Wall Street Journal, please stop helping:

Later on Saturday came news of a 1,500-page manifesto, entitled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” that Breivik had recently written and posted online. The first half, in which he indicts the European cultural elite for permitting Islam to take root in Europe, makes it clear that he is both highly intelligent and very well read in European history and the history of modern ideas.

Nothing says intelligent and well-read like indicting a continent for not burning adherents of a religion at the stake when they “take root,” or as the rest of us say, “move someplace and have the audacity to not covert to exactly what their neighbors practice.” The Inquisition worked out GREAT. Why isn’t everybody doing that?

In the second half he describes himself as having revived the Knights Templar. He also outlines in extreme detail how he and his fellow anti-jihadists can acquire weapons, ammunition and body armor and thereupon proceed to use “terror as a method for waking up the masses” to the danger posed by Islam. This makes it clear he is completely insane.

The difference between intelligent/well-read and bugshit crazy/paranoid is a trip to the ammo aisle at whatever is the Norwegian equivalent of Wal-Mart.

During the hours when I thought that Oslo had been attacked by jihadists, I wept for the city that has been my home for many years. And I hoped Norwegian leaders would respond to this act of violence by taking a more responsible approach to the problems they face in connection with Islam. When it emerged that these acts of terror were the work of a native Norwegian who thought he was striking a blow against jihadism and its enablers, it was immediately clear to me that his violence will deal a heavy blow to an urgent cause.

Yes. It so very much sucks that he has made your xenophobia uncool. Forget the dead people. What’s really at stake here is how acceptable it is to mutter darkly about the foreign hordes at the next WSJ cocktail party.

Norway, like the rest of Europe, is in serious trouble. Millions of European Muslims live in rigidly patriarchal families in rapidly growing enclaves where women are second-class citizens, and where non-Muslims dare not venture. Surveys show that an unsettling percentage of Muslims in Europe reject Western values, despise the countries they live in, support the execution of homosexuals, and want to replace democracy with Shariah law. (According to a poll conducted by the Telegraph, 40% of British Muslims want Shariah implemented in predominantly Muslim parts of the United Kingdom.)

Which means 60 percent of them don’t, so maybe dial down the drama, chickadee. And plenty of women are second-class citizens in white Christian “enclaves,” but hating on them isn’t sexy enough for the morning paper. As a card-carrying and even somewhat involved member of a a medieval cannibalistic body-piercing zombie cult, I tend to favor policing one’s own religion with respect to the role of its members in society before freaking the hell out about others.

Shockingly, I’m not alone in this. You know who tends to speak (and act) critically with regard to aspects of particularly rigid political interpretations of Islam? Actual Muslims like these women. Their courage is ignored in an effort to make a more attractive boggart with which to scare the WSJ’s suburban businessman demographic, but they do exist. Let them do their work. You do yours.

In Norway, to speak negatively about any aspect of the Muslim faith has always been a touchy matter, inviting charges of “Islamophobia” and racism. It will, I fear, be a great deal more difficult to broach these issues now that this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.

Again, SUCH A BUMMER. Why does this madman have to go ruining all the Muslim-bashing fun?

I am very much starting to root for whatever asteroid is currently headed within spitting distance of this planet.

Via Maitri on Twitter.


Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.