hands of our chiefs of state, it has lead to far more violence and bloodshed than has been hitherto created by the Islamic non-state actors they label as the terrorists.

  5. “Violence [and] Killing is completely forbidden in Islam….” when directed against other believers.

    When directed for the umma against the non-Muslim, it is lauded as “jihad.”

    Jihad can include a struggle for self-purification, as necessary to proceed to the main course: a perfection of this world, not an internal or invisible world. And jihad is as Islamic as the hejira, a kind of sixth pillar that is less-spoken of in English-language introductions.

    As a Muslim population increases, the reinforcement of Islamic norms becomes stronger. Moreover, the children and grandchildren of the initial immigrants become more tied to Islamic norms, as seen in Britain.

    An important aspect of preserving western liberties is stopping the Islamization of Europe.

    John, please consider the granddad of anti-jihadist web sites, Jihad Watch (http://www.jihadwatch.org). Also, Gates of Vienna http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/). That the terrorist in Oslo admires such people does not even slightly undermine their wisdom, any more than John Brown’s terrorism undermines our rejection of slavery.

    • OK guys, let’s get one thing straight about Islam and get this over with, whoever tells you Islam doesn’t condone violence is giving you half the story, but those who say it’s a violent religion are also being dishonest. In Islam, we are allowed to fight those who’ve driven us from our homes or who fight us and those who persecute our people etc… the problem with terrorists is that they take liberty with those permissions, and that they are cowards, instead of for instance engaging in open declared war with the occupying force, like say, Israel’s army, they attack the easier targets who we as Muslims have been forbidden in no unclear terms from hurting under any circumstance. But there’s also one more thing, call me a loon if you wish, but false flag operations are a fact, I’m not saying all terrorist attacks ascribed to Muslims are false flag operations trying to distort the image of Muslims, but some of them if not many are such, it’s a known fact, there are a few proved cases. So, at least try to take what you hear in the media with a grain of salt.

  6. John,

    Am sorry. My response to you seems to have been rejected by management. Such are the glories of “progressive” restrictions, which remind us of how close we are to Poland, circa 1980.

    Suffice it to say that your understanding of Islamic teaching is incorrect.

    • It is scary that you allow yourself to judge Islam like that. Even for me, as a Muslim, the issue is not that clear. Like any other religion, Islam has several branches with totally different understandings of it. It is true that what you called “Islamic teaching” exist in some groups and between some Islamist ideologists, but we cannot generalize it to “Islam” and call it “true face of Islam”. Even from a statistical point of view, people believe in such ideas are not even 10% of Muslim population of the world. There are about 1 billion Muslims out there. Just try to imagine what would happen if they all believed in such ideas. Thanks God they don’t.
      I can compare these Islamic Extremism ideologies to Positive Christianity, without racial discrimination. They “USE” a really simplified and populist form of Islam and do not really care about the “religious” aspects of the issue. That’s why they are more afraid of different Islamic ideas than any other enemy. I watched a debate in Al-jazeera where one of these extremists was saying Iran is a bigger danger to Muslim world than Israel. I don’t want to say the version of Islam in Iran is any better than any other, but I believe they are afraid of it, because just the existence of “Another Way” can show people that they may not be really “Islamist”, but something else. That’s why the lack of knowledge about different forms and branches of Islam among people like you or in mass media can only help them strengthening their position as “Islamist”. It is just an advertisement for them.

      • There are not “totally different understandings” about the treatment of infidels.

        Even if only 10% of more than a billion people believed in Sharia law, it would be a huge number, and the polls indicate a far larger number.

        You remind me that Robert Spencer once had a correspondence with a good-hearted Muslim who insisted that the religion was far better than Spencer was portraying it. And Spencer told him of abrogration (the perception, born in the Koran itself, that later-written Koranic verses have greater import than earlier ones) and told him of the reliable Hadiths (particularly two: Muslim and Bukhari) and how aggressive they are, and told him of Reliance of the Traveller and that all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on the treatment of infidels.

        And the man argued and studied. And the man ultimately said, in a dejected way: “Yes. You are right.”

        The rightness is also seen when “fundamentalists” successfully argue with their good-hearted co-religionists. Yes, there are moderate Muslims, when you see “Muslims” as merely a group of people, rather than adherents of a tradition that is incompatible with ours.

