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Norwegian flag, memorial
(Lehtikuva Lehtikuva/Reuters)

Adam Serwer on the right-wing blogger reaction to the Norway attacks:
American anti-Islam bloggers aren’t to blame for the Norway Massacre. But their response to the attacks is nonetheless revealing, in that they are now demanding the kind of nuanced analysis of the Norway shootings that they’ve always failed to offer when implicating jihadism or all Muslims for terror attacks.

As the news of terrorist attacks in Oslo broke on Friday, the conservative media were quick to place the blame on al Qaeda even though the details weren’t fully known.[...]

What’s notable about the response by conservatives to the attack is that their primary worry was that the anti-Islam cause might be tarnished. Bruce Bawer, writing in the Wall Street Journal, was beside himself that “this murderous madman has become the poster boy for the criticism of Islam.” He then casts Breivik’s concerns, if not his actions, as defensible, describing “the way he moves from a legitimate concern about genuine problems to an unspeakably evil `solution.’”[...]

[...][T]hey’re now pleading for the world not to do what they’ve spent their careers doing — assigning collective blame for an act of terror through guilt-by-association. What’s clear is that they understand that the principle of collective responsibility is a monstrous wrong in the abstract, or at least when it’s applied to them. They are now begging for the kind of tolerance and understanding they cheerfully refuse to grant to American Muslims.

As Serwer says, the right-wing bloggers are not responsible for the attacks in Norway, however much Breivik was inspired by their writing. They are no more responsible for Breivik's actions than the members of the would-be Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center and mosque in New York, or the Murfreesboro, Tennessee Muslims were for the 9/11 attacks.

But that's a point, and a comparison, none of them are going to be willing to concede.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 12:52 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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