White, christian and right-wing: a terrorist liberals can hate with impunity

by Tom Harris

Before the dust had settled on the terrorist attacks in Norway, even before the body count had been completed, some news organisations and individuals drew their own conclusions about the identity of the perpetrators. And got it wrong.

I was one of them.

Having seen an online report identifying islamists as the likely perpetrators, I tweeted that in the aftermath of the attack, there would still be some on the British left who would resume their role of apologists-in-chief for people whose intolerance of others put them firmly in the far right camp.

I got it wrong and I apologise. I should not have jumped to conclusions, especially not so early on in such a terrible sequence of events.

But (and of course there’s a “but” or I wouldn’t be writing this), the palpable relief that swept through the left when the identity of the terrorist was made known – a 32-year-old Norwegian christian fundamentalist – was revealing. Here, thank God, was a terrorist we can all hate without equivocation: white, christian and far right-wing.

Phew.

Since 9/11 the left has been wrestling with its liberal conscience. This “new” terrorist threat (which wasn’t new at all, even then) came from people with a different colour of skin and different religion to us. Weren’t we being racist in condemning them?

And so began the great apology: America and Israel were the greatest terrorist threats to our world, not Al-Qaeda. A billboard among protesters outside the Commons in 2003 read: “Bush and Sharon are the real terrorists, not Bin-Laden”. Members of Respect, which often tries to portray itself as on the left of the political spectrum, marched unashamedly on anti-war demos in solidarity with Islamists who didn’t hide their intolerance for women, homosexuals or democracy, or their support for suicide bombers in Israel and elsewhere.

Such was the desperate desire to salve our liberal consciences that we turned intellectual cartwheels in our attempts to convince ourselves that militant islamism is no more a threat than radical christianity. Some have even tried to invent a new word: “christianicism”.

This was done, not to rationalise or to try to understand or define a particular form of terrorism, but to reassure us that we’re definitely not racist because we’re equally critical of all religions.

Some, on the more mainstream left, are even uncomfortable with the term “islamist”. It has come to define all jihadists but which, more accurately, simply refers to a particular form of politicised, but not necessarily violent, islam.

But the man arrested for the Norwegian atrocity, Anders Behring Breivik, does not, as far as I’m aware, claim that he was doing God’s will. He has not said that his willingness to carry out such a murderous mission was inspired by holy scripture, or that he was convinced that if he was “martyred” during his rampage he would be rewarded in the hereafter with the erotic attentions of a specified number of virgins.

The desperate liberal’s need to be seen to be “fair” and “progressive” on matters of religion even leads some to claim that there is no difference between the past terrorism of the IRA and that of militant islamism. This is dangerously ignorant.

Firstly, the IRA never claimed to be motivated by their religion. True, they felt a deep affinity with, and were usually a part of, Northern Ireland’s catholic community whom they saw as an unfairly repressed minority. But no IRA member ever claimed biblical or doctrinal justification, let alone motivation, for their crimes.

Secondly, because republican terrorists knew that they were engaged in a wholly secular and political struggle, they expected no reward for their atrocities in the afterlife, which is why we never had to deal with IRA suicide bombers. The carnage they could have otherwise wrought would have made the actual death toll resulting from the troubles look very modest indeed.

Thirdly, however reprehensible the republicans’ chosen methods, their political ambition of creating a united Ireland, was always a perfectly respectable and rational aim.

Jihadists, on the other hand, believe they are doing the work of God in using force to re-establish the worldwide caliphate, where sharia law can be implemented fully for the first time on earth. Sharia law in this context, incidentally, would make life extremely uncomfortable for those who are gay, women, non-muslim, prone to speaking their mind, voting in free elections and such like. They believe that dying in the struggle will result in a heavenly reward and that non-muslims deserve to die simply because they are not muslims. They want to see the destruction of Israel (naturally) and of America (inevitably).

That islamist terrorism exists isn’t remotely deniable. The 7/7 attacks and a number of foiled terrorist outrages before and since have convinced anyone who’s paying attention that it poses an unprecedented terrorist threat to our country and to our way of life, if by “way of life” you mean liberal democracy.

So why do so many on the left get anxious and defensive when the term “islamist” is used in a pejorative way? Many on twitter on Friday night, actually accused me of being a racist for using the term and for suggesting that followers of that peculiar ideology might ever be capable of such a murderous rampage.