        Those who try to change the tradition in the Muslim world are punished to ensure that the appropriate and large changes that most of us wish would happen, do not happen.

        And this does not begin to talk about the historical experience, as expressed in Andrew Bostom’s works.

        The effect of large concentrations of Muslims is such, that a confident west will stop the immigration and will make other changes to law so that the word of the day is “exclusion.”

        And you, my good-hearted correspondent, might yet follow the lead of the ex-Muslims, for they are the heros of the age.

        • This type of out of context referring does not lead us anywhere. It reminds me of the vast mis-use of verses such as “slaughter all nonbelievers”, and concluding that muslims are aggressive and violent, omitting purposefully the suffix and prefix of the incident the verse was brought to our prophet.
          This is simply called propaganda.
          The opening of our book is addressing a compassionate, merciful god. Islam, is inviting people for good deeds the same with other religions. Religions of all kind, ORIGINALLY came to nations to guide them for a better, more pure, more decent, and more innocent life. What happens later on, for the expansion and the spread of that religion cannot be addressed as the practice of that religion anymore. When you are talking about the fundamentals of Islam, you have to differentiate that from Hadith. Hadith belongs to a later stage. Islam’s truth faded away when started to invade Africa, Persia, and Europe. The same happened to Christianity. Talking about aggression, how can you justify christian brutality during black ages of Europe.
          Saying that, I believe REAL fundamentalism is what we need. To understand that fundamentally Islam is about compassion.

          The same with western media, you are trying to mislead the fact; that if muslims are angry today, it is rooted in the fundamental of Islam. It is not. You’d better eliminate the real reason if you do not want them angry. The reason as said by many others, is rooted in the behavior of imperialism after second world war. Do not try to hide the naked truth of such sequence:
          - There is the whole military industry elects presidents.
          - That country under that president, becomes the world’s police, and generates hate and frustration little by little.
          - That country brews a home-grown terrorist.
          - Now it is about the time, that those who you sucked their oil up and made artillery and sold back to them, become so angry, to follow your home-grown terrorist, become extremist, start to hate you and attack you.
          - Eventually these people are from a traditionally muslim area.
          - Now it is fabulous time for you to build up a philosophy that muslims are dangerous. Let’s give them a label: “Terrorist”. Now we need more guns to take care of them. Now the industry is happy.

          YOU HAVE MADE THIS VICIOUS LOOP. DONT PUT IT ON US.

          Roots of Islam are as pure as any other religion.

        • You seem quite narrow minded sir. In order to learn, comprehend and reflect, one must be open-minded. Instead of citing what other people researched, said or did about Islam, how about you look into it yourself? In depth that is…Maybe you will become a little more convincing?
          I suggest that you also find better sourced that are not biased, which might be a hard task in your case since you seem to be rather gullible.
          I have no intention of putting you down or insulting your opinion. Though, you seem to be quite a good debater and in your answers I see a determination to prove your point. Look more into this and make sure you are not trying to prove a false point.

          • Here I am not practicing debate. I am not a sociologist, neither a journalist, nor somebody who has time to do the research. I am just as you call yourself observant. But very different from you. You have been sitting your whole life somewhere in west, brain washed by spoon feeding media. But I was at the front line from one side, and from the other side I have been taught Koran. And then I am just talking about that experience. I am talking about my own understanding of this world at my age. By calling me biased you are putting yourself in the position of being biased. Can you understand that? What is being open minded and reflecting? Accepting western bullshit? I have been imposed to that long enough. But sorry, I am not open minded enough to buy that.
            I have lived my life, where the US has tried to sabotage, manipulate, colonized, invade by different means. That has affected every minute of my life to this age. Now this is my message for you: You may listen to the understanding of this person, about this world we are living in. His first hand experience of war, may have some sort of message for you. May be he hates wars. May be he has found anti-war message in his holy book. The book, that American media is poisoning the whole world, that Islam by nature is violent.
            If you only try to accept that this world has habitants who are not Americans, you will save yourself from being biased, and calling others narrow minded.

  7. John, a mistake: you have received my postings in full.

    Hail to the web masters and to the western tradition of free expression.

