I find it difficult to understand the Western media's need to identify the Norway killer as a "Christian fundamentalist" as if that label represents a phenomena on par with of a decade of radical Islamist violence. The two are not the same.

The sole example that people can name is Timothy McVeigh, who was *not* acting on any religious principles at all. He did not belong to a mainstream church and he did not bother to "martyr" himself when he exploded a truck at the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City. Whatever Christian identity movement he may have belonged to, his primary theology was hatred of the government. For these people, hardened by searing white supremacism, religion is merely the icing on the cake, an adornment. I challenge anyone to find a specifically Christian principle that is taught by any church as proof Christianity *itself* is a motivating factor to kill scores of people.

If you think I'm about to declare that Islam is that way, case closed, you'd be mistaken. Yet Muslim fundamentalism is not the same as Christian fundamentalism, and neither one of them is an automatic synonym for violence. Western society, despite the wide church attendance in the United States, is essentially post-Christian. Western society's laws are not the direct product of ecclesiastical law. There are no shortage of people in America who claim the country should start running on biblical law, but precisely what do they mean? What interpretation are they talking about? And by whose authority? Their own?

But a Muslim fundamentalist understands what that means, because there is an entire corpus of Islamic jurisprudence and authority to fall back on. As it's been noted before and bears repeating, an Islamic country makes no convenient differentiation between mosque and state. For Catholic Europe to want to invade heretical, Protestant England in the 16th century and reimpose papal supremacy but not *replace* English law is one thing; for the Fatimids in Egypt to extend Islam is quite another. With Islam comes the entire package, not an official stamp of a particular kind of confessionalism alone.

In any case, a radical Islamist is not someone who has sought out an obscure branch of Islam that meets his needs. Anyone can be indoctrinated to do anything, but with radical Islamist violence, that vast corpus of Islamic jurisprudence and thinking is available to all. These are not questions of impenetrable theology; the concept of jihad is not some embarrassment tucked away in a single, forbidden book studied only by troublemakers. When you receive a religious education in a madrasa, everyone will know their obligations as a Muslim, including jihad. What I must stress however, is that this knowledge alone proves nothing in terms of trying to describe a madrasa as a little laboratory for producing radical jihadis. This is not the case (although those do exist and are funded by various Middle Eastern governments), but Westerners want to treat jihad like some irredentist concept. Ask any Muslim what he thinks "jihad" means and you'll get an answer. Ask any Westerner (note the different noun) about the Christian concept of "holy war" and you'll probably get a blank stare, or a denial such a thing exists. Western society has jettisoned most of its ecclesiastical baggage; Muslim societies, even those the West describes as secular, doesn't conceive of the world in the same manner.

For the Western media thus, to describe the Norway killer as "right wing Christian fundamentalist" is an attempt at equivalence. Initial reports describes the attack as perpetrated by "jihadis" (to use the New York Times' word) and a group called Ansari al-Jihad al-Alami actually took responsibility before retracting that claim. (Why was it done in the first place?) This was an egregious error because there were no solid facts. Even the Muslim community in Norway was quick to offer a condemnation, fearing, as it seems, the worst. Yet as it became clear the killer was not someone named "Hassan," there was a disturbing rush to describe him as "Christian," and an extreme right one at that. As *if* that alone made any sense. But that did not stop a spate of columns (as the bodies were still be discovered) that smacked of "I told you so," as though Christian fundamentalism has been responsible for terror attacks during the past decade. The conditioned response to assign blame to radical Islamists, in other words, is not an embarrassment or a sign of xenophobia from a guilty West: it's, unfortunately, rooted in what's transpired since 9/11. The train attacks in Madrid, bombings in Bali and London, massacres at Fort Hood, Texas; these were not done purely as political statements, but grounded in ideas *equally* religious and political. It remains to be seen if the Norway killer spouts any particular Church teaching that motivated him at all.

It's an uncomfortable thing for Westerners to admit this, but there is no Christian equivalent of al-Qaeda. We do not speak of a worldwide Christian organization dedicated to mass attacks against specifically Muslim targets. (And in the case of the Norway killer, he has a professed distaste for Islam and Muslim immigration yet attacked a Labor youth party, not a mosque). The term "right wing Christian fundamentalist" does not carry the same implications as "radical Islamist." And the disturbing fact is that Timothy McVeigh is the *sole* example anyone can use for right-wing, anti-government mass murder, with a questionable attachment of the word "Christian." The roster of radical Islamist violence dwarfs specifically Christian acts of mass-murder-as-political-statement. Of course, that hasn't stopped the Western media from invoking McVeigh as proof of...what? That Christianity is just as bad in producing killers? Again, cite the Christian teaching that specifically drove the Norway killer to massacre people. Locate the Christian counterpart of Sayyid Qutb, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic exegetical thinker. Find the church or pastor/priest who indoctrinated him and assured him killing people was in service to a greater goal sanctioned by the Lord. And as the killer is still among the living, ask why he didn't "martyr" himself.

You can't, and you won't, because there is nothing there.