Is it simply because the word “islamist” contains the word “islam” within it, and therefore being critical of one is the same as being critical of the other? I fear so. In which case they are out of step with ordinary muslims, who know well the difference between the two and who are unequivocal in their condemnation of the former.

In fact, the Norwegian terrorist, Breivik, seems to share the same ignorance about the difference between “islam” and “islamism” as many on the left. He has, apparently, in his online rantings before his rampage, blamed muslims, not exclusively islamists, for the terrorist attacks of the past decade.

There will, tragically, continue to be isolated terrorist outrages perpetrated by right wing loners and psychopaths, whether they occur in schools in the American mid west, in northern English rural communities or in idyllic Scandinavian beauty spots.

But even after Norway, the threat from militant islamism is present, it is real, and it is appallingly dangerous.

If the left continues an ever-present liberal fretting about tarnishing ordinary, law-abiding muslim citizens with the stain of jihadism, which prevents it from articulating the awful threat we face, then the public – who do understand the threat and who need our support and protection – will turn instead to the right. And who could blame them?

Tom Harris is Labour MP for Glasgow South.


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53 Responses to “White, christian and right-wing: a terrorist liberals can hate with impunity”

  1. Skeptic says:

    It was my understand that Islamist was simply another term for Muslim, albeit one with negative connotations?

  2. MattNW5 says:

    Alleluia to that. They’ll probably still call you racist for writing that though, with a prominent New Statesman columnist first in the queue.

  3. AndyN says:

    Aww Tom, please don’t make them stop – watching left-wingers tie themselves in knots trying to justify abhorrent behaviour by those with whom they sympathise is one of the great online spectator sports.

    I’m getting some popcorn and plumping up a cushion.

  4. Paul says:

    No Tom, the article would have been much better ending at the end of paragraph 4. Using an apology as a staging post for an attack on a ‘straw man’ left, just as Dan Hodges did at the New Statesman (though you at least go for rank generalisations rather than deliberate misquotation) simply makes your initial stupdity look cynical.

    Most of the left is NOT ignorant about the distinction between Islam and Islamism. Just repeating via blogs and twitter that they are simply reinforces my opinion of you, specfically (i.e. not extrapolated to the whole of the Labour right) are little more than a vainglorious attention seeker.

  5. John says:

    Tom, you should have just stopped before the “but”. You got it wrong, you apologised. Everything after that is self-serving.

  6. Jada says:

    You’re still doing it Tom. Using this awful tragedy to air your ignorant prejudices. Just stop it will you, and show some respect to those that were killed and those mourning them.

  7. RuariJM says:

    “But no IRA member ever claimed biblical or doctrinal justification, let alone motivation, for their crimes.”

    Yes they did, Tom. There was a huge mural in W Belfast 30 years ago, at the height of the Troubles, depicting the Virgin Mary looking sweetly down on a figure in a bed, supposed to represent hunger strikers. The legend above was ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst”.

    There are other examples of the PIRA claiming some kind of religious support/affiliation – but they were as disgusting as they were untrue.

    Otherwise, generally interesting column.

  8. G.Day says:

    Bravo Tom. We need to get this out in the open.

  9. rationale says:

    Almost to the end of this peice I was in total agreement – especially with the points centring on peoples failure to understand the difference between Islam and Islamist. However – and this is meant in a helpful way – this is somewhat udermined by the use of the term ‘Jihadist’ to seemingly denote Islamist/terrorist/ Mujehadeen. I have many Islamic friends who may describe themselves as Jihadists, meaning part of the struggle of Islam – a struggle for peace and equality under god. Most muslims would argue ‘Jihad’ as a term has been coopted and misused by men of violence – a shame to see this parrotted.

  10. Chris says:

    I thought this was written by a student activist until I got to the end of it. What a jumble of ideas poorly expressed. Very very poor.

  11. Gareth says:

    I really wish that you didn’t feel the need to keep using the word “liberal” like it’s a dirty word. There are enough people happy to do so without a Labour MP joining their ranks…

  12. The Welsh Jacobite says:

    “It was my understand[ing] that Islamist was simply another term for Muslim, albeit one with negative connotations?”

    No, not at all. It’s quite shocking that you should even have got that impression.

    Islamism/Islamist are technical terms with a quite specific meaning. The meaning of Islamism is accurately characterised by Mr Harris’ phrase: “a particular form of politicised, but not necessarily violent, islam”.