  8. Last year Turkish officials found some weapons and documents that described a strategy to overthrow the government. It was clear that Turkish christians and the secular military and republicans were in alliance. Yet, i was wondering why did turkish media name it christian terrorism too. In terms of Turkish case, it is understandable since there is a highly liberal understanding prevelant in Turkey. So, even religious media would not like to do something that would put the whole christian citizens on the spot due to the activities of only one church. However, it is really difficult to understand why the western media is very hesitant to call it terrorism. This trend might put a lot of other communities from jews to muslims into danger taking into consideration the background of this terrorist or extremist, whatever you call, incident (the ideological background stems from the rising ultranationalist and neo-nazi political parties in NY). I afraid, once this incident happens, it might gain momentum and spread to many other places not only in europe, but also in the second west.

    • that was another HOLOCAUST by another Christian

    • Being Norwegian I feel the need to comment this thread. The different Norwegian media I have followed through this harrowing weekend (which include the two main broadcasting channels and most mainstream printed and digital media) have consistently used the terms “terrorist” and “terrorism” about the perpetrator and his heinious acts. A fact that I am quite proud of.
      Furthermore

      • Sorry… Furthermore I need to stress another point. We have had acts of terrorism on Norwegian soil before. Though few in number and small in extent they have invariably been commited by ethnic Norwegian, right-wing extremists.
        As an anecdote I can add that all the people I have spoken with these last few days actually were quite relieved when it was revealed that the perpotrator was indeed an ethnic Norwegian “Christian” and not a Muslim (Norwegian or no).

        Thank you

        • Why they were relieved?

          • Why they were relieved? Just imagine in case 9/11 had NOT been done by Muslims, we’d have less wars, less racism and maybe not that big an economic crisis in the west.

      • That is the correct move. Wish other media could learn from norwegians…

  9. The article makes a good point. We do sometimes think of terrorism as its most predominant manifestation –that of Islamic radicalism. But, Columbine, the Unabomber, OKC, and the Norway incidents fit the criteria as well. And that criteria is most definitely the killing of the innocent. Having said that the most consistent, pervasive terrorist the world faces is Islamic. So just as in 1939 any rational person would identify the predominant threats as coming from the National Socialist movement in Germany and the Communist regime of the Soviet Union I don’t think it is unreasonable to give more attention to the Islamic tendency to propagate radical terrorist tendencies.

  10. Interesting note: while the norwegian people are as suspicious of islam as any, the media here (i live in norway) have been using the word terror to describe this. Granted thats probably because Its much more real here, But they havent used the same double standard as in the us.

  11. He is not a Christian, stop parroting the mainstream media.

    Did you even watch his video manifesto?

    How many quotes from the Bible or Jesus did he include? NONE.

    How many theological Christian concepts from Saint Thomas of Hippo, from Martin Luther, or any big scholar of Christianity did he include? NONE.

    This is a plain SECULARIST fanatic, just as those Arab SECULARIST fanatics from 9/11 and who rule Arabia right now under monarchist dictatorships.

    If you are so annoyed at the avoidance of words, there is your word: SECULARIST TERRORISM.

    These secularist fanatics simply use the euphemism “Christian Culture”, which just means Western Secularism. Just study his masters, Geert Wilders, Spencer, Daniel Pipes. Not a single Christian, but PRO-ISRAELI SECULARIST FANATICS.

    • I agree that all these are because of politics. I heard he is a socialist…
      The quotes in Bible are too general. But even if he could find some specific one and misinterpret it, it could not make a difference. This man is made in the media factory! Unfortunately, I don’t see any light. The descenders of WWII are died and that hatred from racism, so terrorism is disappearing. Again, unfortunately there is no light. What I see Europe is again becoming racist. This time your children which are educated under anti-islamist will mass murder Muslims, Jews, or maybe even Christians, though they seem to be majority but i guess atheist should be the majority! So, is this an alarm to stop the extremists? I don’t know, but I hope this does not happen again. Almost 100 people, youth, were killed very painfully.

  12. You are very wrong if you think your opinion is helpful. This Norwegian criminal was smart, don’t you realize he knew his actions would benefit his enemies (Muslims)? Then why do it?

    So that ignorant people would parrot the call of crusade, talking of him as a Christian fundamentalist or Christian terrorist, to give the impression there is a religious war going on, when in reality it has always been the terrorism of those who are away from the teachings of the prophets of God.

    Don’t you realize that in this same way the crusades were ignited? They were not wars between Christians and Muslims, but just like now, between facades of secularist fanatics from East and West, those usury bankers in Europe who sought to profit from the campaigns, and those tyrannic Umeyyad caliphs who were murdering and persecuting the very family of Prophet Mohammad.

