Bruce Bawer is alarmed. The author of books with titles like “Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom” and “While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within” was shocked, shocked! to learn that he was one of the people who inspired Anders Behring, the Norwegian terrorist who kills Christian teenagers to ward off Muslim immigrants.
In a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal and Pajamas media, he was trying to do two thing: Dissociate himself from the “lunatic” (“It is chilling to read my own name in postings by this mass murderer.”), and at the same time convince us that the lunatic was fighting the good fight:
it is deeply depressing to see this evil, twisted creature become the face of Islam criticism in Norway […] I fear that legitimate criticism of Islam, which remains a very real threat to freedom in Norway and the West, has been profoundly discredited, in the eyes of many Norwegians, by association with this murderous lunatic.
Whether Mr. Bawer likes it or not, he is at least partly responsible for the blood spilled in Oslo and Utøya. The lesson we learned from history’s most egregious massacres is that violent words lead to violent action. If an intellectual writes that Muslims are “destroying the west”, there are bound to be lunatics who will take action in response to that.
There is a reason why western mainstream publications would never, ever publish the sentence “legitimate criticism of Judaism” and “Judaism is destroying the west from within” (exact phrases that Mr. Bawer used with the word “Islam” instead of “Judaism”). It’s not because Jews control the world as our own conspiracists like to claim, it’s because one day a crazy lunatic took words such as these seriously and decided to wipe that whole race off the face of the planet.