  13. Brad says:

    So you are a racist bigot who hates whites and christians. Nuff said about the real thinking of the left…..

    (Will there be wall to wall coverage of this left wing hate crime/speech on the Beeb?)

  14. Dean says:

    Bloody hells bells.

  15. Jess The Dog says:

    Why hate anyone, based on their ethnicity, religion and belief? The act is enough and, even then, sorrow far outweighs hatred.

    I liked the Norwegian commentator who said she was proud to be Norwegian because ‘we will retaliate with more democracy’ after the bombing.

  16. I have often found the tolerance that some sections of the Left gives to unspeakable thugs and terrorists abhorrent and downright depressing.

    The most obvious and recent example was the views of those who supported the Stop the War Coalition. Let’s be clear, this was an organisation that refers to terrorists who advocate the suppression of women, homosexuals and non-Muslims and an Islamist dictatorship as “the resistance” and in their supposed fight for freedom from western oppression, see it right to murder UN workers, foreign journalists, aid workers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Hardly the position of a Coalition which purports to be on the Left.

  17. I read Guido says:

    Well done, Tom Harris. You’ve managed to sink so low in your foul reporting of the identity of the Norwegian mass-murderer as to give us your blessing by justifying our hatred for him because he is fascist extremist.

    Here you’ve not only assumed that we care what you think and that we actually feel any ‘hatred’ towards Anders Breivik (as he felt ‘hatred’ towards the youths on that island) but also that the left can revel in being utterly blameless for any acts of violence or terrorism.

    I sincerely hope you look upon this article and remind yourself of the disgusting way in which you have manipulated this tragedy to benefit your own ridiculous opinion, which, I am certain, very few people actually know and of those that do, few are worth discussing it with.

    I am beginning to wonder what is more socially divisive: the fact that many affluent people, who would consider themselves of the right, feel at ease mocking the lower and less fortunate classes or the abhorrent way in which self-proclaimed left-wing commentators, such as yourself, Johann Hari and Kia Abdullah, feel they can manipulate others, news and the truth to excrete their worthless and awful material.

    I hope you feel some form of remorse.

  18. James says:

    I agree with the sentiment of most of your article. My exception comes with your description of people like Breivik as “right wing” loners and pyschopaths.

    As far as I am concerned, holding racist views and then going on a killing spree is not a right-wing ideology. I don’t think Breivik’s murderous manifesto contained support for free market capitalism, a strong commitment to law and order and the desire to shrink the size of the state.

    If we can first separate the lazy notion that racists are right-wing, then the left-wing maybe able to deal with the fact that some people with different colour skins to them are actually nasty, misguided terrorists that mean us harm.

  19. Span Ows says:

    Imagine my shock to find myself agreeing amost all the way through! (see rationale, 12:35 pm)

  20. Senior says:

    People should hate all terrorists equally. Terrorists should not be ranked based on their ideologies.

  21. Richard Holloway says:

    I thought that many on the left are of the belief that hate is a crime?
    To use the horrific work of one psycohic maniac to justify hatred of ‘white christians’ is a bizarre and dangerous logic.
    Perhaps you should question your own racism and xenophobia when you use the actions of one man to condemn a whole race and religion.

  22. Paul Evans says:

    Not sure that this article needs a “but” Tom?

  23. We’re all against terrorism and violent extremism of all kinds in all its forms. It’s frustrating that I felt the need to write that.

    No-one on the liberal left welcomes Islamism. They simply wish to ensure a clear distinction was created between extremist Islamists and moderate Muslims.

    And thank goodness they do.

    When a far-right extremist performs an act of terrorism, no-one suggests that he represents a mainstream view amongst the moderate right. But some mainstream right-wingers have been pushing an agenda which blurs the line between mainstream-moderate and fringe-extremist strands of Islam. For lots of background: http://enemiesofreason.co.uk/tag/anti-muslim-agenda/

    The liberal left, in retaliation to this, seeks to reaffirm the distinction.

    As for ‘Islamist’ being too similar to ‘Islam’ for comfort… Well, they are very similar. I imagine that everyone who reads this post is going to be at least a minor politics geek and be familiar with the distinction between the terms. But to a much more passive reader, perhaps someone who picks up a copy of The Sun for its sports section but glances through the news, I suspect that many won’t be aware of the difference. In the same way the mainstream right get concerned by the term ‘far-right’, I’m concerned that the general public could too easily read ‘Islamist’ and think ‘Muslim’.

