Over at The Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan nominates yours truly for a Malkin Award for making the case that it was not unreasonable to suspect an act of Muslim terrorism in the attacks in Norway last Friday. Sullivan objects to the fact that I wrote the post following the arrest of Anders Behring Breivik.
According to Sullivan’s Wikipedia page, the Malkin Award (named, of course, after Michelle Malkin) is awarded “for shrill, hyperbolic, divisive and intemperate right-wing rhetoric.” Well, one would be hard pressed to name anyone in possession of a greater first-hand knowledge of shrillness, hyperbole, divisiveness and intemperance than Sullivan. I suppose I should be flattered. Perhaps I will send him some flowers should he bestow me with the award. I wonder if he likes tulips.
Yet it is a shame that Sullivan didn’t make an effort to read what I actually wrote. Because if he did then he would clearly understand my reasoning for thinking the attacks in Norway were likely an act of Muslim terrorism. For Sullivan’s edification, allow me to sum up my argument. Given that Norway had thwarted an al Qaeda plot exactly a year ago, given that the attacks happened almost simultaneously (an al Qaeda calling card), given that a Muslim cleric living in Norway was indicted scarcely a week ago for threatening to assassinate Norwegian politicians and given that a Muslim organization had claimed responsibility for the attack, a reasonable person might suspect that the attacks were an act of Muslim terrorism. Then again given Sullivan’s loopiness concerning the maternity of Trig Palin, it pretty much disqualifies him as a reasonable person. Indeed, Sullivan insists that Breivik is a “Christianist”, whatever that means.
Sullivan then links to a piece by Matt Yglesias which cites data which state that terror attacks by non-Muslim groups are more frequent than those committed by Muslim entities. My reply to Sullivan is the same that I gave a couple of days ago to Sheila Musaji, editor of The American Muslim. If there’s another terrorist attack in Norway would he prefer that I set my sights on ETA or the Tamil Tigers?
Now, of course, I don’t deny there are non-Muslim terrorist entities but ETA confines their violent acts in Spain and France while the Tamil Tigers seldom carried out attacks outside Sri Lanka (with the notable exception of the 1991 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who sent Indian troops into that war torn country in 1987.) The point here is that Muslim terrorism is uniquely global in its scope. Muslim terrorists would just as soon attack Norway as they would Nigeria. If Sullivan wants to ignore the 17,500 plus terrorist attacks committed by Muslim terrorist entities against Muslims and non-Muslims alike since September 11, 2001 then that is his problem, not mine.
I don’t deny the horror of what Breivik has wrought. Seventy-six people died at his hands. And yes, it must be determined whether Breivik acted alone or in concert with others. But at this point it is extraordinarly irresponsible, premature and quite frankly stupid for Sullivan or anyone else to conclude that Breivik is part of a global terrorist organization with ambitions to violently impose Christianity on an unwilling populace.
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