Millions of people around the world were shocked and horrified when a madman named Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb in downtown Oslo and then attacked a political summer camp on the island of Utoya, gunning down defenseless teenagers while calling out “Gotcha!” as though he were playing a video game. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, before the killer’s identity was known, some people leaped to the conclusion that this was yet another act of Islamic terrorism. When it turned out that the killer was a native Norwegian—the author of a rambling manifesto in which he described himself as a modern Knight Templar defending the values of Christian civilization—the left wing cultural elite in Europe and the US jumped to delegitimize critics of Islam by falsely and cynically linking them to Breivik.
One of those critics was American writer Bruce Bawer, author of numerous books about the threat of Islamic radicalism and one of those whose works were cited in Breivik’s manifesto. Bawer has lived in Oslo for many years and has written extensively on the challenges of immigration and the negative effects of radical Islam on liberal societies. He is also a vocal critic of the left wing cultural elite that seeks to minimize this threat and promotes instead a vision of a harmonious multicultural society based on tolerance and mutual respect. Unfortunately, such “tolerance” does not extend to critics of Islam or multiculturalism, who are routinely labeled nativists and fascists by members of the left wing elite.
The left typically denies or downplays the religious motives of Islamic terrorists while insisting that “right wing rhetoric” creates a “climate of hate” which necessarily leads to violence. Thus the multicultural left in Europe and the US strove to paint Breivik as a pro-Israel Christian terrorist whose insane actions were encouraged if not outright motivated by conservative authors who warn a