    Finally, establishing a threat is one thing, but for liberals, the existence of a threat is on its own not a good enough justification for a more intrusive state. At the bare minimum, it needs to be shown that the restrictions imposed on our civil liberties are proportionate and effective – the benefits must outweigh the costs. New Labour’s interventions failed to do this. Yes, the public are concerned about the threat of terrorism, but passing a few draconian laws won’t do anything to mitigate this concern – if anything it’s more likely to reinforce it.

  24. Robert Eve says:

    As you admit Tom – the left are beyond help.

  25. Indy says:

    You are kind of missing the point are you not? Why did you immediately jump to the conclusion that it was Islamist terrorists when most other people were scratching their heads and thinking what the heck is going on here? It’s no excuse to say that some people in the media were saying that it Islamists,. The media speculate about everything and usually it is rubbish. We are entitled to expect politicians to be a bit more intelligent than that, at least intelligent enough not to make public comments on matters before they know the facts.

  26. John says:

    “Here you’ve not only assumed that we care what you think” – I read Guido

    A fair assumption considering that you’re reading his blog and commenting on it.

  27. John says:

    Whoops, meant ‘article’ not ‘blog’ obv.

  28. S says:

    This is a disappointing article.

    First, the word Islamism is unhelpful. The word suggests, wrongly, that there is a single Islam-based ideology. Why not extreme violent right wing Islamism? Secondly, it is unhelpful in the way you suggest. The word Islamism is similar to Islam and so for non-expert, lay people seeing them as similes is nothing short of normal. Hence, by using Islamism (rather than the not very twitter friendly ‘right wing Islamist/Islamic extremist’), we are normalising the pejorative use of the word Islam. Unfortunately, as Varsi has already and rightly acknowledged this is already the case. “Muslim”, “Islam” are now tainted words in public discourse.

    Secondly, and more importantly, you fail to understand power. Simply put: those that have a lot can abuse it more. The reason to rail against big power such as the USA’s foreign policy is because it is a horrendous abuser of its enormous power. It is right to highlight wrong doing by a big power that we are in bed with and therefore hope to have some influence over.

    Thirdly, whilst I’ve always loathed the left’s (and even Blair’s) partnerships with groups that are homophobic, misogynist etc – the links between some right wing Islamic groups and the left lie in class issues.

    Being a bit simplistic here, but for poor, working Muslims in the streets of Glasgow, who are their allies? Labour must be their ally. And it has been over many decades. So, when it finds that some of parts of its allies have developed right wing religious madcap tendencies, what should Labour and the left do? Not use the language of the red-tops, but engage and convert, and yes, sometimes sever relationships, but more so engage.

    Finally, the business of stopping and containing the right wing violent threat (Islam-inspired or Christian-conservative inspired) is a complex police and security issue. We need to better understand motivation (often a mix of personal grief and political beliefs) and be better and mapping and tracking grooming and development networks. No talk of “Islamism” and of the general threat will help.

  29. Jim says:

    Phew indeed, how palpably relieving the news was Tom.

  30. Paul W says:

    Disappointed that you seem to be sanitising the IRA by portraying them as rational terrorists, whose methods can be dismissed as an incidental tactical error and not a fundamental part of their being.

    Although a United Ireland is indeed a perfectly respectable objective, there are many in the SDLP and elsewhere who struggle for this without killing people. The IRA (and their cheerleaders in Sinn Fein) are defined by their murderous methods.

  31. Roger says:

    Tom,

    When you are in a hole stop digging.

    You delivered an instant judgement which was as wrong as it could conceivably be.

    But instead of apologising and reconsidering whether twitter is a proper medium for an MP to communicate with the world (bring back your blog – it can hardly land you in any more trouble…) you double down.

    And where is your evidence for the palpable sense of relief?

    I suspect the Oslo bombing was predominantly met with a ‘in Norway? – that’s weird’ and the shootings with genuine horror.

    After all this is as personal as it gets – an attack not on random bystanders but on the Left itself – and far worse on our kids.

    So contemptible as the Islamofascist apologists who write in the Guardian and Independent are I can’t see any evidence at all of them ‘thanking God’.

