It wasn’t just the PST’s conduct that was puzzling; it was the Norwegian media’s conduct, too. The Westergaard story was getting a degree of media attention in Norway — but not as much as it should have been getting, given that the planned terrorist act, which was to have taken place in a good-sized downtown Oslo auditorium during a high-profile press conference, could well have claimed the lives of dozens of Norwegian movers and shakers. The Norwegian media, while scarcely able to ignore such a major story, seemed to be downplaying it. Why?
Here’s my guess. The Westergaard incident took place only weeks after Anders Behring Breivik, an opponent of multiculturalism and Islamic immigration, murdered seventy-seven people in Oslo and on the nearby island of Utøya. In the wake of those atrocities, the murderer’s political views have been cynically used by left-wing ideologues to demonize — and attempt to silence — pretty much every critic of multiculturalism and Islam in the country. As a result of this campaign, it has become riskier than ever in Norway to address Islamic terrorism head-on. If there is relatively little sign of vigorous investigative journalism into the Westergaard story, this may be why: Norwegian reporters, for fear of being accused of Islamophobia, are now actually loath to remind readers that there is such a thing as Islamic terrorism. The left, in short, seems to have done its job well.
As if all that weren’t depressing enough, here, in closing, is an excerpt from a reader comment on Dagsavisen‘s September 18 article about the Westergaard case, which reflects the views of all too many people in Norway (and elsewhere in Europe, for that matter):
Freedom of expression is a good cause but one should use it with common sense and not engage in unnecessary provocation. … I don’t feel sorry for Westergaard. … I’ve never seen any overview at all of what it costs to guard him at home in Denmark. … If Westergaard gets one in the face, it’s his own fault.
The greatest menace to Europe in our time is not Islam. No, it’s the mentality reflected in this comment — a moral decadence, born of multiculturalism, that is utterly incapable of perceiving either the peril of Islam or the preciousness of freedom.