Norway’s response to Breivik’s attacks was more multiculturalism, a good helping of militant anti-racism and broad hints that this free speech business may have gone too far. Serious critics of the country’s policies had been tarred by association with Breivik, and the voters provided the feathers.
n the morning of July 22, 2011, an explosion rocked the streets of Oslo. A car bomb parked close to the office of the prime minister went off, killing eight and injuring dozens. If that was the worst thing that had happened that day, Norwegians would have been lucky.
They weren’t, of course. After the explosion, a man dressed as a police officer came by ferry to the island of Utoya, about a half-hour west of Oslo. It is the site of the summer camp for a Labor Party youth organization, where the children of the folks who run the country learn and play. The man said he had come to safeguard them after the explosion, but he seemed sketchy and carried a huge gun that didn’t look at all like police issue. He quickly opened fire. He yelled “hurray!” and “bullseye!” and “got you!” as he killed 69 unarmed children and injured 66 more.
That man, we now know, was Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old “right-wing extremist” and a monster. Hours before the attacks, he emailed a “manifesto” to about 1,000 people that prints out to roughly 1,500 pages. The document draws extensively on outside material, quoting and plagiarizing freely. It spells out both the reason for and the method of the attacks. Breivik’s concerns were multiculturalism, Islam and “cultural Marxism.” Rather than attack Muslims, he decided to strike the root, by targeting the current and future sponsors of Norway’s policies.
This created a serious problem for Bruce Bawer, which he explores at length in his new e-book “The New Quislings: How the International Left Used the Oslo Massacre to Silence Debate About Islam.” It became clear rather quickly that Breivik had read deeply in the literature that criticizes unreconstructed Islam and multiculturalism in Europe and, moreover, that he had read Mr. Bawer’s writings. Breivik had been a regular commenter on a website about “immigration and related issues” called Document.no, which quickly collected all of his writings together for public consumption.