    The people who do need seriously to examine their conscience are not those who have stood up against Islamofascism from inside the Left (and been endlessly attacked for it – just look at the comments under any Nick Cohen article) but all those who chose to take money from organs like the Daily Mail (or any other tabloid which fills itself with hateful racist propaganda) whose articles naturally feature heavily in Brievik’s ‘manifesto’ of stuff he downloaded from the internet.

    So stop digging and apologise for your mistakes – we need effective voices against the appeasers of Islamofascism and you are not going to be one as long as you refuse to admit that we are facing not one but two evils.

    And ‘no IRA suicide bombers’ – were you asleep during the IRA hunger strike which to my mind represents a form of political suicide far more radical than suicide bombing.

    The would be Shahid supposedly presses the button knowing that he will not only go to heaven but will send many infidels and heretics to hell.

    Bobby Sands and the rest slowly and quietly starved themselves to death just for the right to wear their own clothes and to pretend that they were in a POW camp – and being mostly catholics did so despite being told that they possibly were endangering their mortal souls.

    And even for the suicide bombers there have been – believe it or not – statistical studies of their backgrounds and final statements which indicate that at least amongst the Palestinians many were relatively secular and were not primarily motivated by the belief that they would shortly be ministered to by hot and cold running virgins.

    Plus what about the Tamil Tigers who blew themselves up – were they just hoping to be reborn into a higher caste?

    There really are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy…..

  32. John says:

    Hmmm.

    Mr Breivik has just justified his actions on the grounds of reversing “cultural marxism”…

    A term recently used by Paul Dacre no less. So not SO far from the mainstream, Tom.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/jan/24/comment.comment

  33. Shaun says:

    You’re an MP. Seriously?

  34. Chris says:

    I don’t think the distinction between the IRA and Islamic terrorism is really as clear as you describe. Islamic terrorists have many complex motivations for their actions, politics, nationalism and religion no doubt all play a part. The motivations appear to be purely religious only because Islamic society is already so deeply religious. The terrorists gain support at home by making it appear that their motivations are honourable and that god is on their side. Essentially the terrorists are the same, only the propaganda is different.

  35. Jeremy Poynton says:

    Hate is of course the most corrosive emotion. No wonder the Left is so …. corroded with it.

  36. Dave says:

    “Thirdly, however reprehensible the republicans’ chosen methods, their political ambition of creating a united Ireland, was always a perfectly respectable and rational aim.”

    Can someone explain what the Labour party’s position actually is on NI? I had a look but couldn’t find anything.

  37. Roger says:

    James @ 1.10

    I am looking at his 1,518 page ‘manifesto’ right now.

    Actually he was a member of the nearest equivalent to the Conservative party in Norway – the Progress Party (whose leader incidentally was invited here in 2009 to address the Tories) for a number of years.

    And the manifesto clearly depicts a free market loving, pro-Israel, neoconservative right-winger in the Anglo-American sense rather than a neo-nazi (the ‘iron cross’ logo he uses reflects his lunatic obsession with the Knights Templar rather than with the Third Reich).

    And like any Tea Party Republican in the US he freely conflates Nazism, Communism, Social Democracy and Liberalism together.

    His freemasonry is also a bit of a giveaway – real Nazis always regard masonry as part of the Jewish conspiracy.

    There is clearly some evolution in his views – obviously a massive understatement given that he’s moved from being a conventional anti-tax, anti-EU and anti-immigration conservative to being a mass murderer – in that his document is clearly aimed at neo-nazis as well.

    In fact at 2.7 p663 he breaks down his wider audience as follows:

    1. Hardcore white supremacists or certain hardcore NS (>5%)
    2. White nationalists – 14 words etc. (>10)
    3. Cultural conservatives (15-30%)
    4. Moderate cultural conservatives (critical to multicult) (30-35)
    5. Pro-multiculturalist conservatives (40-60%)

    And discusses at length different strategies for converting each of these groups to his cause (he is opposed for instance to the use of overtly nationalistic and racist language as it alienates segments 4 and 5) over what he believes will be a 72-year war.

    If you can draw any conclusions from skim-reading such a massive, incoherent and derivative document it is that he is clearest on who his enemies are: Marxism, multi-culturalism and Islam which like a Nordic Glenn Beck or Melanie Phillips he views as a single entity.