  13. @jeff c:
    man you are so wrong
    Jihad that you wrote about is not what u described.. Jihad has a very restrict criteria, if all of condition that Jihad mentions take place then Jihad will be the commendation.
    first- jihad is only and only for defense
    second- jihad must be only after enemies attack
    third- Muslims must negotiate first for preventing fight
    fourth- Muslims must not attack any unarmed
    fifth- Muslims restrictively are not allowed to attack children, women and any captive
    and so on..
    go to google and search it man.. you just see fox news and read 2 weblog then u think u know every thing about Islam?

  14. and btw. this particulary usage of terms and manipulation concerning public opinion are partly responsible for the state of mind of this young men…

    • We ought not veil what is true.

      • dear Jeff C
        that’s a wrong personal radical conception NOT ISLAMIC ROLES or jihad.. In Islam when a person insult u, u just can sue him/her, but you’re not allowed to response even with your words, leave the other way alone!
        there is a lots of radicalism in Islam, Jewish and Christian or other religions but you can’t count it as their real concept..

    • exactly.. He was brainwashed at first step by media, and then absorbed to extreme ideas, step by step. It is so clear, how people don’t want to see?!

  15. White Christian == Mentally chanllenged, acted alone, must help him in a hospital.

    Muslim == Terrorist, organization, al Qaida, war on terror, national debate wether or not rehabilitate death penalty, revenge war against the birth country or any other muslim country for that matter

  16. Pingback: یادداشتهای یک سهامدار جزء » Blog Archive » تروریست بلوند؟

  17. I hope that we can all agree with Mark Steyn’s comment in today’s National Review online:

    “Any of us who write are obliged to weigh our words, and accept the consequences of them. But, when a Norwegian man is citing Locke and Burke as a prelude to gunning down dozens of Norwegian teenagers, he is lost in his own psychoses. Free societies can survive the occasional Breivik. If Norway responds to this as the Left appears to wish, by shriveling even further the bounds of public discourse, freedom will have a tougher time.”

    • @Jeff C
      “If Norway responds to this as the Left appears to wish, by shriveling even further the bounds of public discourse, freedom will have a tougher time.”

      This is completely contradictory to most statements from political commentators, journalists and politicians (left AND right) since the terrorist strike on friday.

  18. I’m afraid that in this post you are succumbing to exactly the kind of thinking you accuse the Western media of. The first stories that came out about the attacks, like many stories that come out early on, didn’t know whether this was a “terrorist attack” or a “killing spree”. As soon as the political nature of his writing and the suggestion that there could have been others appeared, every one of those news sources you mentioned, and many others I checked, started referring to terror attacks and to him as a terrorist. The homepage of the New York Times, Washington Post, WSJ, ABC News, etc. all use that language.

    In this day and age, we all need to try to avoid jumping to easy conclusions. In this case, it doesn’t seem to be a Christian vs. Muslim issue, no matter how “right” that seems to you. It appears to be a lone actor vs. organization issue.

  19. @Muslim too
    I can only speak for my self (though I think their reasons are similar to mine) but the relief that the terrorist was an ethnic Norwegian has to with the challenges we have with integration and everyday rascism.
    I am a school teacher in a multicultural, secondary school. Thus I work in one of many institutions that in my opinion are at the frontline of the struggle for a more tolerant society. I have on several occations witnessed the polarisation of the student community and increase in rascist slur caused by international events far from our borders (military intervention, acts of terrorism, etc). Just imagine what a negative impact this act of terrorism could have had on a small country like Norway if the terrorist was indeed a Muslim. As you probably know the terrorist is in his own mind at war with multiculturalism and Islam in Europe. So far the situation seems to have strengthened the collective rather than fragment it. This way we may be able to turn the situation around to further our struggle for an even more tolerant and including society.
    I hope this answers your question (I haven’t written English in many years).

  20. to all people around the world, please RELAX….
    learn to live with each other in harmony and peace ¡¡¡

  21. @Jeff C: Where the hell have you read about Islam?
    Do you even know what the word “Islam” means?
    My advice is get ur facts right, check ur info sources.. and try not get everything from the US media alone.

    Finally, terrorism has no religion. Acts such as what happened in Norway, or any other place in on earth are acts of terrorism.

