The Norway massacre & the hypocrisy of the Guardian’s moralizing on conservative critics of Islamism

Here’s Guardian Associate Editor Seumas Milne, on what he feels is the role conservative critics of radical Islam played in the massacre in Norway committed by Anders Behring Breivik:

“The continuum between the poisonous nonsense commonplace in the mainstream media [by writers such as Bernard Lewis and Melanie Phillips toAyaan Hirsi Ali and Mark Steyn] in recent years, the street slogans of groups like the EDL and Breivik’s [massacre] is unmistakable.”

Indeed, many other Guardian reports have cast blame on Breivik’s shooting rampage upon other right-wing commentators who, like Lewis, Phillips, Hirsi Ali, and Steyn, have been rightly critical of threat posed by violent Islamist ideology, and have never once even entertained advocacy for violence.

Yet, here’s a Guardian editorial, from May 20th, on President Obama’s speech on the Middle East uprisings:

“The leaders of Fatah and Hamas were obliged to reconcile by the forces stirring the Palestinian street. The negotiators of Fatah had stopped negotiating, and the fighters of Hamas had stopped fighting. Both had to respond to a simple idea: if one million Egyptians can fill Tahrir Square demanding Palestinian rights, why can’t Palestinians, who taught the Arab world how to mount insurrections, and mounted two intifadasof their own.”

While official Guardian editorials sometimes employ sentences vague or blurry enough to plausibly deny that they are actually supporting violence, this passage is not compromised by such rhetorical obfuscation.  They seem to be clearly characterizing coordinated violence against innocent Israeli civilians (between 2000 and 2005) as something to be emulated.

The Guardian’s Associate Editor Seumas Milne assigns blame, on the terrorist atrocity in Norway, to conservative writers who merely were critical of radical Islam and, yet, his paper, in an official editorial, seems clearly to characterize the violence and carnage of the 2nd Intifada, which resulted in the murder of over 1,000 innocent Israelis (and crippling injures of thousands more) as something to be admired – the Palestinians’ gift to the Arab world.

The rank hypocrisy of the Guardian’s moralizing on the dangers of right-wing vitriol is never more evident that in this editorial.  

Not only are they demonizing Israelis – the way, Milne claims, conservative critics of Islam demonize Muslims – but seem to cite a coordinated terrorist onslaught by reactionary terrorist movements openly committed to Israel’s destruction (such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade) which targeted innocent Jewish civilians in coffee shops, restaurants, shops, crowded streets, malls, bus stations, dance clubs, homes,  and Yeshivot, as as a positive moral example.

Based on the Guardian’s standards the next time a terror attack occurs in Israel a good measure of blame should squarely be placed on those who demonized the victims, referred to them continually in the pejorative, and glorified the perpetrators as engaging in a commendable moral act.

The Guardian’s continuing glorification of Palestinian terror, it would seem, by their own definition of political causation, would render them morally culpable for future attacks against innocent Israeli civilians.

8 replies »

  1. Seumas Milne assigns blame, on the terrorist atrocity in Norway, to conservative writers who merely were critical of radical Islam

    To be fair, the likes of Phillips are critical not ony of the radical current of Islam.
    But to be fair to Phillips, Breivik’s manifesto also cites “inspiration” from an eclectic mix of figures ranging from Churchill and Gandhi to the Unabomber and Jeremy Clarkson.

    The caption reflects the bias of the article: “Anders Breivik quoted writers such as Bernard Lewis and Melanie Phillips”. A classic case of Milnesque selective quoting.

  2. So what do the left [who are trying to attach responsibility for Oslo on the right] make of ‘terrorism expert’ Lars Gule who had his planned attempt to detonate explosives in Israel in 1977 thwarted by Lebanon where he served a half year sentence only to NOT be prosecuted back in Norway. Gule seems to appear frequently on TV, a man who could have also been responsible for the premeditated massacre of tens of innocents. Will we see Anders appear on Norwegian TV as a ‘terrorism expert’ or authority on multiculturalism after serving 6 months in jail? I do believe that Gule is (or was) firmly aligned to the left as well.

  3. Are they suggesting that Islamic based attacks should be suppressed and not be reported in the news?

  4. “The claim that ‘blood is on my hands’ can so easily translate into someone seeking my own blood.” — Melanie Phillips

    Echoing something I posted here only a few days ago, Melanie Phillips writes the following about those like Milne who have made incendiary statements about her:

    “Some words undoubtedly do have hateful or violent consequences — but they are by definition hateful or violent words.

    Nothing I have ever written falls into either of those categories. On the contrary, I try to defend people against hatred and violence.

    I’m always careful, for example, to draw distinctions between individuals and causes, such as the ‘human rights’ agenda, and I have always stressed the distinction between peaceful Muslims and Islamic extremism.

    No, it is those who under the cover of accusing me of incendiary writing are themselves inciting hatred.

    The claim that ‘blood is on my hands’ can so easily translate into someone seeking my own blood. Heaven forbid that should happen — but if it did, there would be a direct causal link with those who have whipped up this wicked firestorm.

    Indeed, those who have exploited the killing of innocents in Norway to provoke such an eruption of distortion, demonisation and irrationality should disgust and alarm all decent people everywhere.”

  5. “The continuum between the poisonous nonsense commonplace in the mainstream media [by writers such as Bernard Lewis…”

    One of Britain’s greatest bigots attacks one of the world’s greatest intellectuals.

  6. tlozuk

    You are right. Convicted terrorist Lars Gule was a leader of the Workers Youth Group at the University of Bergen.

    The terror he unsuccessfully tried to inflict on innocent Israelis in 1997 was visited on the Workers Youth Group in 2011 by Anders Breivik.

    How ironic.