    And I can see little sign of the anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism which features heavily in neo-nazi literature – on the contrary much of his manifesto is lifted directly from the more right-wing neocon US websites and from the writings of UK neocons like Phillips.

    ‘The Pre-Emptive Declaration of War’ which forms section 3 (p766 ff) is particularly instructive as he declares the need for a ‘Conservative Revolution’ – complete with a quote from Edmund Burke – and produces an interminable list of charges most of which would fit far better into the Daily Mail than stormfront.com e.g.:

    ‘The cultural Marxist/multiculturalist aim is to destroy all ties to history, culture, family,community, and one’s people as a whole:

    · Traditional family structure (the nuclear family) through glorifying non-marital
    relationships, emphasis on sex education from young age, casual sex etc.

    · European national states and national borders

    · European/national cultural heritage and traditions

    · European Christian traditions

    ·The Church’s influence in society (social and political influence). Conservative Church leaders are undermined/ridiculed/silenced.

    · Discipline and disciplinary measures in educational institutions, at home and in society in general (by opposing/criticising/disallowing mental and physical disciplinary measures)

    · The political mechanisms based on rationality and logic (death penalty, strict sentencing)

    · The police/military role and influence in society by limiting their influence and rights (law and order)

    · Men’s right to equal child care/custody.’

    And we get:

    ‘Biased coverage of:

    Environmentalism – obsession with global warming instead of focusing on overpopulation (no calls for birth/population control in the developing world)

    – Biased coverage of US administrations/elections (always supporting Democrats and
    always opposing Republicans)’

    Again these are not the concerns of a typical continental neo-nazi and are those of the lunatic fringe of the US Republican Party and its equivalents in the UK.

    And he has gone to great lengths to ensure that we know exactly who influenced him and how.

    So this document really must not be dismissed as the ravings of a madman – he didn’t originate this murderous ideology and only a fraction of his ‘manifesto’ appears to be his own work.

    Rather it adds further to the charge sheet against our vile and despicable tabloid press with its constant torrent of anti-immigration propaganda.

    But of course these same papers will twist all this evidence of their own part in this man’s descent into murderous madness into an attack on the internet, violent films and videogames and the ridiculous laxity of the Norwegian justice system.

  38. OLiathain says:

    So the Provo’s never used suicide bombs – they forced other people to be suicide bombers on their behalf (google Patsy Gillespie or proxy bombs) but never did it themselves – so thats somehow better then?

  39. I don’t understand the thinking or motivation behind this article.

    You made a horrible and very public mistake, and I understand that is embarasssing and that humilation may be what leads to yuor defensiveness, but a “yeah but…” apology does you no credit, offers no solace to those you have offended and given that I could point to at least a dozen articles making this supposed unmakable “point” on left-wing blog aggregators alone mena that it adds nothing to the debate.

    By throwing up straw men like your claim that the left was releived that these attrocities were carried out by a blonde right wing terrorist not an Islamic right wing terrorist shows a much a lack of nuance from you as those you choose to impugn.

    But equally it shows a real paucity of understanding the way debate works. Did you write this to challenge assumpitions? To change minds? To persuade people to your way of thinking? To set out an argument that might be attractive to people of a Labour persuasion that haven’t agreed with you in the past? Or did you write this to grandstand to those who already agree with you and to place yourself as their standard bearer?

    If the former, you have failed very badly. Which is a shame for you becuase if you want to be the latter, you’llhave to get considerably better at it and make fewer horribly public faux pas.

  40. Peter Robson says:

    You sir, are a disgrace to call yourself an MP let alone a Labour MP. Murder is inexcusable regardless of which brand it is committed under, the victims are just as dead no matter who plants the bomb or pulls the trigger. There can be no ideological excuse for murdering a fellow human being. Left Right or Centre. You should resign.

  41. Chris says:

    I think the vast majority of the ‘liberals’ you hold in your head do not actually sympathise in any way with Muslim terrorists. They (and I am one) actually hate the terrorists as much as anyone. The left sympathises with the people the terrorists claim to represent. The terrorists do more to alienate those people than anyone else. They make it harder to argue on the side of the real people causght behind the terrorists as blogs like this can then pass it off as blind sympathy with terrorists.

    I hate Muslim terrorists because they make the situation worse for those the claim to represent.

    All the vast majority of those I think you argue against ask when a Muslim commits a terrorist act is that the actions of the vicious don’t taint the perception of the many. And for that we get lambasted as sympathisers.