  22. I’m not that happy to see our national tragedy being exploited like this to make cheap political points. And this is not so hard to understand. You’re more likely to be called a terrorist if you’re operating within an organized group that’s targeting random civilians. For that reason, IRA, ETA, and RAF are/were routinely called terrorist organizations, even though they’re all white people. Breivik funded, planned, and executed everything single-handedly, and he targeted specific groups, not random civilians. People like that are simply less likely to be characterized as terrorists, and that’s got nothing to do with religion or skin color. To name but a couple of examples, it’s not an “anti-Muslim” conspiracy that the Korean student responsible for the Virginia Tech massacre was not referred to as a “terrorist”, nor is it an “anti-white” conspiracy that Timothy McVeigh usually _is_ referred to as one.

  23. It took less than a minute to find two articles that refer to Breivik as a terrorist in the Wall Street Journal alone. The Globe and Mail here in Canada also refers to him as a terrorist. The NYT effectively labels him as a terrorist (by saying that this was an act of domestic terrorism). It would have helped to check the facts before publishing this piece…

  24. @jef c
    the islam label is JUST a shield for terrorists or terrorism acts
    or in other word thats a political move to take down the islam in world by useing it or calling themselfs muslim.
    for .ex i even dont believe in iran’s supreme leader as a muslim , now lets see about ben ladan or any other terrorist with terrorism act
    and about jihad , it is just a defence mecanism against ppl who try to attak muslim country but the terrorism teaching that teached to these terrorist people is Unlike , they define jihad as a attack mecanism to attack ppl whom just THINK bad about islam or they are not just simply muslem.
    in other word they just wash brain youngs with oposite meaning of jihad and use them for their terrorism acts .
    real islam = peace

  25. I just “love” these so called intellectual leftists. They don’t miss any opportunity to reveal their anti-west obsessions. This bull-shit article (that only heaven knows who has written it) is another example of the coalition between leftists and Muslims. What the writer says is nothing but nitpicking at the Western civilasation. This barbaric act has been condemned by almost entire aspects of the Western societies, regardless of the usage of the word “terrorism”. As a former Muslim, and as someone who is born and raised in a Muslim country (and also who is neither blond and have blue-eyes), I tell you that the foundation of Mohammad’s thoughts is based on nothing but fanatic barbarism and the imprisonment of free-spirit, regardless of any terrorist attack from anybody else. I also tell my former comrades that you have lost the war, since you started your stupid crusade against free-market society. Karl Marx was also another idiot who knew nothing human nature. In fact, despite all his anti-religion stands, Marx was the Mohammad of his time.

  26. For those who pretend that Christianism is a peaceful, anti-violence and tolerant religion, please take a look at the Levitic in the Old Testament, especially chapter 20: http://www.agsconsulting.com/htdbv5/htdb0003.htm

    As a first taste regarding tolerance about homosexuality:

    ” 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them. “

  27. first of all: I understand that the Norwegians might find this kind of discussion as mere semantics when their country and people have suffered this great tragedy and loss of young people’s lives. My heart goes with all of you.

    Then again. It is an issue of concepts. One has to pay attention to them and how they are redefined. Concepts have power in them. Redefinition can serve a political aim. It might turn out dangerous if we do not pay attention to them. This way I feel that this article served a wider valuable purpose. i had not realized how one-minded the American political agenda and press also, it seems, is. Sad.

    Of course Breivik was and is a terrorist. The concept originates from French Revolution era and the french word terroire (I apologize if this is wrongly spelled). It means fear. The following jacobinite era before Napoleon was called the age of terror. People were ruled with violence to serve political aim. The nobility was widely attacced and many lost their heads is the guillotine.

    Later in the 19th C the anarchists started. Those times the terrorists were called anarchists even when not following the anarchist ideology (Greek An Arche, without state – real anarchists wanted to destroy the state according to their ideology). Anarchist can be a terrorist, but all terrorists are not anarchists either. It is a question of the political aim and the means. A terrorist wants to get to a political aim in the society by causing terror with violence. It can be wide spread or an assassination of a political leader. Anarchists killed a russian czar late 19th c, later Brigate Rosse murdered Italian prime minister Aldo Moro in the seventies.

    In the 20th c terrorists were more consistetly called terrorists. Here have been already mentioned the IRA (white Cristian people), one could add to that the UVF and UDA. Then European terrorism also includes RAF (German Rote Armee Fraktion, also called Baader-Meinhof clic), basque ETA and the Brigate Rosse. Against this background I find it striking that the press would limit terrorist acts only to islamist terrorism. There certainly has been such terrorism, but it seems too suitable for some to limit it so.

