If you were getting tired of hearing about how Norwegian butcher Anders Behring Breivik is a “right-wing Christian” whose bloody crimes implicate everyone mentioned in his 1500-page manifesto, I have some good news: you won’t hear much more about it. In fact, you might have already noticed a curious level of media silence descending upon the topic.
Why? Simple: Private First Class Nasser Jason Abdo.
It’s an amazing coincidence that Abdo’s arrest for planning a gun and bomb attack on Fort Hood came just as the American Left was building up a good head of steam with Breivik, using him to bludgeon their domestic political enemies. Rarely has a mind-numbingly stupid talking point been dissolved so quickly.
Why did the media echo chamber fill with cries that Breivik is a “Christian” terrorist? Because the monster of Oslo used that word to describe himself on his Facebook page. No one in the media took the time to run through his entire manifesto. They certainly didn’t dissect it with the intensity they reserve for Sarah Palin’s emails. If they had, they would have discovered Breivik was alternatively dismissive and contemptuous of actual Christian faith.
Abdo, on the other hand, made numerous professions of devout Muslim faith. His Facebook page, which has since been deleted, said that “prayer and reflection have helped me to understand that I cannot be a soldier in the U.S. Army and continue to remain true to Islam as I now understand it.”
The L.A. Times reports on Abdo’s efforts to avoid deployment to Afghanistan on religious grounds:
In an interview with CNN last year about his request for conscientious objector status, Abdo said that when he joined the Army in 2009, he did not think his religion would prevent him from serving in combat. “I was under the impression that I could serve both the U.S. Army and my God simultaneously,” he said.
But as his deployment to Afghanistan neared, he began to reconsider. “I don’t believe that Islam allows me to operate in any kind of warfare at all, including the U.S. military and any war it partakes in. I believe that our first duty as a Muslim is to serve God,” he told CNN.
Abdo was clearly inspired by the first Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan. He screamed Hasan’s name as he was being arraigned. He even purchased his guns from the same store Hasan used. Hasan’s fanatical Muslim faith was a topic the media spent a great deal of effort avoiding, with many nervous coughs and uncomfortable glances at its feet.
If you’re going to slander Christians by associating them with Breivik, then you can’t turn your back on Abdo’s vastly stronger devotion to Islam. The storyline that all Islamic terrorists are isolated nuts with no connection to a larger, organized movement is too important to the media for them to throw it away on the insistence – increasingly absurd to even the most casual observer – that Breiviks’ ideology somehow indicts fundamentalist Christians as dangerous human powder kegs.
The Left’s other use for Breivik was indicting critics of militant Islam in general, along with specific authors he cited in his manifesto, from Daniel Pipes to Mark Steyn. Well, Abdo was a darling of the anti-war crowd, with ties to one of its largest organizations, Iraq Veterans Against the War. Another group, Courage to Resist, tried to bury its connections with the would-be Fort Hood bomber by deleting the page supporting his “conscientious objector” struggle from its web site.
Let’s bury this guilt-by-association nonsense once and for all. Iraq Veterans Against the War is no more responsible for Nasser Abdo than National Review or HUMAN EVENTS writers are for Anders Bleivik. Organized Islamic radicalism is a very real security threat, but there are plenty of law-abiding Muslim Americans. The embrace of their religion by the likes of Abdo and Hasan does not reflect badly upon them, any more than fundamentalist Christians have to answer for the child-murderer of Utoya Island.
Individuals are responsible for their own actions. A lunatic can claim solidarity with any group that captures his fevered imagination. Civilized discourse should not be subject to the editorial review of barbarians.