  42. bedd lelert says:

    Listening to the BBC Radio 4 morning news bulletin was hilarious.

    A Norwegian caucasian man with blond hair and blue eyes..

    you almost expected them to whoop with delight and say “Yey !! He’s not an Islamic fundamentalist, kids !! Oh and did we mention he’s got white skin ?? ”

    I wonder if they would have been quite as particular if he’d been a member of al-qaeda ??

  43. Roger says:

    Tom.

    We’re still waiting for you to provide any evidence for the charge that the left exhibited ‘palpable relief’.

    And I’ve now read the monster’s ‘manifesto’ (or at least the part that he seems to have written himself).

    It is soul-shakingly vile stuff but you really must look seriously at it before you carry on digging yourself deeper and deeper into this hole of denial.

    This man is not as you’ve implied a lone psychopath but was turned into a a mass-murderer by an obsessive reading of ‘counter-jihadist’ blogs and books and articles.

    He therefore represents the logical progression of a worldview with which you are continuing to identify yourself for whatever reason.

    If you genuinely believe that Islamism is an existential threat to civilization itself and that we are but decades away from becoming Eurabia then it makes perfect sense to act as he did.

    Indeed he may have committed even worse crimes had he not evidently not been running out of money as he elaborates in soul-numbing detail the deliberate atrocities he considered – including an attack on a party conference with a flamethrower to turn ‘class B traitors’ like yourself into so many human torches.

    And then theres his plan to murder Muslim women in large numbers so as to drive their men into Jihad and an escalation of the civil war he imagines he is fighting.

    That there are Islamist terrorists who have committed worse crimes (in terms of numbers although shooting 13 year olds in the face with dumdum bullets as they cower helplessly in front of you in their tent is surely as vile as you can imagine qualitatively) and western apologists for them in our media is quite simply an irrelevance at this point.

    As a Socialist MP your duty was to show basic solidarity with our comrades in Norway and to point out that yes there are real fascists in our midst who must be tajken seriously, confronted and dealt with – instead you chose to score cheap political points.

    Glasman apologised for his gross misjudgement – why can’t you do the same for yours?

    Its just two words.

    Say them and move on.

  44. Karim says:

    You’re a bigot. I will forward this article to my Muslim friends and I hope it spreads, to show you for the Muslim hater that you are.

  45. Edward Carlsson Browne says:

    I think there’s a time and a place for a conversation about the left’s attitude to religious extremism.

    But when we’re dealing with sixty dead teenagers, would it kill you to shut up, go home and stop trying to pick a fight?

    You said you were giving up blogging. You may not have any shame, but will you please, at long last, keep your promise?

  46. Lou says:

    Great post Tom. If the there were more like you I would not only start to vote Labour again but rejoin the party. I loath the EDL for the bigoted scumbags they are but Islamism is ( not Islam ) a danger to women,people of different sexualities and anyone who believes in liberty.

  47. Jeremy Poynton says:

    “he is clearest on who his enemies are: Marxism, multi-culturalism and Islam”

    Which makes many many many of us dangerous right-wing extremists. By the way – you can conflate Marxism and multi-culturalism into Cultural Marxism, the foul turd laid by the Frankfurt School.

  48. Lou says:

    Oh and as for the outraged kiddie lefties on here -keep going guys, soon you’ll make Labour an unelectable cult , leaving the working classes with no-one to defend them.

  49. Malcolm Cinnamond says:

    What a horribly misjudged piece. Having exposed yourself as a bigot by assuming that any mass murder will be the work of Muslims, you make the most mealy-mouthed apology, launch an unfounded attack on “the left” and finish up by becoming an apologist for IRA atrocities. All this while the bodies of the victims were still warm. A remarkable performance by any standards.
    I consider myself a liberal (small ‘l’) but I was in no way relieved the killer turned out to be Norwegian. To assume otherwise would take a very mean mind indeed.
    I suggest you keep a very low profile for a while and learn what the words ‘class’ and ‘dignity’ mean. Or maybe when you’re next in London, you lose the return ticket to Glasgow and stay south.

  50. Martin says:

    Tom, if you think anyone is experiencing any sense of relief in all this you really are as deluded as Melanie Phillips. Right winger or Muslim, murder is murder and this tragedy is too devastating for political spin.

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