    Breivik is a terrorist. It is too easy an explanation to call him just a lunatic. He tried to achieve a political aim by acts of violence, start a revolution with fear. Even so the attacks were aimed at leading politicians and a single political party.

    Many terrorists and evil leaders like Stalin or Hitler have been sociopaths. The evil is amongst us. Every religion, every ideology can be used for evil purposes.

  28. A true Muslem is one who does not cause harm to others, when Muslim soldiers were sent by the first Kalipha “Abu Bakr” they were instructed not to cause harm to the elderly, women, children, monks, and trees!
    On the other hand, when crusaders came to Palestine to “liberate” Jerusalem from Arabs, they slaughtered humans and animals alike.
    Taliban and AlQaeda, both were created by CIA to serve the purpose during Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, after serving the purpose both organizations were abandoned by US (a usual practice with useless agents).
    When George W. Bush came uninvited to liberate Iraq, he removed Saddam Hussein from power, while doing so, Americans slaughtered one Million innocent Iraqis.
    When an Israeli kills 60 Palestinians while paraying in a Hebron mosque, he turns out to be a mentally retarded person, but when a grieved Palestinean attacks a settler who occupied his land he is called as a terrorist.
    When the blond, blue-eyed, Christian Anders Behring Breivik killed in cold blood tens of innocent civillians, he is called anything but not a terrorist.
    THAT IS NOT FAIR!

  29. Who else labels Breivik a “Christian”?

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/020027.html

  30. @jeff c
    You need help… You need to read facts about religion from a variety of sources … and then you need to seek psychiatric help because your initial statement and those that followed are comments that cannot be made from a person whose mind is in a healthy and stable condition. You are causing unecessary problems with your ill-informed comments…

    The Norway killings is evidence of what happens when religious people take their beliefs to a whole other level …

    Just remember that all our religions teach the same fundamental principles … and violence and murder are not a part of those teachings…

  31. Anders Behrin is in most cases, refered to as a terrorist in the scandinavian media. When commenting please research facts beforehand. It is uncalled for to simplify the media as western media.

    Whoever causes attrocities as in the case of the Norway incident is a terrorist..full stop. Terrorism has no religion and spending time to analyze and comment with that ideology as a base is a waste of space.

    However, a life is a life, and i do agree that many citizens in the western world could react with greater sympathy for victims of western intervention in places like libya, iraq, palestine and countless of other places.

    Labeled as a Terrorist – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik

    Denmarks largest Finance newspaper : http://borsen.dk/nyheder/politik/artikel/1/211666/norsk_politi_overvejer_ny_sigtelse_imod_breivik.html

    Denmarks National TV: Paper uses word terrorist on several occations..
    http://www.dr.dk/Nyheder/Udland/2011/07/24/091431.htm

  32. The word “terrorist” has been used throughout the news cycle, even after it became clear that the perpetrator was Christian. Even Fox News continued to use the phrase “terrorist attack in Oslo” for days afterwards. The oft-repeated allegation that “the media” stopped using the word “terrorist” is baseless and provably false.

  33. here is a clear usage of “terrorist” in relation to Breivik, by a right-wing thinker who understands the danger of “progressive” censorship:

    http://www.carolineglick.com/e/2011/07/breivik-and-totalitarian-democ.php

  34. This is a bunch of bs, he’s being called a terrorist across the board.

  35. What this forum has shown me, is that there are people like Jeff c who are no different to extremists, terrorists, murderers etc.
    Jeff c in all his comments claims to have a deep understanding of Islam, but really he does not know one thing about it.
    Jeff c stop copying and pasting links on the reference section of a Wikipedia page. You are basically displaying the views of others buy trying to support your stupid n

  36. @ Jeff c
    You are deluded person living in a misconceived part of the world. Stop claiming you are the know of all Islam. The more comments and links you post the more stupid you sound. Know one is supporting your arguments so why bother with your tirade. You know nothing about Islam so why proceed. You support your failing arguments with links that don’t even reflect the true purpose or movement of Islam. Yes forums like these allow free speech to the individual, but use that gift wisely and responsibly without sounding like an uneducated neo tool who has never been outside their zip or post code