I have to admit, however, that until I read a report published today by the Center for American Progress, I had no idea just how orchestrated and well-financed the Islamaphobia movement was.
Since it became clear that the culprit of the horror in Norway was not a Muslim jihadist, but a self-proclaimed "Christian Knight," the popular perceptions of terrorism are being questioned.
The U.S. could have gone in a different direction -- other than war and shopping -- after 9/11. When the sky was weeping, a different sort of leader might have reaffirmed the largest of American values rather than exploited the smallest.
Norway's immediate reaction to this terror was authentic, distinctly Norwegian, and due in no small part to a country and a people who know fundamentally who they are. The world could learn a thing or two from their example.
We need to address the root cause of these incidents of violence before it is too late. A combination of peace and dynamism is needed in society today.
In the wake of the Oslo explosions and the massacre on Utoyo island, we have learned so much, too much, about the protagonist of the whole tragedy. But what of those who were at the scene unharmed themselves but who helped those who were?
How do we protect the need for a public and transparent judicial process without rewarding acts of violence with the very mission of their violence: publicity for a set of radical ideas?
Many say that it is thoughtless, even reckless to blame an entire political movement for the actions of men like Breivik or Dr. Tiller's killer. I am inclined to agree. But it is just as reckless to dismiss these men as simply crazed.
As Friday's horrific events unfolded in Norway, I was reminded of a scene from the 1997 dark comedy film Wag the Dog, starring Robert De Niro and Dust...
The path to a more hopeful and healthy future also requires people of faith and goodwill to speak out clearly and directly against extremists of all stripes.
Norway's tragedy will lead some to question the openness of the society. But it is that very openness that is the country's greatest strength.
The Oslo attacks should prompt a moment's reflection on the terrorist threat and how we approach it.
Breivik, like Osama bin Laden, is nothing short of the archetypal extremist whose ghastly deeds reveal the malevolence of passion when mixed with fear and hate. And Breivik, like bin Laden, is a man.
How is it that a religion that claims that followers should turn the other cheek and love their enemies can breed such hate and violence?
Mourning is a very complicated process. Grief compounded by violence, all the more complex. You have a long road ahead of you, Norway. Please, I urge you, as you go through your mourning, do not make the same mistake we made in the US. Not all of us. But most of us.
It is true that Breivik was much more concerned about politics and history than about scripture and religious belief. But much the same can be said about Osama bin Laden.